I am Your Designated Driver

Designated drivers, modern heroes without a cape, responsible for getting everyone home at the end of the evening. Being the responsible one is rewarding in itself, knowing you are the guiding light in peoples worlds even just for an evening. Tam was a designated driver, not for his friends but complete strangers, he was a career designated driver. Responsible for people in groups of up to six he worked 5 nights a week and sometimes weekends, sure he took some abuse every so often but it was minimal. They were there to get drunk he was there to drive them home, like a personal taxi service but using one of the members of the group’s cars was the vehicle of choice.

Meeting people was his favourite part of the job, single-serving friends he didn’t have to see after that day. It was so rare that he had the same clients from one week’s end to the next that he rapport he built over the evening was over once he had dropped them off and returned to his car. Tam did have friends but he didn’t see them that often, they all worked during the day so there was little crossover and he rarely took holiday making it almost impossible.

When he was at work his single-serving friends treated him to a good time, all the soft drinks and snacks he could eat. The drinks and snacks were his least favourite part, having suffered from bulimia a few years ago he was still rekindling his relationship with food. Not wanting to seem ungrateful he always accepted them with grace, it was rare he had an evening meal because most of his clients preferred drinking to eating.

Bulimia was still haunting Tam although he wasn’t vomiting after every meal he would still control his food as he did before and would sometimes purge but it was becoming less frequent. Having recovered once he knew he could do it again but the world was an unsettled place at the moment and he wasn’t coping very well. It would have been prudent of him to speak to his old contact at the centre and explain about his relapse but right now everyone was in trouble he didn’t think they would have the time. Having fallen out with his friend that worked there he hoped his other contact would be able to help.

A friend called unexpectedly, his mobile was buzzing for the first time in weeks, she was once much closer but they had grown apart in recent years. Having found someone else she had moved on and was walking a different path. Picking up the phone it was good to hear her voice, they talked for an hour, it was if they had gone back to the “good old days” and nothing had changed.

Tam knew this was dangerous territory and not a bicycle he cared to climb back on. Fool me once shame on me fool me twice shame on you. Agreeing to meet for coffee was the first mistake and as he put the phone down he knew something was up. Enso his dog lounged at his feet, raising an eye as Tam put the phone down as if to say “what did she want?” Tam shook his head “nothing Enso she wants to meet for coffee, but you know what that means, I’ll get out out of it somehow.” Enso rolled over offering up his vast belly to be scratched to which Tam obliged.

Tonight was no different off he went to work, his start was the other side of town so he set off earlier so he didn’t get caught in the traffic. It was a nice part of town so it might even include dinner, they only gave a limited profile, unfortunately, the clienteles were not vetted. Which made for some interesting evenings on the odd occasion, they were rarely violent but sometimes abusive when he refused their advances. Tonight it was a party of four, two couples, he put his hat on and walked to the front door of an enormous house. There were supercars parked everywhere, he sighed, he for saw coke and hookers making an appearance this evening. Pressing the buzzer he was nervous, which was unusual he crossed a finger behind his back as he waited for the door.

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