Wow, some anniversaries suck!
On its infinite trajectory of totally preventable breakdown, the United States this weekend marked the one-year point on overturning Roe v. Wade.
Isn’t it great every news broadcast and social media channel can shove so much loss in our faces repeatedly for 72 hours straight? As if we had to be reminded we’re second-class citizens due to gender? Huh, because I found that one was hard to forget.
In fact, I’ve been trying to write my next book about it. Every time I sit down to the computer, what emerges is a classic trauma response. The shot-into-space zero-breath death-lung plunge, the thoughts on how many grown women are in how many cemeteries who just a few years ago might have been around to breathe again, the wistful wishing I’d never been born because Roe was legal for my mother and she had a choice. She made the wrong choice. You know, normal thoughts here in the American landscape.
I find the only thing I want to write is your demise, America, since you’ve so openly declared so many times already that’s what you want for me. I’ve lived a thankless and worthless lifetime of fighting for healthcare that you refused to give me precisely because I needed it. Moving state to state like a middle-class medical refugee in search of a doctor willing to help me oxygenate, or a system that had some loophole to grab healthcare from despite all the legislation against those with pre-existing conditions. You think that fight’s over? Oh, you think you fixed it? Hell no. Instead of pre-existing conditions, you created other barriers, still declaring my life to be one for the garbage heap, because no one in D.C. has the stones to tell the profit-mongering middlemen to shove it. So now, everything’s unaffordable. Now, we can suck it up and deal with shortages and hospital closures and more technocratic plutocratic crap that puts more and more care out of reach for anyone but the campaign donors.
You think it’s the first time on the healthcare front you’ve told me to go get fucked, then die for it? Not by half, you psychopath dick-worshipping lunatic asylum. I was born with birth defects that never got treated until my thirties, though those same defects should have killed me long before my thirties. You cheered and laughed in a pandemic, wrote endless volumes online about how marvelous it was to be clearing out the weak like me, getting rid of the chronically ill and the disabled. Which you did indeed, like a cult of serial killers with death breath, manage to do—you killed us in droves. I’ve buried more friends before the age of 50 than my parents ever have, and they are decades older. But one more time, like some cockroach you tried to exterminate, I lived, back to shit on your bread at 2am. I made it through permanently damaged by the disease half the country claimed was a hoax. I treated myself, at home, once again all on my own, because I was refused all medical treatment, just like it had always been every time my life was on the line. Because, after all, governors decreed it. And don’t we just know the wisdom of the law and how equal we all are, one and all?
I guess is this abortion issue is just one more round of your round-up that ends at the slaughterhouse. But for whom? Some of us have an uncanny habit of living when you try to kill us, of crafting life rafts when we should be dead, of boomeranging back in your face when you thought you’d finally managed to throw us away. And because we know you have never valued us and you never will, I want you to question what you’re creating in perfectly rational people who believe in science, value healthcare, and desire equality. How are you treating the people who have moved mountains just to survive your savage policymaking? The ones who don’t buy the conspiracy theories, the ones who don’t join hate groups, the ones who create from nothing what you always deny them as you take whatever they’ve created away again? You’d think a reasonable nation might want to hang onto those people, rather than conducting lifelong campaigns to kill them.
But you are not a reasonable nation, America. You are a fractured assemblage of so many warring fiefdoms, with no uniting principles that go beyond the almighty dollar. It’s tough to see how you haven’t already been sued over truth in advertising laws what with that “United States” name and all. Here, in the most litigious nation on earth, somehow no one’s taken you to court for that marketing scam? And even on an issue like reproductive rights, where poll after poll tells you most Americans believe in some level of safe, legal access to abortion—you can’t make it happen? It’s eternal feudal territories with gerrymandered districts and supermajorities who are going to dictate once more terms about the worth of my life? And the life of every single female who has made it past the birth canal and breathes air instead of amniotic fluid? No, only those with gills get rights here. Okay, then put the fish of the world in charge of policy if that’s what you’re bringing for logic. I mean, Shark Week is coming up, so we have at least choice in what gilled entities should be allowed to make decisions for us. Yup—when that scenario is better than the one you face about your reproductive rights being taken seriously—my god, where is Jaws when I need him? He did seem to favor eating very stupid men, so…call me.
I am exhausted with the expectation that I respond reasonably to your anti-healthcare campaign to kill me. I’ve had decades of it already. Whether it’s basic healthcare or specialist needs, whether it’s reproductive rights or surviving a pandemic, it’s clear to me who you’ll never value. It’s clear to me how you use systems and laws, as well as hate groups and conspiracy theories, to kill people. You’ll use whatever you can turn into a weapon to eliminate those you consider “less than”, “embarrassing”, “undesirable”, “difficult”, “an expensive burden to society”, etc., etc. What with paying out of my own pocket and all, being refused care and any legal help or designation for what my decades-of-fighting medical files clearly show I have, it’s a little tough to figure out how you’ve spent so much money on me. You must mean the lawyers you hired to craft one more policy to leave me out of the loop, though—you mean, their bills really set you back. Oh, wow, my condolences. Do you think you’ll ever get tired of paying such high invoices to try to annihilate me? It’d probably be cheaper to give up on that. Lobbyists are pricey.
So I’m not going to be reasonable, America. I’m going to tell you now what you’ve always told me, with the full expectation you’ll spend endless time and money harnessing all your weaponry to try to kill me one more time: “Fuck off and die, you worthless little bitch.” And please understand, all I'm doing is echoing your decades of healthcare policy. So basically, I'm just your ventriloquist dummy. Congrats.