Monday, July 17, 2017

Crash (Something is Missing), Jan Backes

by Jan Backes

I'd spent six months inpatient at Eagleville rehab and six months in their halfway house program beginning April 19, 1982. I was twenty four. 

I'd lost my CDL as a school bus driver and was sent to rehab because I'd admitted to another driver that I was smoking weed between runs. Deep down I knew that the driver I'd told would tell our manager. 

Being in rehab was like being in prison but not behind bars. We were on a campus. I could have walked away. Only, I had no where to go. I'd left Bucks County behind and landed in Montco. I knew nothing about the area; I knew no one. 

Somehow, in spite of myself, I had gotten sober and stayed in shape for the year and decided to go back and get my CDL. I was re-instated as a school bus driver and started my new life in Montco. 

It was June, 1983, the end of the school year, and I had a field trip to the Devon Horse Show. I'd dropped off the last of the students and was driving back to the bus garage. As I approached an intersection with a convenience store on one corner, I noticed a young girl waiting for the light to change. 

As it happens, she crossed on the red in direct line of my bus and I could not avoid hitting her. Luckily, she was not seriously injured. Because I had seen her. Because I knew that she might not see me. Mostly, because I was sober. 


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