Writer’s Corner: ‘The Worst Mistake of my Life’
The Writer’s Corner features poetry, essays, short stories, satire and various fiction and non-fiction from SCAD Atlanta students. To submit your own work for the Writer’s Corner, email email@example.com.
The Worst Mistake of my Life by Lila Dostal
I once found myself in a police station with a Greyhound bus full of delighted Democrats and 32 policeman who were all itching to shoot me.
Allow me to explain.
To get to the meat of this story — to really understand just how badly I fucked up — we need to set the scene for the seeds of my early demise. It was May 2012, and I was up for a spinal fusion surgery. For 12 and a half hours, I was sliced open like a Christmas ham and jammed full of titanium. My doctor swore I’d be up in three weeks, able to walk and talk and make merry. He was a lying asshole.
Turns out, I was in a wheel chair for six months, and walking on a crutch for a year after that. My doctor might have made an excellent spinal surgeon, but he was shit at dates.
The reason I tell you this is because of what followed immediately after I was sliced and diced to high hell. I was given The Good Drugs, you know the kind you could sell for big money in a back alley. We’re talking Morphine, Propofol, Fentanyl … the good juice. When they give you drugs of that level there’s not much you can do. From May until September, I was kept in bed without much to do besides watch COPS, drink red Gatorade and dilly about on my laptop.
This, as it turned out, was a massive mistake.
You see, in August of 2012, there was a bit of to do in the political community. I don’t know if you exactly remember it, but Obama was up for re-election about that time and hoo-diddly people were askance on the topic.
So, like any do-good Democrat high on morphine and unable to leave bed, I perused MoveOn.Org — a website dedicated to helping Obama get re-elected. When they urged people to host parties for the Democratic National Convention, I was more than delighted to put my name forward. Why not? Some chips, dip and 500 new friends were exactly what my September needed.
So, I signed up to host a party at my university.
And promptly forgot about it.
By the time that I was able to leave my bed in a wheelchair, I’d taken so much morphine I’d forgotten I even had a president. I was foolhardy and willing to take risks with my health, returning to my university in August even though I ought to have remained home. I was bound to a wheel chair but my personality still had legs to run on. Of course, all that got put on hold when I got a call one September evening from my university police department.
“Where are you?” An officer demanded.
“In my dorm room?” I wondered if this was some kind of trick question.
“We’re bringing a patrol car to pick you up. Be out front of your dorm hall in five minutes.”
I briefly wondered if I was about to be arrested for doing wheelies with my wheelchair in the student parking lot.
Alas, my crimes were much more serious that grand theft wheelchair. As the patrol car pulled up in front of the station, I was shocked to find a greyhound bus bearing a massive picture of Obama’s grinning face and car door ears parked outside. The parking lot was a sea of Democrats, the whole lot of them bearing pins, hats, banners, flags, scarves, shirts and even donkey ears. I doubted that Alabama had ever hosted so many Democrats in a single space; it was a miracle that the university didn’t burst into flames.
Of course, the police were a wee bit curious as to why there were 200 Democrats giddily asking for directions to “Lila’s Democratic Convention Party.”
“Did you do this?” the head of police snarled at me.
My face turned the color of soured milk as I realized that I had, in fact, majorly fucked up. I recalled my stupidity much like one would through a drunken haze. It was like the morning after when you roll over in a hotel bed to find yourself sharing a mattress with an airport hooker.
“What have I done,” I wondered.
Of course, as soon as I explained exactly how all these events had come to occur, the bus load of Democrats were more than happy to take their pins, hats, banners, flags, scarves, shirts, donkey ears and Obama bus to Birmingham, which was only 15 minutes away by interstate and hosting yet another much larger party. Off they went, much like maiden voyage of Titanic sailing away into a starry sky. They waved goodbye, blue streamers coming out the window.
“Take me with you,” I wanted to beg them. “Don’t leave me here.”
And so, my story of stupidity ended with me having to explain my ludicrous story to 32 armed Republican policemen.
And the president of my university.
And my mother.