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  • She should not have been wandering around the Tenderloin after midnight, drunk and alone, jacket covered in vomit. We watched her tumble out of a taxi, confused.

    I rolled down the window as she stumbled over to our car. "Are you going to Pac Heights?" She swayed. Sam & I exchanged a look; the cabbie threw her out, probably because she'd been sick. I got out of the car and put an arm around her, trying to avoid the vomit and holding her steady.

    "We are now."

    There wasn't an extra seat belt for her, so I stayed while Sam dropped off our friends. "I'm Maureen," she told me, and her head drooped. She'd been to a birthday party; she'd had a good night. I kept my hand on her shoulder, partly for reassurance, partly to hold her up. When she startled upright, I murmured to her. It's okay. We've all been there. You're safe. We're going to get you home.

    In her kitchen, we made her drink water. She came around a little and asked us to write our email addresses on a small chalkboard so she could thank us in the morning. We backed out the front door, reminding her to turn the lock behind us. Back in the car, we remembered our own wild nights. I fell asleep as we crossed the Bay Bridge.

    We're going to get you home.
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