Wilkinson: Requiem for A Motorcyclist

Stephan Wilkinson
by Stephan Wilkinson
wilkinson requiem for a motorcyclist

A friend of mine killed a motorcyclist Sunday night. He was so out of it, either on beer, vodka, blow, crack, meth or god only knows what, that he simply drove into the young biker from behind on Route 9W, fast enough to squash him dead. Early word was that Jack left the scene, but if so, it was probably only because he was in a stupor, since at least the police don't seem to be charging him with that. He is in the county jail, though. Everybody in our small town knows that Jack is a doper and a drunk. He's the genial alcoholic still drawing from the reservoir of sympathy established when his own 16-year-old son died instantly in a car-versus-tree accident while racing a friend on a dark back road. It was long enough ago that my wife, who biked past the tree yesterday, said the “shrine” is gone— a football, a deflated party balloon, a small white cross, some faded we'll-miss-you-Bobby signs. At least we kicked Jack out of the ambulance corps, where he was one of our drivers. But there was even argument about that. Could we do it without proof, without specific evidence? Well, how about numerous arrests both for DWI and possession? Yeah, but… One of the frequent arguments against permanently suspending a confirmed drunk's license is that you're removing his or her livelihood. You're turning them into a contractor without a pickup, an appliance repairman without a van full of tools, a commuter stranded 30 miles from work. Last week, I watched the cleaning lady from our fancy health club climb wearily into a taxi in front of the gym's big marquee. I barely knew there were cabs in our small town, but the cleaning lady apparently couldn't afford a car and paid fares twice a day to get to and from work. Maybe the suddenly truckless contractor needs to find a new line of work and call a cab. I'm sure at least one 20-year-old motorcyclist would have agreed.

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  • BlisterInTheSun BlisterInTheSun on Jul 29, 2008

    I have four drunk driving convictions. The last was in 2005. I still don't believe that I'm an alcoholic, but because of the objective evidence I reconciled myself to the fact that I can't trust my own judgement about alcohol. Therefore I have been abstinent since my last arrest. I don't drink, I don't have alcohol at home, I stop at a bar with my fiance only to let her have a few cocktails and then we leave. I don't miss it and I would advise any of you who know someone like me who is still drinking to do everything you can to make them stop if you care about them. I am so ashamed of my past its almost stupefying, and I am just grateful I never hurt anyone.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Jul 29, 2008

    Blister, Stay sober. Even if you did not yet develop into being an alcoholic yet, it sounds like you were well on the way to dependency. The first thing alcohol does to many people is numb the part of the brain we use for judgement. Most everyone gets the judgement dulled, but for some it's a real numb job. If you are one of those people, you are highly at risk. One day you have another drink, and bam, next thing you know you just HAVE to have another drink. Congratulations on finding one of the many paths to being a drunk. Don't have the next drink, it actually CAN HURT. Consider AA or other help.

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