THE GREAT IDIOT DRINKER
My friend called me up on the phone
At ten o’clock one morning.
I was outside, working on my truck.
“hey, man,” he said.
“hey, what’s up?”
“what are you up to?”
“ah, just drivin’ around.
I’ve got a thirty rack of beer,
and I’m just seein’ how far I make it.”
“nice. Anyplace you’re headed?”
“naw. Just all around North Carolina.”
“well, that’s cool.
Beautiful country down there, right?”
“yeah, it’s nice.”
There was a little silence,
Then I heard him crack another beer.
“okay,” he said. “I’ll keep ya posted.”
“all right then. Take it easy.”
“you know me.”
I did know him.
And I fuckin’ loved him.
It brought a smile to my face,
To know that he was out there,
Just doing whatever he wanted,
Letting nobody tell him what to do,
Being his own man.
Hours passed and I went on with my day,
Working on my truck,
Forgetting about his little journey.
Then he called me up again
at three o’clock in the afternoon.
“still at it?” I asked, chuckling.
He voice had changed a bit
It was rougher and louder and happier.
“obviously! I’m over the halfway point!”
“oh, nice. Where ya at now?”
“I’m headed towards the beach.
It’s about five hours in the other direction,
But I decided I want to see the ocean.
I’m in that ocean mood.”
“that a good ocean mood or a bad one?”
“I don’t know. Hup! Gotta go!”
He hung up the phone
and I went back to grinding down
a huge patch of rust above the left wheel well.
I knocked off around five,
Cleaned up and showered off.
Later that night I went out to the bar,
Met up with some friends.
We were splashing back drinks, doing shots,
Having a great time of it all.
Somehow we got to talking about my friend,
Wild stories of the past,
Stealing delivery vans, police chases,
That sorta thing.
Then my phone rang.
“oh! Look at this!” I shouted, over the music.
“guess who, ha ha! It’s him!”
I snuck outside the bar to a quieter spot,
Answered the phone.
“hey, hey! Still goin’ strong?”
There were police sirens in the background,
his voice was muffled by something,
and he was slurring his speech.
God bless him.
“aw, man. ahmmin trouble. Bihh trouble.”
“oh, shit, buddy. Anything I can do?”
“not unleshher down heerin-“
“hey! Hey!” I heard a voice shout in the background.
“put that phone down.”
“aw shitsh, c’mon! I’m just calllin’ m’frenn!”
“you can’t do that. you’re under arrest!
Hang up that phone right now,
Or you’ll be in more trouble.”
I waited for a moment, cringing.
It wasn’t a wise threat for the cop to make,
But then he didn’t know my friend.
He was drunk enough that it could go both ways.
Either there would be a big altercation,
Or maybe he’d already drank himself into submission.
“allll rightttttt,” he moaned back to the cop.
Then to me, “thuhh cop says I gotta, ummm,
I gotta hanggg up the phone, or all, haha,
Be in trubbbllle. Like omm nallready.”
“all right, man. good times!
gimme a call later and keep me posted.”
I hung up my phone, skipped back to the bar,
And ordered a round of shots.
“here’s to my friend,” I cheered,
“the great idiot drinker!”