An intoxicated friend stopped by tonight wanting a ride down to his mom or brother’s home. I would have been willing to give the ride but didn’t figure the family would appreciate me dropping him off in that condition. He’d just gotten out of jail for making trouble at his mom’s home a couple of weeks ago. I called the mom to double-check. I was right. They didn’t want him coming down.
He didn’t take the news very well nor did he appreciate the tactful explanation I tendered. Further, I apparently tragically undermined his perception of what a man of God should be, but it was my gentle probings regarding the possibility of a better life that sent him over the edge. He yelled at me for a while. Then walked down the street screaming and threatening.
Honestly? I didn’t feel angry. Or Scared. Or threatened. Just sad. Terribly sad.
Until I began ministering here on the rez, I had only been around intoxicated people of handful of times and only once in my childhood that I recall. Oh yeah and there was that one drunk teen who drove his four-wheeler into the fireman’s pole at my tree fort, but I didn’t see him or find out about it until the next day. Yes, I know that middle class Americans drink a lot, but thankfully I had minimal exposure to it.
Here on the rez, it’s in your face. I’ve been to too many funerals where alcohol played a part. I have too many friends locked up for violent acts they don’t even remember. I’ve seen humiliation flood a girl’s face when she realizes all her friends saw her dad passed out in the driveway. I know too many homes torn apart by alcoholism. And I hate it! The people I love so much have been hurt so badly.
I know many people think it’s harmless if controlled. Not me. I’ve seen too much.