October 7, 2012
On Why We Take
The maimed, weak, the blurry or blind.
None of us wanted to end up in whatever our situations are. None of us wished for the cushy life of crippleddom. And if any one wants to trade their abilities for a roll up easy street, I’ll sell you my not so perfect passage for a food stamp.
We hate being “on disability” as much as we deeply appreciate it.
So, to you, who feel protected, invested and saved, here’s some flashfact:
Other than that 1% cherry at the top of the sundae best, there’s not much to really hold on to when the heat’s on. The health coverage you think you have through your job may be terrific .. But if you get sick, you will lose that job, and that insurance, and that money. It doesn’t take long.
We the “collectors” mostly collect a lot of excess aggravation and bullshit for whatever puny or punitive pittance we’re collecting from something we did in the past.
Because we, the entitlees, had past lives: we were pre-existing before our conditions. We were the soldiers, sisters, brothers, sweetest aunts and favorite uncles who got fucked up by something (disease, war, accident, or birth). Whatever funds we once had, we now don’t. We truly are grateful to be getting a few hundred bucks to live on. And we are very indebted to George W Bush for getting Medicare to pay for drugs and medication.
But you know: you who rarely have to wait and never are denied. You know you don’t want to be us: always pissing across the tide and begging for what’s right and what was promised: always in the long and always wrong line.
Perhaps I don’t look like you imagine.
I used to be one of your daughters and if the spoon wasn’t silver, it was a worthy replica. But all of it tarnishes in time and times can go badly at times.
I’M NOW A SEMI-PRECIOUS WEASEL. A facsimile of the old me
It started when I lied to my mother. “Everything’s fine; the job is great.”
Truth was, the job was gone, I had an incurable debilitating disease, and things were decidedly ungreat. Truth was, I was sliding into poverty and uselessness on a greased pole. Truth was I was becoming the ultimate shame for a good Yankee and Republican family: a dole-rider.
Before their eyes I would loss teeth and hair and start searching trash cans for Muscatel. I’d start by dropping particles, then acid, then my kids on their heads. I’d have a pet snake and a boyfriend named “Wha?”
This was when they started praying for a merciful and quick end to the bloodline. Stop the spread of shame. Sacrifice for the good of the few.
I did feel terribly guilty about it – like the poor old dog who knows he’s not supposed to pee on the carpet, who knows his transgressions attach in effect to his sires, but can’t find a tree in the house. I felt sheepish – but I moved towards the trough.
And, though it may offend, I believe I am living the American Dream