I did something stupid.
Followers of my Facebook and receivers of my drunken texts already know that a few nights ago I had an evening of boozy merriment with a friend of mine. It was our first chance to really hang out and we both had enough money to tie one on good and proper, so why the hell not?
It was grand, too! I hadn't gone out in quite a few months and was genuinely happy to be out and about, distancing myself from my worries and concerns (which lately have been relatively few, all said and done), and boozily belting out the hits of the 70's and 90's to a crowd of about eight. Good times all around!
Problem was, in my excitement to go out drinking, I neglected to put any food in my system, which meant the relatively normal amount of beer I poured into my system hit me like a ton of bricks (ooohhh foreshadowing!).
The night progressed onward, my extroverted friend bounced around to various people he knew, I remembered I had a phone and began amusing myself through texting and Facebook. Eventually it was time for us to leave, so we settled up and made our way out the door.
Now, I don't tend to black out often, and when it does happen, it's usually at the worst possible time. As anyone who has been around me when I hit that point can attest to though, I become an absolute idiot during these times. I don't think about anything, live exclusively in the moment, and the concept of critical thinking doesn't enter my mind. This is when I tend to do those stupid drinking things I later end up regretting. In tonight's episode, the blackout occurred precisely from the moment we walked out of the bar to the moment my friend started his car with me safely buckled into the passenger seat, ready to go.
What happens next should surprise nobody. Suffice it to say, I'm unbelievably lucky to be sitting here, typing this right now.
We made it less than a quarter mile. Heavy foot + dulled reflexes is a terrible mix. The road curved left, but our trajectory did not curve enough with it, and we sped off the road and into a brick fence surrounding a gated community. Blasted a huge chunk out of the wall and spun the car around. I stumbled out, drunk and confused, wondering why the airbags deployed and why that goddamn horn wouldn't shut up already. I came around to the driver side to check, and my friend looked up at me, very dazed. I'm pretty sure he banged his head really hard, but his eyes were open and he was moving, so my attention turned to the keys, which I yanked out in a vain attempt to stop the racket, and that was about the time the police got there. They made sure we weren't injured, got our statements, let me go when I assured them I lived close by and had someone I could call for a ride, and alas, my friend's fate remains uncertain. He's not in jail at least, but beyond that, it's his story to tell. I called Arthur, thank God he answered, explained the situation, and he came and got me. The shitty thing is, I should have thought to do that in the first place. Before leaving the bar. I should have been aware enough to see that the drinks hit my friend way harder than I thought. I was too enamored with texting and beer and music to be bothered with thoughts of survival, and that is profoundly, insanely, and self-destructively stupid.
I hate that. I never, ever, EVER want to be so stupid again. It's one thing to get drunk and pee on a dumpster. It's an entirely different thing to get drunk and then into a car with a drunk driver. Right now it feels like the entire right side of my body got into a fight with Jason Bourne and Godzilla, but just one slight shift in angle, a few degrees difference, and the last thing any of you would have heard from me was a drunken, happy Facebook update.
I can't go out like that. Not now. Not when things are finally getting better in my life.
And that's just it.. It seems like we live forever because from the perspective of the self, we do. But one bad judgement call can turn a happy occasion into "that night we almost died." Or worse. Life is fleeting, and we don't get to choose when it ends. If my life ended right now, while I have so much left that I want to do, it would be simply unacceptable. A life devoid of meaning and impact. Not to say I don't matter to anyone, I know that isn't the case. More that.. I have so much more to give to the world and all I've been doing is idling by and doing nothing. And I could have died! Instead of pursuing my goals (I have goals now, yay!), I've been sitting around and thinking about what to do about this that and the other. I've only recently made the shift from thinker to doer, and if I die before I'm done, I'm going to be SO pissed.
So do me a favor. If there's something you're waiting on, stop waiting. Go do it. Don't talk about visiting Europe, plan out a vacation and work towards paying for it! Don't lie in bed all day, lamenting having to do anything, go outside! Even if you just go outside and lie down in the grass on a blanket, congratulations, you're doing! Don't stay quiet when you know you love someone because you're afraid. Tell them you love them and they mean the world to you and you'd do absolutely anything for them were they to but ask (assuming that's all true, and if it isn't, sorry Chief, you ain't in love.).
My point is, we really don't know how much time we have on this mortal coil, but we have so much stuff to do in life, so any time spent not in pursuit of your goals is wasted time. Your time here is a precious and beautiful gift, but it takes work to make it truly shine.
Make your life shine. And I love you.
- Life is precious, stop drinking and go tell someone you love them!