A millennium had passed, and another was soon to arrive - a fact that resulted in the holding of the party of the century - the millennium party; this I was not going to miss for anything in the world. It was also an event which taught me a proverbial lesson the hard way; it truly determined to me what 'health is wealth' truly means. Little did I know that the following couple of hours would result in the formation of a completely new me.
Life has its own twists and turns. One might say that it is a roller-coaster ride that every teenager sits in - and as it happens, I was no different. Two activities which had held me in awe from an early age were drinking and smoking. As the ride proceeded, these admirations became addictions which were unlikely to stop had the events of this particular night not taken place.
No matter how dead my home town may be all throughout the year, it tends to come to its best when hosting special occasions - and what occasion is more special than the celebrating of the passing of a hundred years? As the countdown began, city central was jam-packed and to lose a personal belonging in that rush was like losing a needle in a haystack. To hear someone speaking was a Herculean task for the honk of cars, the ear-bursting sounds of noise-makers, and to top it all of crowds screaming their lungs out making sure that they are heard. Indeed, the atmosphere was intense and the crowds were wild. Then, it happened - the clock struck midnight marking the setting of one millennium and the dawn of another.
When one finds himself in such an environment, it is not easy to stay aloof or to act like one's normal self. Indeed, the gravity does tend to pull one towards the center of the circle where all the force is being acted upon. Thus it happened; I had lost all senses and soon found myself in the center of all activities. I was dancing away, celebrating not the passing of a year, but the passing of a millennium. I had lost all understanding of my surroundings - it was me, just me, with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. As time passed, the one cigarette turned to one pack, the one glass turned to one bottle, yet I was determined on not letting this night end. A queasy feeling started building at the pit of my stomach; I knew the drinks had gotten to me. But looking back, the insipid person that I was, I continued drinking. Eventually it happened - I blanked out.
The time was 3:00am; I awakened to find myself in a hospital bed connected to blood graduator. My head hurt as though someone has struck a brick on it. My nostrils sense the presence of a skunk at my side compelling me to get up and run out of the room where I am situated. But I find the bottle holding me aback. The bed is solid as a rock forcing my back to remain as straight as a ramrod. My eyes open to find a nurse and a few friends surrounding the bed - all staring at me in stark amazement as though I had been given a new life. What they defined as quiet whispers was deafening. It was as if the Knights of the Round Table had gathered together plotting the defense of their royal majesty's castle. Hospital accommodations had two people per room. As I rotated my head with what little strength I could manage to stir together, I wished I had left that ounce of strength for a better purpose. The room was the size of a regular cupboard with two beds being the only materialistic occupants. The walls were tarnished yellow like fungi had been collecting on them over the years. The ceiling consisted of one fan which dangled upon a loosely held wire like a solemn individual on top of a bridge willing to commit suicide. Then my head turned to my right where my roommate lay on his bed so still that had it not been for the ear-deafening noises he made, I could have sworn he was dead. In his sleep, he roared like a lion calling his subordinates in a jungle. The boom was earsplitting, and the fact that it echoed through the hollow walls did not make it any better. The survey of the room had not done me any good - in fact, if anything, I was feeling a lot worse than how I was ten minutes ago.
After a bit of effort, I finally managed to formulate and ask the million dollar question - how did I get where I am? And indeed, if the question was worth a million dollars, the answer was a simple yet sorry tale worth a million tears. It was a story that changed my outlook on life and transformed me into a completely new person. I had been asinine and was over-drunk. Simplistically speaking, I had suffered drink-poisoning. It was to my fortune that a couple of my friends had rushed me down to the nearest hospital, the place where I now found myself lying in pain. I had been rushed to the intensive care unit where doctors had worked sweat and blood in the wee hours of morning to ensure that I was not one of the few individuals whose life they could not save. Chances of my survival were minimal, and it was miraculous that I was still alive to hear this tale. This last line was the one that hit me hardest, and instantly I was drowned in a sea of my own tears knowing well that it was my own imprudence which could have well cost me my life.
Today I find myself completely resilient to what nearly took my life. Indeed, this taught me that I can easily enjoy myself without causing havoc or risking my health. Thinking back, I realize that this was no fun at all. It was a temporary agent that helped relief annoyance yet giving the user the feeling that one experiences when he finds himself on top of the world. Yet, it was an agent that caused health deterioration. Indeed, there is no point in having fun if the agent implied has a nugatory impact on one's health.
Had I not attended this event, I might not have fallen down. Yet on the other hand, had I missed it, I might still find myself today with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. The pros definitely supersede the cons. More importantly, this experience taught me that books do not just contain text for the sake of containing text. Indeed the writer has a purpose of writing and a message of concern to convey, a message that makes sense. It also defined to me what true friends truly are. Friends come in flocks, but only a few come in hand - it is those who came in hand on my occasion of need, to whom I am indebted to with my life. No gift in the world could be payback enough for the gift those friends and those doctors gave me - they returned to me the most precious belonging - one's life. Succinctly, this lesson taught me the value of one's health - a lesson that I wish I could have learnt the easier way.