“Mom, I’m going to park in your spot because I’m going to the club up the street,” my son, Daniel, said. Twenty minutes later, around 11pm, he was at my door. “Mom, do you know that there are two drunk girls throwing up in your parking spot? They need water…can I get some water for them?” Me: reaction 1 - whaaaat? Reaction 2 - how dare they, reaction 3 – searching for a container and filling it with water, reaction 4 - I hope they leave soon. A few minutes later, “Mom, now they’re sitting on the steps. But I have to go.” Daniel said annoyed. Reaction 5 - I want my container back...but I made no effort to get it. Better to stay as far away as possible from two drunk chicks. Back to my TV show, a Tivoed segment of Jeopardy champions. Then I heard banging on the gate.
“Please help us,” two shaking young girls lamented, barely able to speak or stand for that matter. The two drunk out of their minds girls from the steps were now at my door asking for help. To my great astonishment, they were kids. I invited them in. They hadn’t been sitting for a minute when one of them muttered, “throw up.” I quickly shoved them both towards the bathroom. First, one stuck her head in the toilet bowl, then the other, and then both in unison were dry heaving and throwing up water. I ran downstairs for more water. My flat smelled of vomit and stale alcohol. Nice…But by now, reaction 6 was in full swing.
Because it was Halloween, there was no cab and Uber to be had. Not to mention that these girls were in no condition to go anywhere. If this had been my child, I would hope someone would take care of him. I would hope that kindness surpass fear, trust quash suspicion. I know it did in my case. Reaction 6 - full throttle mothering. Melissa and Jackie were both slumped down on the floor next to the toilet exhausted from wrenching their guts out. I ran to the room, got out the blow up bed put sheets on, pillows and a blanket. I ran back to the bathroom and got the girls to their feet. As I guided them towards the made up bed they kept saying they’d never done this before, this was a first, they don’t drink, and they’d never ever done this before. They kept repeating “thank you so much,” as they got undressed, swaying and stumbling. The minute their heads hit the pillows they were out.
By then, it was almost 1am. I was exhausted but also wide-awake. The “what if” questions kept circling my brain. These girls were so young and vulnerable, what would have happened if they hadn’t knocked on my door? Or if they’d simply fallen asleep in the garage? What if someone else had found them? How would others have dealt with the situation? What if the alcohol poisoning had been more sever, more dangerous? I had a hard time falling asleep.
At 8am the day after Halloween I descended to check on Jackie and Melissa. They were awake…and very embarrassed. They continued to thank me profusely as they lay there. Jackie was still dizzy and nauseated. A couple of Tylenol landed in the toilet bowl along with her dry heaving. I think I managed to put them at ease by telling them that it was…okay. The last thing they needed was an adult scolding them when they knew precisely what they had done wrong. There was no lesson I could teach them that they hadn’t taught themselves by binge drinking.
Jackie and Melissa are twenty and eighteen years old. They and their friend Ryan downed a half a bottle of vodka before Uber had picked them up to go to The Boulevard on Halloween. They continued to drink in the car. By the time Uber dropped them off somewhere close by, they were already pretty drunk. They lost Ryan somehow, somewhere soon after exiting the Uber car. Melissa and Jackie wandered the streets for two hours before winding up in my garage. Daniel’s girlfriend approached them first and the rest is history. Our conversation was constantly interrupted with a ”thank you so much, you saved us,” The girls attend Santa Monica College and also work. Jackie had just moved to LA from Boston and Melissa is from California.
They folded the sheets. “We called Uber,” they said. Motherly protectiveness still prevailing, I said I would drive them home. On the way, they told me the story of their previous night’s adventure…or lack thereof since they never made it to The Boulevard. The thought that these girls could have had more than just an adverse reaction to binge drinking; the thought that two young, under aged girls had no one to turn to when it came down to it; the thought that young people every day take their life in their hands for some stupid reason; the thought that both had no money on them…all of it made this the scariest Halloween I have ever experienced