Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Finding Myself

“Best friend! Would you do me the biggest favor ever?” I said with a loud tone in my voice as I was on the phone.
She replied, “Of course! What’s up?”.
I said with a sense of humor, “Ok, so I’m lying in my bed all bare assed because I ran out of bandages. Will you please, please stop to get me some more?”.
She answered back with a loud laugh in my ear, “Ha ha ha ha! Oh man, you would call me for something like this! Sure though, I would gladly bring you some!”.
Approximately twenty minutes later I hear my best friend Stephanie walk into my front door. As I yelled out to her not to walk into my room just yet, I slowly covered my lower back as much as I could. “Ok, now you can come in.” I yelled again. When I saw the expression on her face as she gazed at my road rash all over my body, I knew she was a scared for a moment. She sat down next to me on my bed as I lay on my stomach with only a towel covering my butt. She asked what happened last night, and for the first time in my life I had to relive something that made me sick to talk about with each word that spilled from my mouth.

With her being as close as she is to me, I gave her every little bit of detail as to how I ended up where I was just then. How I got beyond drunk, mixing my alcohol by taking shots of Jaeger, Bacardi and playing beer pong until there was no more beer left in the fridge and my partner and I were table champions. How I left my car at some random house at least five miles out of town, on a narrow road with a turn every hundred feet. I told her about losing the people I was supposed to leave with and not being able to get a hold of them at all as each call went straight to the tone on their voicemail. I said to her that I barely remember being dropped off at my ex best friend’s house, arguing and wrestling with one another until she finally got me in her car to drive me to Santa Fe. The last thing I remember was how a long drive home turned into a short stop in the middle of the highway as I laid on the asphalt screaming  “I’m sorry J!” with tears in my face from what I had just done.

I like to think that I was a pretty respectable kid growing up. Always showing polite manners in front of people I was just meeting or people that were not part of my rowdy group of friends. I will admit though that I did hit a few bumps in the road when I forgot where I had come from, and what the true meaning of manners meant. My sophomore year at Capital High, after transferring from another high school across town, I had made pretty close bonds with some people that I still consider friends today. All were mostly jocks and upperclassmen except for my best friend Steph, who is a year younger than me. Transferring over to Capital High from Santa Fe High was sort of a downgrade I suppose. I don’t regret the decision by doing so, but what I mean by downgrade is that the chances of me finding trouble were much more likely there then at Santa Fe High School. The second anyone mentioned Capital, the words flowing out of people’s mouths were, “They’re nothing but a bunch of gang bangers”.

In my 3 years at Capital I picked up a few bad habits. Cussing more than the average sailor, and finding out what it meant to “party hard”. Boy oh boy did Capital kids know how to throw some “mean” parties. Our motto was, “It’s not a party unless it gets broken up.” The theme song for our crew was Shots by LMFAO. The moment we received that text on a Friday night giving directions to our party destination, it was nothing but “Shots, shots, sho sho sho shots” all night until about 4 a.m. I didn’t start buying into the party scene until my junior year, but when I did, there was no stopping me. That ended me up in Espanola, NM, on a Saturday night for a graduation party this summer. I thought I knew what I was doing, ignoring my family every time they would tell me “Be careful hita”. I always thought “be careful” meant “Don’t drive too fast” or, “Get home safe”. When really what all my family was trying to tell me was, don’t make any rash decisions that are going to dictate how your future plays out.

A month after my accident and after spending time with just my family, going over to my grandparent’s home mostly every day, my cousin Veronica and I sat at the dining table talking with my Grandma . We reminisced about the olden days back before the grandchildren’s time and hassled my Grandma in a joking way about her and my Pompo having a secret stash of money.

“Grams, don’t lie, you and Grandpa are all rich! Just tell us already, we know your rolling in the fetia!” Vern said as we both laughed.
Grandma giggled and replied, “No hita, we aren’t. We have bills.”
“Yeah right! Your biggest bills are sitting right here in front of you!” Vern answered.
“Yeah with the way we eat everyday!” I said.
We all just sat and laughed and laughed until finally somehow at the end of that conversation all three of us were in tears. My grandma had begun to tell us about how proud she is of her family. Two of us grandchildren had graduated high school, while shortly after another grandchild got married. Now all of her eldest grandchildren are just beginning college or just finishing their degree, and the youngest is starting pre-k. My Dad, his two brothers and one sister have been through some “ugly shit” as my cousin Vern would say, but they are blessed with the quality to work hard for everything they have. As she took off her glasses and wiped away her tears of joy, I hugged her. I won’t ever forget that moment, for it was then that I realized where I belonged in a world full of millions and millions of discourse communities.

This summer I have spent more time with my family than I have in my four years of high school. I lost all of the people I thought were friends and am left with three people that still carry the title “best friend”. My family is my motivation and the reason why I am here now. Just four months after a life changing experience, I have been complimented by family on how much I have changed for the better. I value every breath I breathe and every step I take, because I was given a second chance to take the right path to a successful future. I don’t fit in at random places where parties take place, and the people there pretend to be your friend as they tell you take another shot. I fit in right at home with the people that will always point me back to the right direction when times are their toughest and I lose my way, and that is with family. Four months with my family means more to me now than what four years of good times, with the wrong people do.


  1. i really like that you wrote about your family.

  2. This sounds very familiar, my summer has consisted of the same thing with my family and friends. Getting the feeling that it is time to "grow up" and actually listening and caring about what your parents say all of the sudden becomes important it seems. I lost all of my so called "best friends" as well. This is a good personal essay. I like how honest and open you are in the essay, and how well a few of us can relate. It keeps your attention and interest.

  3. Well lucky for us we are part of the few people in this world that "grow up" out of bad habits. It truely is a blessing I must say. Thank you. I felt that i needed to tell most of every detail about this story to give my readers the full affect.

  4. Dominique! Wow! I loved reading this; you've got a real ear for dialogue and pace this story SO well!

    All that said, I'm having a hard time identifying the genre that this story is about. You do a great job describing your 2 discourse communities, but that was only half the assignment.

    Still, I really enjoyed reading this.