Out of life's school of war:
What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols (1899)
When I was 21 years old I was going to school in Bolivia. I had chosen my career very carefully and I was happy about my selection. I was doing good, my grades were actually excellent. I was very lucky to have the classmates I had, we built a strong bond that still ties us today even though most of us are spread in different parts of the world. I had a carefree effortless life, until that Saturday came. I had let my brother J. use my car and he had dropped me off at the University (I had a film class on Saturdays). When I came out to wait for him I was very surprised he wasn’t there so immediately I got worried and called home. My sister picked up the phone and gave me the news. My blood went cold, my head started spinning, the noise in the street all of a sudden disappeared and in replacement all I could hear was my little sister’s scared, grave, adult-like voice giving me the news we had feared for 10 years. I hung up and started walking. I knew where my mom was and I knew I had to get there before she got on that plane. I took a cab to the airport and waited. I guess I had gotten there very quickly because nobody in my family was there yet. I remember having this need to talk to somebody and I called my friend Anabel. She told me to calm down, that everything was going to be all right and if I wanted her to come meet me. I said no, and that’s when I saw my mom pull up. She was pale, she had a panic-resigned look in her face. We hardly said two words and she got on the plane. I wished then that I could’ve gone with her but her friend had gotten her the only ticket left, it was a full flight. I went to the counter to buy a ticket for a later time but my grandmother told me to just stay put, that my brothers and sister needed me. God, I wish I could’ve gone…my poor mother. I went home and was so restless, my brothers were laying in my bed quietly, nobody was saying a word that day. The day progressed with us waiting by the phone to get news but nothing came until later on. I decided I need to go so I got in my car and went for a ride. I ended up at Anabel’s house where we sat smoked cigarettes, I talked and she listened.
I had made plans a few weeks earlier to get together with two of my professors that were going to help me with a project I had to present for a final grade in school. The only day they had available was that day, if not I wasn’t going to be able to present my project. Milton, my friend was supposed to come over as well. Milton and I went to pick my professors up from downtown. When we were heading to my house, I stopped at a red light and since I had my eyes full of tears, I thought that maybe, it was a good idea to let everyone in the car know what was happening to my family that day, and that all I wanted was to drop everyone off and head to my house and not deal with anything. I was sure they would understand. I just couldn’t do it that day. As soon as I start telling them, an asshole comes from behind in his big SUV and crashed me really, really hard. The entire back of my car was destroyed, I busted out in tears because I couldn’t believe the magnitude of my day. I cried and I finally let it all out, the entire day’s events came crashing down. Thankfully my professors took care of everything, making sure that the guy that crashed into me wouldn’t leave (he was completely drunk and had fallen asleep behind the wheel) and handled everything for me because I was in shock. I’m normally the type of person that faced with circumstances that require immediate action, don’t panic. That day was different. It was just too much. We ended up at the police station (that’s how things work in my country) and since I requested a D.U.I. for him he requested one for me (I wish I would’ve been drunk, to kick his ass good and proper). He was acting like such a jerk because I had my Florida’s license instead of a Bolivian license, he was practically incoherent but still causing a lot of trouble and driving me insane.
At around 2 in the morning the whole thing was settled. I went home and found my brothers right where I had left them. I felt so terrible (still do) for adding insult to injury, even though it was an accident.
I finally was able to speak to my mom the next day and she gave us more information in what had happened, It was not good.
It’s been 5 years since then and thankfully the nightmare is over.
(I’m sorry I can’t share the details.. it’s just very personal. this post is just for me).