Monday, October 6, 2008

Cheese It – It’s the Fuzz!!!!

I was done with the club by 1am so we made a quick escape back to the luxury leather interior of Galleta’s chariot. I pulled out of the lot and with directions in hand Galleta began navigating our route back to the Marriot. In hindsight I do see the errors of my ways – who hands the directions to the DRUNK guy? It’s just that Galleta holds his liquor so well I kinda forget…. But after circumnavigating downtown Syracuse, and directions from a friendly cop, we were back on track by 2AM – almost.

We were SO close to the hotel…Galleta was falling asleep, and I was just antsy, when this little black civic zoomed around in my blind spot and cut me off on the passenger side. Galleta jolted awake and yelled energetically – “GET HIM!!! F’in FLOOR IT!!!!!” and all kinds of testosterone induced knee-jerk verbal reactions. I am not a road rager – I couldn’t care less what people do – BUT it was Galleta’s truck and his instructions did sound sincerely important …..and yes again in hindsight maybe I should have not put so much equity in the words of the drunk 26 year old. So I floored it (It was fun) and not only did I catch up to Civic but I cut him off (at about 78mph). My glory was cut short though by the flashing colorful lights that filled the truck and the screeching siren that silenced the radio.

The next words came from the trooper outside my window inquiring about my knowledge of local speed limits – obviously knowing something and doing something are two different things. I then quickly downward spiraled into pool of honesty as I fessed up to having one shot at the bar.

Outside the truck staring into the lights of two police cruisers I was asked to perform the sobriety field exercises as my body quickly shut down. Extreme anxiety replaced any “Bad Ass-ness” I had felt only moments before as I lapped the civic and celebrated my driving prowess.

I failed the “heal toe” as my legs shook and my bare feet froze on the pavement (the officer allowed me to remove my heals). I also failed the “balance on one foot” because counting to 30 is really hard when one is hyperventilating and sobbing uncontrollably. I did however pass the “follow the pen with you eyes test” FYI - I guess panic attacks do not effect the optic nerve. My officer’s eyes narrowed and a thin tight lipped grin spread across his face as he commanded me to “STOP CRYING” and blow into the breath – a –lizer. I wrapped my lips around the clear plastic straw and gave it a blow – the officer looked at the red numbers on the machine then looked at me with a sneer. Pulling it from my mouth he tore the straw out of the machine, throwing it to the curb. He placed a new straw into the machine and we repeated the process. This time he looked at me and gruffly asked, “Explain to me how the hell can you fail almost EVERY field test and not have ONE drop of alcohol in your system!!!” I explained that I was in complete panic mode and I also told him WHY I had been speeding. Pointing towards my drunken passenger I exclaimed, “HE TOLD ME TO DO IT” (throwing Galleta under the bus). My officer turned sweet and gentle as he tipped his head to the side and asked, “Gail, how old are you?” And I answered the only way I could, “Old enough to know better Sir.”

Back in the truck (no ticket in hand) I drove the next 2 miles in a state of shock and extreme anxiety as the adrenalin still pounded through my body. Galleta, in a soft gentle voice, guided me back to the hotel while interjecting comments such as ,You’re doing great… It’s all OK….etc… Once inside the commercial park where the hotel was located Galleta announced “STOP THE TRUCK AND GET OUT!!!!” I was frozen at the wheel, but after a few short moments I was outside wrapped around Galleta in a bawling mess. He took control of the vehicle and drove it the last 100 yards as I slowly resumed a normal breathing pattern through my chattering jaw.

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