As a sneak preview, here’s an excerpt from a journal entry I wrote (to God) during my senior year of high school. It gives a detailed recap of the Sober Graduation presentation I acted in with my friends from the high school drama club. We simulated a car accident, complete with gory make-up, a helicopter and an appearance on KLEW-TV. It’s actually one of my favorite pieces, but it was too long to use in its entirety for this week’s reading. Enjoy it if you can.
Friday, May 22, 1998
A week from now, I will graduate!!!
This has been quite an action-packed week. The Sober Grad presentation went pretty well. Our roles were like this:
Charles was the driver of the car that rolled several times. He had very few, minor injuries. He played his part well — kind of belligerent but really scared of the situation. I was a passenger in the back seat of Charles’ car and was thrown from the vehicle as it rolled. I had a huge, gory (plastic) leg wound and fake blood all over me.
I also had internal bleeding near my brain, and was disoriented. It was kind of hard to play this part — very much in pain, very confused and disoriented — when my body and brain felt completely normal. I used hyperventilation to make myself feel somewhat pained, and just tried my best to think about how horrible the scene really was, and let it out in many blood-curdling screams.
Cameron was also a passenger of Charles’ car and had a broken arm and was bleeding profusely due to head wounds. He and Amber were stuck under the rolled car. Amber was supposed to be in critical condition, and was taken away by a paramedic helicoptor. (Yes, we had a real helicoptor!)
Daniel was the driver of the other car, that crashed into a phone pole. He was dead at the steering wheel. Jamie was lying dead, and blood-streaked on the contorted hood of the car after flying through the windshield.
Jamie did a really good job being lifeless, but it was hard for her. Afterward she just cried and cried and kept thinking about “the horror.” She realized she was taking it so hard because, unlike the rest of us, she couldn’t scream or cry in the middle of this situation.
Kami played the innocent bystander (is there such thing as a guilty bystander?) and did a great job being hysterical while trying to help us out. She kept saying things like, “Chair, you’ll be OK,” or “Jamie, you’ll be OK, just wake up. Why won’t you wake up?” This was really hard on Jamie, to hear Kami ask her so painfully to “wake up.”
The other passengers of Daniel’s car were Ben and Tamara. Tammy had a pinched spine and would have been paralyzed if the situation were real. She was stuck in the car for so long, she said she really did think she would be paralyzed. Ben had a fractured leg and pelvis. His screaming was awful (in a good way).
All this made me think about how fortunate I was that all of it was over in a few hours — that it didn’t have permanent effects like it could. Jamie, Daniel and I are planning to wear our blood-spattered shirts to the Grad Party, as a reminder to people before they go out on the road.
[NOTE: I totally didn’t do that.]
Other highlights of this week included the Awards Concert that the school had in the park.