Meningitis, My Love.

Is there a statute of limitations on forgery?*

Either way, I have something to confess: In 2003 I falsified certain documents so that I could attend university and live in the dorms. Namely, the little card they gave me to give to my doctor where she was supposed to confirm that I was actually vaccinated and that I wasn’t, for example, a homeless street child bringing disease and pestilence into the respiratory intake valves of the upper middle class.

From that day to this, I have carried the secret like a telltale heart (also badly, I tell everyone as you can clearly see.) Every time I get so much as a sniffle or a stiff neck, I am convinced that it is the meningitis, back to exact justice on my liar’s soul.

It’s not like I’m one of those no vaccinate people. I believe in science, and medical treatment. It’s just that at the time, I wasn’t really in a position to afford either. I’d already been accepted to college, I was scant days from moving into the dorms and then they gave me this little white card and told me that my parents had forgotten to forward my medical records.

My what?

Oh, right. Normal college freshmen have usually just left the warm embrace of midwestern farmhouses with crisp gingham curtains in brightly white kitchens where doting mothers and fathers and extended families of grandparents and cousins and lifelong best friends are still standing in driveways waving goodbye saying things like “I do hope that fancy college got those medical records from Doctor Gibbards. I’d hate for them to think that we’re one of those no-vaccinate families.”

Except that the only medical care I had was the Planned Parenthood in Pomona where I sat watching teen mothers cry for an hour in exchange for some of the most unappealing vaginal manipulation I’ve ever experienced and a 12 month’s supply of the life-giving birth control I need to keep my endometriosis in check. And for some reason I doubted that the “nurse” who caught my labia in the speculum would be so kind as to forge vaccination cards for me. We just weren’t that good of friends.

So I sat in my truck, wondering what I was going to do with this tiny piece of barrier between myself and my ability to live inside, when life found a way. Being a member of the 12 step community, I have signed enough court cards in my life, and I recognized the kind of official looking paper card that belies a larger neglect of basic record keeping in deference to a weird unspoken honor system. And I had three kinds of pens in my purse.

I’m not proud of what I did. Going around unvaccinated is totally a douche move. But there comes a time in every girl’s life where she must chose to stand and fight, or carefully forge medical records in order for her plans to stay on track. Let’s just say, I’m resigned to my fate. Yeah, maybe I’m a little more jumpy, a little more paranoid than I otherwise would have been with a clear conscious. But I knew the risks when I tried to go to real people college. I didn’t expect to get out of there unscathed, and I’m glad to say I met the challenge when my name was called to account. Or whatever.

*Yes. In the state of California it’s either 3 or 4 years from the discovery of the forgery. So I consider myself in the clear because there’s no way they kept that stupid little card, and this is totally fiction and of course I went to my actually real person doctor to get confirmation of my vaccination because to to otherwise would just be rude.