Dying Poor: Haute Couture Or Strictly Banal?Submitted by Smudge Pot on Sun, 11/25/2012 - 23:36
Howdy I'm Smudge Pot and a few years back they told me I had months to live. That was a hoot. It had been years since I'd seen a doctor but my then job provided me with something I'd never had before: medical benefits. So I decide to go get a checkup and I get a hell of a bill and then find out the employer had terminated the medical benefits and neglected to tell anybody about it.
So I spent some time working to pay off that bill. I used to joke that they had me paying to die but it wasn't very funny at the time. I truly experienced the vanishing benefits: I had health insurance until I needed it. It's truly like pulling the parachute cord and instead of a parachute an I.O.U. flutters out into the breeze. But anyways I paid them for having stabbed me and jabbed me and told me there's no hope. Gotta love these people.
Anyways so life since then has been about compensating for increasing disability and I happen to have one of those "lucky ticket" diseases from a state perspective: not so much in the state where I live but there are states I could move to and basically get A FREE RIDE. I can have pretty much everything they can throw at me: food stamps, health care, disability checks, maybe housing or a room to die in and a blanket to die on. I mean I am told I don't have to work.
In other words the state will pay me to die. And I know many people in way better shape than I am the state pays to live with it's EBT food stamp cards. I'm told they give out these cards so people don't have to feel humiliated in the checkout line. I'll tell you what humiliating is: to have worked at brutally hard physical jobs all my life and now everything I had to show for it has been bartered, sold or pawned as life slowly slips away and there's less and less I can do to market myself. I spent a lifetime preparing for exactly this time, TEOTWAWKI and here it is and I'm too sick to get out of bed some days. Know what it is? It's damn embarrassing, that's what it is.
I even sent out the letter to all my friends telling them basically syonara, see ya later bye but this body that served me so well into middle age seems to have such tenacity. My body is in full deployment, it's fighting for IT'S life. Ok so it's again kinda embarrassing to keep living after announcing your own imminent demise but honestly, I don't think this body will stop trying to live if I told it to. It gets beat all to hell but it gets back up. Each time a little slower and it don't get back up quite and high but my body clearly intends to concede inch by inch and it's gonna make somebody work for each one. And where the body can't quite cut it, my brain goes in and basically makes excuses and buys more time. Primarily to clients and customers. It's a losing battle but my brain honestly has to pitch in and literally give it all we got.
All we got left. I seem to have a bodily democracy going. Majority rules. I intend or we intend in some way to work until we can work no longer. And I will try to whittle life down as best I can until I am down to a sleeping bag and a tent and whichever dog is still with me. My retirement package is an early grave. A life of hard work and I will die poor as the dirt. Which is about as distinctive in human experience as the dirt itself, ashes to ashes and dust to dust. It's about as banal an experience as one might hope to pay for. Like a very cheesy movie you just can't wait to end so you can go home and get dinner.
But there's the crux. I sense a major trade off here.
See my family is in remission. From this planet. It's not just me and it's not just disease. We basically are pulling up stakes and it's a process of about 3 generations. We're liquidating and leaving very little behind. And the state can watch our dust. See here's the thing: we will have only one thing left on this planet: our grave sites and surprisingly (to me anyways and I don't exactly know what I did right to deserve this) but I have been informed that I don't have a place to lie in, I have 3 OF THEM!
I GET TO LIE WITH MY PATRIARCHY, MY MATRIARCHY AND MY TRIBE. I GET MY PICK. I only wish there were 3 of me because I'd like to be all 3 places.
If the state owns my bones I'll probably never make it home. They will likely throw me in a dumpster. And that to me is a fate so much worse than death. And how odd to consider that I will die "poor" but have what even the richest men might not have: do simply be with the people I love and in the land we love with all our hearts.
When you sign government documents, to take their help you sign away your life. You become their property. You incur a debt and they take it back of your flesh and of your bones. They make you theirs. And I'm not gonna be theirs. I'm gonna be ours. And we're gonna be yours.
My name is Smudge Pot and I don't think I can go before we tell certain stories. The last of our stories. These things belong to you not the state and no corporation. We are the people, the Oyate and they are not.
And I don't think my story is very different from yours. And get this what might be the final irony: the IRS has convinced itself I owe them tons of money for money I never made so they are busy calculating interest and penalties on my dying ass just as merrily as an elven wristwatch clock...and they don't know where I'm gonna be buried. That's a secret they will never know.
Imagine their chagrin not knowing where to tax my dead ass. Maybe those pansy blood sucking vampires will read this and come and take my sleeping bag. They might as well try. If things go to plan they will never know I'm dead for I intend to die the old way. I don't need a death certificate.
Where I'm going I got all the credentials I need. And I don't need or want the government's permission to do so. And in this I guess I'm downright fashionable. Haute Couture.