Last night I was KILLING it in the gym. Legs were like pistons, core solid as a rock, and power to spare.
I was going to take full advantage, when a local came into the gym, clutching her abdomen. In a way that you just knew she wasn't faking it. We rushed over.
She asked if someone could take her to the hospital. Now.
I said wait right there, grabbed my bag and drove my car around to the front of the gym, putting her into the passenger seat and belting her in. She hobbled gingerly into/towards the car. She told me the hospital she needed to go to, it was one that took charity cases - and as a homeless addict that was where she needed to go.
I didn't exactly know how to get there, so I asked Google, patched into the car's sound system, to navigate there. The cheerful female voice told me the first direction, and, checking that she had her seat belt on, I started off. Within a couple of turns, I realized we were going to go on one major highway, and then turn north onto another one. Late Monday night, not gonna have very much traffic.
"So", I asked, trying to be delicate, "are you riding dirty?"
She looked at me and scowled. "What makes you think..." and I said "...because you told me you're an addict two weeks ago. Crack. And I'm asking if you are because if we get pulled over and you're carrying, you're not spending the night at the hospital but the city jail, where the medical staff won't be as efficient."
"No!" she said, forcing the words through obvious serious pain - and I believed her, "but why would we get pulled over?"
Fourth into third
I drive a Dodge Challenger RT - with a 5.7 liter V8 Hemi engine, and the manual version has a high compression engine that absolutely demands premium gas. I asked her this question as we were going into the turn to get on the highway, and the coast was clear in every way. At her words, I downshifted, and the car roared and fired us out of the turn like a cannon. Sort of like David Banner going "FINALLY" and hulking out, suddenly charging forward as a roaring green monster. At 95mph, e.g. some scant seconds later, I decided that was a bit crazy and slowed it down to a respectable 85, and blazed down the highway on a mission of mercy.
Slaloming through traffic, we made it to the hospital in record time. To distract herself enroute she asked if I liked rap, and I gently replied in the negative. She asked if we could stop at McDonalds before getting to the hospital, as she knew from experience she wouldn't be eating for a while. I explained it's because if they need to do some kind of surgery, you need to have that done on an empty stomach, and/or do some tests in a fasted state, so no. Felt like a dick doing so, but it was news to her that having food in her stomach could actually kill her if they had to operate on the spot.
I had to roll down to 35mph as we got off the highway, because around a hospital, the speed limits are 25 or so and monitored. She started talking, and she expressed the desire to detox and be done with this. It wasn't to get my approval, she was tired of the life she was leading, tired of the legal hassle. She asked my advice on suing someone who was harassing her on social media. She was tired of having to ask strangers for help every day. Tired of having enemies. Luckily, in a way, I knew a hospital that did exactly that, having committed my wife there about a year ago. I told her its name, and she said to herself this time she was going to commit herself, and was going to make her way from the one hospital to the other in the morning to do just that.
The hospital she needed wasn't too far off the highway and we were there in moments.
I pulled into the Emergency bay and was surprised you couldn't just drop off and be done with it, there was valet parking. Why is medicine so expensive in this country, he asked himself, as she gingerly pulled herself out of the car, and thanked me as she limped crouched over to the ER intake. I waited for the valet to park the three cars in front of me and then drove through.
I called my wife to tell her where I'd been and why I was late. She's a saint, and was happy I was able to do something for someone else. Me too. Virtue is its own reward, in a way. It had been fun taking that car up to the beginning of its full potential...