The story goes....
I am driving back from college one spring break. I am behind the wheel of my girlfriend's old 2-door Chevy Blazer while she chats me up from the passenger seat.
We had just gotten off route 22 -- onto the Cross County Parkway in Yonkers. I can smell my mother's cooking and feel the comfort of my bed...when I see a wall of traffic up ahead. I slam on the breaks but realize I'm not going to be able to stop in time. I swerve onto the shoulder taking out the left tail light of the car in front of me.
Lucy and I look at each other, thankful that we are not hurt, but are faced with the sudden realization that we have absolutely no idea what to do next. Neither I nor Lucy had ever been in an accident before. We quickly decide that we will say that Lucy was the one driving -- not knowing insurance can transfer between two parties.
I jump over her and out the passenger side door -- I jog to the car that is now 20 feet behind us. I knock on the driver's window and an old lady lowers her window. I freeze, not knowing what I am supposed to say but her son leans over her and quickly offers, "We are OK. Are you OK? Do you have insurance? Yes? Then we have no worries."
Ah -- that makes sense -- that's what you are supposed to say after you've just hit someone with your car -- safety first, then logistics.
Now all four of us are waiting on the side of the Cross County Parkway when all of a sudden an oncoming car stops short to avoid the car that I've already hit, only to be rear-ended by a fourth car! Now there are four cars steaming on the side of the highway.
Lucy pulls me towards our car -- away from the others -- and we begin to discuss what we will tell the police. "We can't lie to the police!" she says. (This whole time the drivers of the crashed cars are waving their arms to try to steer speeding cars past our accident.) We continue to debate until we see a brand new shiny white pickup truck pull up behind our "pileup."
Lucy and I decide -- if a random car feels the need to pull over and help -- we should go offer some help.
We walk to the gathering of people on the side of the highway who are now passing out flairs to light. We thank the three gentlemen who have selflessly offered their help when I notice that one of the gentlemen looks familiar.
I tug on Lucy's sweatshirt -- pulling her away from shaking the man's hands -- and am about to ask her if the man with the bling-ed out chain looks like...and then I look inside the pickup and see large "X"s sewn on the headrests of the front seats.
I turn back to the group and ask the man with the chain -- in as nerdy a voice as you can imagine -- "Excuse me sir but are you DMX?"
"Yeah...yeah I'm DMX...as long as you guys are all safe and you have insurance everything should be alright. I'm happy no one is hurt."
Lucy immediately grabs his arm and begins to jump up and down like a girl on TRL.
He says goodnight, gets in the car with his two acquaintances and drives off in to the night.
I tell this story now (besides it being my go-to story in general) because DMX has recently made his way back into the public eye. Doing so while being behind bars.
DMX is facing a minimum 90-day prison sentence after pleading guilty (on December 30th) to drug possession, theft, and animal cruelty charges.
2008 has been a bad year for the pit bull-owning rapper, real name Earl Simmons, who was repeatedly arrested in his home state of Arizona for offenses ranging from speeding to taking someone's identity.
The cruelty charge stems from an arrest made in May after a seven-month investigation following a raid on his house the previous August. Police had found dead and malnourished pit bulls, a weapons stash, and drugs.
A sentencing hearing has been set for January 30, where additional charges may be dismissed thanks to the guilty plea.
While it's obvious that DMX brought most of his problems on himself, I know he is a man who is struggling to keep his life on track. I mean this is the man who was the soundtrack to my high school life -- he was once the biggest rapper out! He clearly blames the system he is in -- as a black man and a hip hop star -- which I can understand -- but at the end of the day he is accountable for all of his actions. And I think he understands that and is trying to deal with what that means.
I don't know what is going to happen to DMX and I also don't know what SHOULD happen to DMX. But I do know that he pulled over on the side of the road that night just to see if we were all right.