9 o’clock on a Tuesday night and I’m reading Briar a bedtime story.
We’re cuddled up in the big, pink striped reading chair.
Dora and the Big Dig is the current book du jour.
All of a sudden I hear the sound of a tire exploding outside the window.
I squeeze Briar.

An eerie silence hangs heavily outside.
Every hair on me is standing on end as I scoop Briar in my arms and look out her window.
Nothing. No lights. No sound. Blackness and sadness.

I hurry downstairs with Briar cradled tight against my chest as I call for Sean.
He’s already out the front door and on the front walk.

The scene:

A mangled sedan, a parked suburban rammed up on the sidewalk, the car in front of it up on the lawn. Smoke everywhere.

The sounds:

Tires squealing as the driver tries in vain to reverse the car out from under the suburban and away from the scene.

Then there was more smoke and the sound of the neighbor restraining the man.

This bastard who careened into our neighborhood completely inebriated, decimated his own car, destroyed a parked car and who tried to flee turns out to be a repeat offender. The first officer to arrive on the scene knew this man’s name.

Mr. Edwards.

Mr. f*cking Edwards

It’s summer.
This is a family neighborhood.
You can’t trip without colliding with a toddler or elementary schooler.
9 o’clock.
30 minutes earlier and kids would have been on the street.

How dare you place your worthless self behind the wheel of a car and endanger our families, Mr. Edwards.

How dare you have the right to live to do this a second time.

The officer arrested you last week for driving under the influence, Mr.Edwards.


Why would you do this again?

“I’m ‘prolly’ gonna go to jail. Gotta go.” You said to our neighbor as you tried to run.

You are lucky.

You should not be here.

You should never have had the chance to do this a second time.

I pray that you do go to jail this time.

I pray that when you wake up tomorrow you remember.

I hope you remember the faces of the children who watched from the sidewalk as you slurred and swayed and seemed to take no responsibility for your heinous act, the risk you took with the lives of everyone between your last drink and the bumper of the car you hit.

I hope everyone who bore witness to your pathetic attempts to run remembers.
Remembers never to get behind the wheel drunk.
Remembers shaking with gratitude that our babies were all safe.

And sadly, I hope we all remember that there will always be people like you out there Mr. Edwards, people who will test the odds and drive drunk.

Shame on you.