May 27th, 2017 by Jan

My assignment: The Heroes Journey.
Write a story about a political leader that answers these questions.
• Why does he or she have to win?
• What will happen if this leader fails?
• How does he or she attempt to solve it?
• What happens that actually makes the problem worse?
• What does the tragic hero do at the end of this story?
• Does the hero end up succeeding or succumb to an enormous downfall?
• What does the hero realize about himself or herself at the end of this quest?

The Heroes Journey
By Janparker

Pussy hat in hand, I left the house before anyone was up. I was meeting other women from the neighbourhood. We would march in support of the women who are screwed in the states. After that asshat got in office, we knew pretty much everyone was screwed.

I walk that fine line between being informed and being comfortable. I want an easy life, and am grateful I live in a country that, while not perfect, at least we pretend to care. I’ll march today and worry about my future tomorrow.

I need a job. Preferably a job with benefits. One that pays a decent salary, and offers a pension. Someone suggested I get on with the railroad or the post office, or the local muni. The perfect job would be with the government. Once you’re in there, you’re set for life.

My father is giving me one year to get it together. If I can’t in that time frame, he says he will intervened and I will have to marry a man of his choosing. If this happens I will lose not only my identity and independence, I fear I could lose my life. I must have my own money, my own say in what I do.

I’m surprised by the turn out at the this women’s march. Hundreds of women have joined the march this day. I knew I wasn’t the only one outraged at the turn of events, but this is inspiring.

I walked slowly and found myself alone — not in the middle of the crowd. A thought came to me. I was already volunteering on the campaign trail. Why not run for office myself?

Of course my father would shit, but he couldn’t say anything if I won, even less if I served at least 6 years. I knew people came out of politics richer than they went in. If I played the game well enough and long enough… I’d have money for life!

I know going into politics for the money is not something you broadcast from the bleachers. But my options were running out, and not many other jobs have such a fine benefit package. Thanks to the ruling BC Liberals, in 2007, they now have a pension plan where for every $1 an MLA contributes, taxpayers contribute $4. I just need to hang in for 6 years. Longer if I want more. That fucker Campbell gets $98,000 a year in pension. Granted he was Premiere, but even former cabinet minister Black, who quit after just six years will collect about $30,000 a year for life.

The very next day, I fill out a nominations package. They checked for skeletons in the closet & did a police check. This was easier than I thought it would be. The constituency office was a well oiled machine, they held an all-members meeting, no one else stood, and I was acclaimed.

The campaign was fast paced and I enjoyed every minute. I’m a born politician. Plus, my good fortune is  every one hated my opponent, so I was a shoo-in. It was strange to realize, peoples motives didn’t matter; what mattered was I wasn’t him. For the most part people want more, better and very different from what they have; or at least they think they do.

I moved up the ranks in the party and soon became a MP. I split my time between working in Parliament and working in the constituency. In Parliament, I stood for the interests of my constituents. In the constituency, I found myself smoothing the edges and explaining how things were done in Ottawa. I admit I was lazy, but I had personality, charm and charisma – I could pull the right words out of my ass no matter who I happened to be speaking with. My bank account was full and I liked it, but my financial future was still at risk, I needed at least two more years as a back bencher — more would even be better.

I had been in office four years when Sarah Jane walked into my office. She was expressing interest in the safe injection program. I felt immediately smitten. Did I just say smitten? Really?

This woman was asking for help with a cause you could see she cared deeply about, and she was counting on me to care too. But, if I got sucked in, my days of being a harmless, do nothing MP, would come to an end. If she got what she wanted; what she thought she needed, I would be a target in the next election and may lose my seat. I never gave much thought to the druggies or homeless before, I voted the party line. I kept my head low and kept my job.

As Sarah Jane spoke, I didn’t hear a word she said. I did at times notice that my head nodded up and down as if I was agreeing with her or was I agreeing with something. Fuck! Two more years I kept thinking. I needed to keep my head down for two more years!

Don’t judge me, not everyone who holds a job is good at it, and politicians are the worse. We say we care. Ha! Still, there was something about this woman I could not ignore. I knew she was passionate about her cause and it was refreshing. I also knew she would walk out of my office if I let her know how I really felt, and that was the last thing I wanted. There was something about her. I sat spellbound and encouraged her to tell her story. Fuck!

The last thing I remember before the bomb went off was how my dad was going to shit again, when I told him I had fallen in love with a woman.

My life plan for independence took a side ways turn that day. I never saw Sarah Jane again. I was told she was killed in the explosion. They tell me that I was lucky. Fourteen people were killed that day, four members of parliament, two staff and eight members of public die. A man with a personal grudge, tossed a bomb past security and blew the place up. Thirty seven others were affected, with wounds ranging from needing a bandaid and polysporin, to the extreme of needing to spend the remainder of their life in a wheel chair.

Yeah, I’m in the chair. I admit to having a few mental scars as well. Getting blown up does a number on you.

Today the average monthly CPP disability benefit is $933.82. I of course received the maximum because I am as they say, “above average,” every month $1,290.81 is automatically deposited in my account. It is steady income, that’s for sure — a pension if you will. Of course it doesn’t begin to cover my needs. I’m as far away from being independent as a person can be today. Still people continue to tell me how lucky I am; especially my father.

Dad is my primary caregiver and provider. At first it was hard and embarrassing for both of us, when he had to do all the bath and bowel chores. We got over that. The harder part, has been the fall out of a head injury. No one knows how I will act from moment to moment. I can be sweet as pie or turn into a raving lunatic at the drop of a hat. I’ve said things no one should say to anyone. I never knew I could be so hurtful and cruel. I get away with it, because… well, I get away with it.

It’s been 7 years since the explosion now, and finally, I care deeply about something very important to me. I don’t want more or better, what I want is different. Different from what I have, so I am returning to Parliament for a meeting with my MP.

He’s been in office six years now. I truly hope his motives for public service are more noble than mine ever were. My hope for independence is in this man’s hands. I am totally dependent on his support. I need his help. The irony is not lost on me.

I want the right to die. It is my last chance for independence. I can only hope my MP will care.

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