"Don't be like that... you're fun! don't be stupid like that!"
That's what a friend told me Friday night just because I didn't want to drink more than ONE glass of wine at a party.
I don't like to drink when I'm driving. Call me a coward, call me stupid, call me smart. I honestly don't care.
There are plenty of reasons why I feel so strongly about "drinking and driving", each one of them very important to me:
First, I'm not THAT big a person, meaning, I'm petite, tiny... alcohol concentration in my blood get's higher with little amounts of alcohol so no, I can't drink as much as a 200 lbs 6'6" man without being completely dead in a short amount of time. I can handle my liquor but I don't like being hammered.
Second, the type of alcohol that I like is not cheap. And no, it's not because I'm a spoiled brat... or maybe I am. I don't like beer. I prefer a nice glass of wine, maybe some whiskey or a cocktail.
Add to the fact that I'm on a diet, I won't drink too much of liquid sweet stuff in one night.
Third, I'm a Transportation Engineer, not only I've read the effects of blood in the human body but me getting killed on a car accident would be like an oncologist dying of lung cancer because he smokes.
Well, that does happen but I don't want my death to be as stupid as THAT.
(Am I talking about my own death?... I just creeped myself a little)
Fourth, while in college I lost one of my closest friends because of drunk driving: Camilo.
This super cool guy, smart, good-looking, cute, funny, fun to hang around with died because someone else decided it was fun to drink and then take a road trip.
Camilo didn't like drinking as much as the average college guy. He was actually sober most of the parties.
Camilo didn't own a car, so he never drove drunk... actually he only drove when someone else was drunk.
I remember the night it happened.
I got back home after a "Last day of college so it's a PAR-TAY!!!" night out with some friends. Everyone wanted to celebrate in 20 different ways so our big group of friends ended up going to 3-4 different things: I went to a small city 2 hours away from Bogota, got home relatively early (3am is early, right?), with a twisted wrist and super tired.
Camilo went to another party and my best friends Coso and Alejo stayed in the city with some other friends.
My dad wakes me up: Coso is calling.... WTF?!?! why is he calling me so early?!?! my mom's going to kill me--- well no, she's going to kill HIM!!!!!
My dad wants me to answer the call in their room, my mom is still talking to Coso (oh dude, you're in so much trouble!!!!). My mom is crying... what??
I pick up the phone and Coso tells me something like:
"Cosa, listen to me... Camilo's died. There was an accident. I'm on my way to the morgue.
[Insert anonymus guy's name here] was driving, got super drunk and apparently my cellphone number was the only thing he could blub out... I have to go and ID the body.
I need YOU to call his uncle and tell him what happened. Your mom's friends with him, I've already talked with your parents... they'll help you.
This is what I need you to tell him..."
He gave me information on phone numbers and people's names, places and police officer's... I don't remember any of that.
I repeated everything he said out loud so my mom and dad could take notes. My brain was dead.
I hung up the phone and told my parents exactly what Coso told me.
They called his family.
My mom cried. I didn't. I went to bed.
Later when I woke up I called Alejo and told him I had a nightmare, Coso called me the night before telling me that Camilo died.
"Lovey, that wasn't a nightmare. Coso called you. Camilo's dead."
I called Coso, that was a cruel joke from Alejo:
"It's true Cosita, I saw him and the morgue. He's dead."
I didn't cry.
The next day was Sunday and my family and I went to church, like always.
When the Priest got to the part where we all prayed for "our departed love ones"... I started crying.
I cried during the rest of the service. On the way home. I didn't wanted to eat. I just wanted to cry.
Camilo was dead.
I don't remember how much I cried.
I went to Camilo's service. I saw his parents cry. I saw his little brother and sister cry.
I saw my friends cry.
Two weeks later at our graduation ceremony there was an empty seat close to mine.
Our last names were close on the alphabetical order so I was close to Camilo and Coso... it was supposed to be fun.
There was a white rose with a white bow instead of my friend.
When they called his name and his parents walked towards the podium, everyone stood up and clapped for 5 minutes, and we all cried again.
I can still remember his face, this voice, his cute little eyes making fun of everything and being one of the smartest and sweetest guy I've known.
Respecting my friend's memory and knowing how Camilo could have been an amazing professional, have a nice and cute family and could have been an awesome father to the girlfriend we all knew he wanted to marry is the reason I never... NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE.
So yeah dude, I'll always be like that. As you say, stupid.