I have made a horrible discovery. The Winnipeg International Writer’s Festival uses addictive psychotropic drugs to lure people into a life of literacy. I know this because I can feel them working their heinous magic this very second. I would have told you sooner, but I showed no signs of infection until today.
I suspect I’m feeling their effects faster than you because they got to me early (I knew I shouldn’t have taken Ariel’s lunch recommendation at that blogger meeting. The drugs were in the chicken).
I first noticed something was wrong around 8:00 pm last night. I was minding my own business, enjoying a quite a family gathering that had taken me away from the festival, when all of a sudden I started to get this funny feeling in my stomach. It was like there was a 5lb rock playing trampoline on my diaphragm. Within a few minutes I was having heart palpitations and difficulty breathing. I considered calling an ambulance, but it was too late, I was chasing the dragon.
Before I knew what was happening I was lost in a wash of memories. Soon the rock in my stomach and the flutter in my chest seemed familiar. In one brief moment I saw every party I wasn’t invited to and every school dance I couldn’t attend. I was feeling the regret of missing something that could be special. I was feeling it like I was sixteen. I was feeling it about the festival.
Luckily, I had enough of a grasp on reality left to remember that special moments at the writer’s festival only happen once in a life time. And since I had already seen one of those moments in my lifetime (my good friend George’s reading way back when), I knew that there was no way one could’ve happened tonight. I knew I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I knew it was impossible. I knew I must have been drugged. It was the only possible explanation.
At first I was frantic. Should I go to the hospital, should I try to vomit, should I call Chandra and yell at her for getting me into this mess? What should I do?
And then it came to me...warn as many people as you can.
So here it is:
They’ve got the drugs, they’ve got the writers and eventually, if you keep coming around, they’ll get you too.
Consider yourself warned.
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Jason Diaz is a Winnipeg-based writer and bookstore employee. His poems and prose have been previously published in dark leisure magazine. He was interviewed for the Uniter once and is probably the only blogger here licensed to drive forklift. He doesn’t have any books coming out, but would most likely write one if asked.