I’m drunk and mad. Here are those who can kiss my ass.

I’ve got a half pint of Jameson’s and it’s going rather quickly.

Some pretty awful things (in the context of being a western woman who is not starving, sleeping outside or being beaten) happened today and I’m drowning them rather unsuccessfully.

I was briefly caught in the medical industrial complex where they tie you to a chair and brutalize with you with one hand and steal the money out of your pocket with the other all while saying they are trying to help you while making you feel pitiful and less worthy in some way.

If it all could have been done with cards, curtains and magic wands it would have been entertainment. Instead it was just another day of mechanized madness veneered with elevator music in a swanky office.

Doctors and dentists should not have offices of decorator furniture, hard wood floors and marble counters with brushed stainless fixtures. It’s like saying, “Hey I’m going to trade off your misery and brag about it..is that cool?”

They should also not squeeze you in between twenty other people and leave you in a chair with your head lower than your feet for 45 minutes at a stretch with your mouth propped open or in a gyno chair staring at the pictures of kittens romping on the ceiling.

That shit does not help anyone.

But what’s really under all this Jameson’s and rage is pure vulnerability. I could not leave, I was in pain and my body decided to go into a full panic response of sweating, nausea and racing heart. I could not even get up to vomit in private.

I had to breathe my way through it and an hour or so later it was over. The kicker: they still didn’t get it right so I have to go back again and relive it- again. It’s not just this medical procedure. But every time we are hurt by the machine. They all come back making for the sense of one hard feeling of being helpless and afraid.

The machine grinds on, the doctors see the next patient and we limp down the road. Another day, another dollar.

That’s my life and your life and the guy next to you at the store. It’s lonely, miserable and fucked. We should care. We really should.

I’m mad as hell about how me, you, my friends and family are all being reduced to less than a number. At least a number has a place it belongs.

Only the super elite can admit they missed a message or left their phone at home. The rest of us crunch along at the will of literally everyone else. We are strapped to chairs by people who go home to lovely McMansions. We are shuffled through systems and one day deposited on a slab at the morgue with a toe tag that will, most likely, have our name spelled wrong.

I didn’t sign up to be one of the little people, the man who lives his life of quiet desperation. Did anyone? Did any of us dress up on Halloween as us?

Not always, not most days, but tonight I am disappointed in me.

You want to understand why we have angry young herds of traveling guys? They didn’t sign up for that either. They’d rather be stupid, pissed off and fighting the machine than be part of it. They’re wrong of course. They will be ground to powder by it. They will be arrested, they will be beaten by drunks, they will be drunks and they will die alone. It will not work out. Still, somehow, I relate to their fight.

Don’t you?

So what will I do with all this pain, vulnerability and these words? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I do not expect one person to hear me. I do not expect one thing to change. I will take my broken pieces, sweep them into clothes, brush my teeth and hair, smile at strangers, toss a buck to the buskers and go on. No one has time to care that sometimes my life hurts, always has, always will and no one will probably care that about you either. Although–not to sound better than anyone because you can clearly read here that I am not–I do kind of care about the ways you are broken and do kind of wish I could hug you if I knew you.

I do wish. Still.








4 thoughts on “I’m drunk and mad. Here are those who can kiss my ass.

  1. I know what you mean. We needed comfort right about now. We needed a lullaby. We wanted a new sweet face telling us something good. I wanted a strong new body for my wife who was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer. I wanted a warm blanket. We needed rest. We needed someone to comfort us. We could not call our insurance company, Group Health Cooperative, because they were closed for the weekend. All sense of leisure disappeared. Our search for information about ovarian cancer was disappointing on three counts. First, we were appalled to learn how little was known with certainty about the causes, natural course, and the relative merits of various treatment options. Didn’t President Nixon declare war on cancer in 1971? Where has all the money gone? Second, the most useful information that was available was scattered in various professional papers, books, and websites. Much of it was out of date, and some of it was contradictory, and some was factually wrong. Third, we realized that we were expected to assess the treatment options and decide which one to select. I had grown up in an era when doctors usually made strong recommendations. Now, awash in information, we found the slog through medical uncertainty to be lonely, frightening, and overwhelming. We felt much alone with the decision of how to proceed. We were thrust onto the stage of the cancer treatment apparatus. It is waiting for you too. All of you. It’s there. The stage is set. It was a long weekend. The unknown started to become etched on our faces. Fear escorted from Saturday to Sunday and to bed each night. I had a determined-looking face and keen intelligent eyes, now, now everything was different, now I would give the impression of someone who might not be able to hold up in every circumstance. I had become diffident. The end of the weekend marked, one might say, the end of the first period, that of bewildering portents, and the beginning of another, relatively more trying, in which the perplexity of the early days gradually gave place to uncertainty, muffled fear, and a feeling of exile. It was undoubtedly the feeling of exile that sensation of a void within that never left us, that irrational longing to hark back to the past when my wife was well. And then we realized that the separation was destined to continue, we had no choice but to come to terms with the days ahead. We did not realize it at the time, but we were in for a long fight. We had nothing left but the past, and even if we were tempted to live in the future, we had to abandon the idea anyhow, as soon as could be, once we felt the wounds that the imagination inflicts on those who yield themselves to it. At such moments the collapse of our courage, willpower, and endurance was so abrupt that we felt we could never drag ourselves out of the pit of despair into which we had fallen. Therefore we forced ourselves never to think about the future, to cease looking to the future, and always to keep our eyes fixed on the present moment.


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