Youth

The mat outside the apartment door says “Coors Country.” Inside the door there are two empty cases of beer; Bud Light and Heinekin. There are two plastic garbage bags tied up and ready to be taken down to the parking lot dumpster. Straight ahead there is an open kitchen with a bar counter. Lined up on the bar are at least ten bottles of booze – all 5ths. Captain Morgan, Bacardi, Jack Daniels, something Mojito. There is also a very large mug, three quarters full with stale beer. There are more bottles lined up on top of the kitchen cabinet – all empty, along with several other 24 packs of beer, which appear full — ready for another party.

There is a movie poster on the wall – Scarface.

To the right is the living room, which is quite spare. There is a giant plasma TV on the wall, a coffee table and a long couch. There is also an idle vacuum cleaner on the plush white carpet. A police officer stands facing the couch where a young man sits, head in arms, crying.

Another police officer directs me to the bedroom. The roommate is on the bed. The story seems to be, he crashed last night after some heavy drinking. Flopped face down on his pillow, his right arm hanging off the bedside, his knuckles on the floor. His friend let him sleep through the day, and then when the sun went down, the friend finally shook him to get him to wake up, and when he wouldn’t wake up, he rolled him over.

The roommate lays on his back now, his right arm sticking straight up to the ceiling.

I copy down the information from the driver’s license the officer gives me. Out-of-state student. Handsome young man.

One phone call I wouldn’t want to have to answer.

5 Comments

  • Kevin says:

    Makes me grateful for all those times I did wake up after a night of heavy drinking…

    Just curious, was there an underlying medical condition that caused his death? Or was it just too much alcohol?

  • medicscribe says:

    My guess, and it is just a guess, is that he was so drunk, that when he fell face into the pillow, he suffacated himself. Where a normal person would wake themselves up because he couldn’t breathe, his brain was so shut down, it couldn’t send signals to move his head to get some air.

  • Almost Jesus says:

    I reposted your story on my facebook profile for my peers to see and hopefully learn something.

    I am 19 and I work for our small town BLS EMS and small town hospital. After work one day we get the tones for an 18 year old not breathing. Walking through the house I see a guy on the sofa crying and I walk in the room to see cops doing CPR on an 18 year old kid, his friends hadn’t paid much attention to him after he passed out so the downtime was unknown. We considered calling it on the scene based on the factors, but we transported to give the benefit of the doubt, he had no chance. 18 years old, dead from drinking which the doctor figured to be related to aspirating his vomit.
    The story is so eerily similar to yours.
    A definite lesson on mortality.

  • totwtytr says:

    Not a call you’d want to to have to make either.

  • Anthony says:

    I reposted your story on my facebook profile for my peers to see and hopefully learn something.

    I am 19 and I work for our small town BLS EMS and small town hospital. After work one day we get the tones for an 18 year old not breathing. Walking through the house I see a guy on the sofa crying and I walk in the room to see cops doing CPR on an 18 year old kid, his friends hadn’t paid much attention to him after he passed out so the downtime was unknown. We considered calling it on the scene based on the factors, but we transported to give the benefit of the doubt, he had no chance. 18 years old, dead from drinking which the doctor figured to be related to aspirating his vomit.
    The story is so eerily similar to yours.
    A definite lesson on mortality.

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