We get called for a drunk. We find a fifty seven year old man holding the fence in front of a house. An old woman comes out and says it’s her son and she wants us to take him to the hospital. She won’t let him in the house drunk as he is. He doesn’t want to go with us. “Lisen, lisen, lisen,” he slurs. “I ain’t going. I ain’t going.”
We can’t get him on the stretcher and his mother won’t take him into the house and he is going to fall if he let’s go of the fence. We threaten to call the police, and he says, “Go ahead, go on ahead. I ain’t scared. I ain’t scared. I ain’t going.”
We call the cops and tell them we need assistance with a drunk. He takes off then, staggering down the street. He is weaving all over the sidewalk. I am certain he is either going to stagger out into traffic or fall flat on his face. We follow him down the block where he veers into another yard and sits down on the steps. He says it is his other mother’s house. His mother who has followed us up the street, says he only has but one mama and she is his mama.
The cops come and the lead cop, looks at the man and declares, “Hey, this isn’t a drunk. Look at his pupils. They’re pinpoint.”
“He’s drunk,” I say.
“What are you using?” he demands.
“Huh?” the drunk says. “You talking to me?”
“Yeah, what are you using? You using illegal drugs?”
“Drugs? Now what kind of shit is that. What kind of shit is that. I don’t use no drugs. Looka these arms. I’m clean. What kind of shit is that?”
“Your pupils are pinpoint. See I used to work on an ambulance. I did that before this job. What are you using?”
One of the other cops looks at me. “It’s a drunk,” I say.
“Because I’m a black man, you saying I use drugs. What kind of shit is that? What kind of shit is that? Lisen, lisen, lisen. My mama taught me better than that?”
“He don’t use drugs,” the mama says. “He drink, but he don’t use drugs.”
Long story short, it takes fifteen minutes to get the guy on the stretcher, only after everyone has apologized to him for accusing him of possibly using drugs. “What kind of shit is that?” he says, as we finally plop him down on the stretcher. “I ain’t never use drugs. What kind of shit?”
“My boy don’t use drugs,” his mama says to the cop as he walks back to his cruiser.