A year ago, it only took seven minutes on the most hurried of days to go from under my covers to campus. Now, it takes almost an hour to perform the same silly routine.
What a difference a car makes!
Seemingly, the entire civilized world will head to the Mecca of beautiful women, clubs and hip-hop this weekend to partake in the fun and festivities that are the Atlanta Classic. Amid all of that, this column will remind me, and hopefully someone in Atlanta, of all that is possible when alcohol, car keys and college students are the three antagonists of a story.
Just like this year, it was the fourth weekend of September and again I had a reason for ditching my friends’ request to head to Atlanta with them. Ironically, for the same reason, to watch my cousin-who is more of a brother than anything else-play in a football game. It was a promise made to him the day he signed with Illinois State in 2003.
Unfortunately, a hurricane postponed the game, leaving me to twiddle my thumbs in Tallahassee for another weekend.
In my unequivocal boredom, another cousin of mine told me he was coming to town, so we both could do something with our weekends.
Fast-forward a few hours and I was driving on another night on the town. After getting to our first stop, I had a few drinks-never mind the fact that my 21st birthday is seven weeks from Sunday-and thought I was fully capable of driving. A couple of slurred words and Freudian slips of the tongue to the girls we were entertaining and someone convinced me driving would not be the smartest of ideas.
As the six of us, myself, my cousin, another high school friend of mine and our three guests were planning to leave, my car was designated as the nights taxi. Five drunk people and the designated driver found a way to pile into my car looking for a club that would let a few underage delinquents in.
All was well until the ride from the club, which for the obvious reasons I won’t name, when my designated driver thought it would be cool to run into the back of a blue Ford.
No one was hurt in the accident, thankfully, but my car was finished. Time has made me realize that my driver was not completely wrong for the accident, nor was I right for trusting him
These days, my morning routine lets me think about and enjoy the small things in life that otherwise went unnoticed. I still walk to almost wherever I need to go. When I don’t, it’s the true friends who don’t always use their car to pick me up.
Will Brown is a senior newspaper journalism student from Rockledge, Fla. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org