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Grapevine : November 2011
M y best friend and I had gone out of town to see The Moody Blues in con- cert at a win- ery in Murphy, Calif. We were both caregivers, needing a break from par- ents and jobs. All reservations were made a couple months in advance. Tonight was here. Lots of girl-bond- ing and excitement. We had rented a car, checked into a room and pre- pared for a night out on the town. At the time of check-in, the own- er of the motel attempted to call a taxi service for us, however they were al- ready over-booked, being the only one in such a small town. We knew what we were in for, and we decided then and there that I would drive and let my friend kick up her heels. It was a great night, with a couple of bottles of wine between the two of us, pouring heavy on hers. She was all over the place, happy as I had seen her on only a few other occa- sions. She hated caregiving. It didn't come naturally for her, so she had been unhappy and drinking heavier. Her son in Florida knew the band's drummer, so she wanted to get his autograph and introduce herself. She was writing notes and asking guards. Security was looking to toss us out. She was so funny, waiting for him af- ter the concert. The whole thing was hilarious. She was a handful. In the car later, I was watching her and not the road. She was so happy, head thrown back, laughing about that darned drummer. Then the car went off the cliff--- 35 feet down! I was in shock! I laid on the horn, talked to her, laid on the horn. Someone came, and I could hear them a distance away. I'm half deaf to begin with, so I was crazy scared. It was dark, and I couldn't see. I pet- ted her hair and asked her to talk to me. She started snoring. I was going nuts, so I half chuckled, "Damn you girl!" Help was on the way and a new panic arose---she was no longer snor- ing! I freaked out and screamed to the people up top. Some gal named Valerie who lived up the street came out and stayed through the whole or- deal. I told the officers I was straight and coherent the whole time. Then I was arrested, and my friend was taken by helicopter, in a coma with paralysis. We both went to the hos- pital, but from there I went to jail--- wounds and all! Bad knee, right arm, internal bleeding from seatbelt, glass in head, hair full of blood. Eeeehhh. The days in jail were a complete blur. It was scary. I paced the floors all day. I was a nervous wreck. And my friend, well ... she wasn't waking up. She was paralyzed, and the family pulled the plug three weeks later. I re- member praying for her to live, pray- ing that she'd die, then praying that if she lived I would take care of her the 36 November 2011