48 votes

Dying Poor: Haute Couture Or Strictly Banal?

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.


Mitakuye Oyasin.

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Smudge Pot, there are a lot of people on the Daily Paul

who care about you. Please do this: Open a GoFundMe account and post it here from time to time and/or on FB if you have it. Maybe it will help and people can earn a little good karma.
A cousin of mine is faced with her husband having had a brain stem stroke a few months ago and she has had huge extra expenses and work in coping with the situation, plus her job and two toddlers. She set up a GoFundMe account so people could donate to her (even though she is not the type to ask for help unless she really needs it). It makes people feel good to be helpful if they can afford it. It cant hurt, can it?

Are you Lakota?

Noticed some of your sayings and such were Lakota or aboriginal stuff.

I think I understand--

and if I do understand, I agree--

God bless you--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

I have no idea what this

I have no idea what this Title is asking.

i think he's posing the

i think he's posing the question: does this often absurd comedy of death and bodily disintegration have some meaning, ordained for us (haute couture), or is it just a banal accident of biology and a sad farce?

whichever it may be, smudge is a model of how to bear it with dignity and grace, and not react like a desperate animal. even if, at bottom, that's what we really are.

that's my interpretation, anyway.

Well gee thanks

It is very kind of you all to say these nice things and I will have to sing a special song for you all now.

I think I will sing the Do-Hat for you. It's an old song and one of my favorites. It goes like this:

Do-hat e duty-yo
Do hat hunka e eeyo eeyo
Do hat e duty-yo
Te do hat e duty-yo

I sang it for you here but a dog jumped my lap right in the middle of it but the Do-Hat tells you to take the Bear Spirit power upon you.


You are a kind and gentle people but strong and powerful like bear. And this version has a huggable dog in it.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.

the link to your song does not work for me

Thank you for sharing your state of mind. I sometimes feel shamed and sorry that I too will die in poverty.

But we shouldn't be. I think of the old customs in which a person was buried WITH ALL HIS/HER POSSESSIONS. Seven or ten pieces. I am guessing here. But this image and way of life is so reassuring, ethical, and LIGHT.

Travel light forever.

Ron Paul ... forever.

Checkout diatomaceous earth

It has cured a lot of people, and help them that are too sick feel better in their last days.

Surviving the killing fields of Minnesota

Todays brainwashing: GMO's are safe


Honey! Honey is good stuff, really good stuff. Here is a short list of things that help me.

1. Honey
2. Apple cider vinegar
3. Good fresh well water
4. Good fresh air
5. Sleeping in the cold
6. Songs and laughter
7. Tons and tons and tons of beer
8. Love

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.

Excellent choices

Honey must be raw unpasteurized, definitely not the store crap!

Apple cider vinegar should be Braggs to do any good. If the heart is giving trouble add a good shake of cyan pepper to the honey and apple cider vinegar.

Also honey and apple cider vinegar should always be taken with warm water so body absorbs better.

honeybee propolis is another item that can cure many cancers and kills viruses and bacteria on contact. Its 3 times stronger than Cocaine and hundred times stronger than aspirin and with no side effects. If you decide to take it be ready for a hell of a ride getting well. It turns on the immune system and a war breaks out in the body, you may think your dying, Diatomaceous earth does the same.

the rest of your list is a must in my life, but the wife hates sleeping in the cold.

Surviving the killing fields of Minnesota

Todays brainwashing: GMO's are safe

live free and die free

You will not die alone because we are all connected and so we are always with you. Your ancestors will be with you as well. And those who need to take care of things after you are gone will know in their hearts, they will know.

May I have the chance to soak up your stories in time. Peace.

Wherever They Plant You ...

... your richly grounded posts blossom the love of liberty.



Thank you Smudge.

Wish this was one of your funny and enlightning stories smudge,

I have enjoyed your post's and watching chat.Wish you and your family peace,you will be missed but remembered Mitakuye Oyasin ; )


Your presence is enriching here...

And THAT wealth is something the IRS can't take from you or us.

Be well, Smudge Pot. ;)

you might could throw a lil' monkey wrench in the gears

... of tyranny as a parting shot :) I really enjoyed your story, and just for fun ... try giving your old stubborn body detoxified iodine:


4 drops day one ... 5 day two ... and so forth on up as far as your body tells you... also good to take L-Seleniomethionine 200mcg and a nice food-state multi+herbs. Topically on skin conditions + internally with oj or whatever. Get some ... get wellness ... and stick around for the defeat of the illuminati. This is gonna be big, my friend :)

Michael Nystrom's picture


Mitakuye Oyasin.

Aho he says

Man there are just more of us every time. We are growing like the leaves on the trees in spring. Well met bro.

We shall walk the way.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.

deacon's picture

i met a man years back

in a chat room for freedom
this man spoke the same way,and yes used to bring a
tear or two
this man spoke as if he was huge,and in my eyes he was
used to call him my brother,and was so proud to know him
so happy to see the monicker (oyate) in the room
this man left,and i thought he died,you see he was also sick
but this didn't seem to matter nor hold him down
he often times made me feel better,not because he was worse off,or i perceived he was,but because,every day he worked for his family
and was happy to have and to do so
the stories i was told are still with me,like i was actually a part of it
i often wondered where he went,or if he was unfortunate to be among the living
for a while it was great to matter,when friends leave, life just doesn't so important or worthwhile,the things held at bay come creeping back in,and seem to have to make for lost time
is this man you? (oyate)

Leave an indelible mark on all of those that you meet.
OH... have fun day :)


Oyate miyelo. And it is so nice to see you my friend. You gave me some really good advice that I took and ran with: chocolate.

Deacon how is it that we are still alive? I had written us both off bro. What you helped me to do was get over the mental anguish. I recall everything you said. How your house is a place of refuge for children. And how you spend your life loving on them.

Well good news. Oyate is now a tribe. We call it the tribe for everybody who wants to be in one who doesn't already have one.

Deacon, I recognize you as Oyate. And it brings joy to my heart to see you brother. PM me and we will talk.

Nice to have some time eh?

Pilamaye Yelo.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.

deacon's picture

my sprirt rejoices

glad to have you still on this side of the dirt
glad to be part of your tribe,but weren't we one in the same
even before we met?
i took myself off of prescribed meds,still have complications
but most are from the meds i was on(these took more than from me
than i can ever get back
we have lost some along the way,some fell others were felled
by others(i miss them,but they aren't gone)
sorry i didn't answer your question in your post
everyone dies,rich or poor,it is what we do and leave behind
that defines who we were,how we lived our lives defines what we were to become,is this the ultimate test? i believe so
i believe we are all given tests(if you will) in life to make or break us,make us worthwhile,or just taking up space
i have gone through some fires and tribulations,some of what i was,i am not anymore,but who i am going to be is more important
there are days my body revolts against my mind,and i have to drag it kicking and screaming at times(this makes the bad days seem not so bad)
seems i went off on another rant again(did i,this time answer a question?)

Leave an indelible mark on all of those that you meet.
OH... have fun day :)

Thank You Smudge Pot

Thanks for your story, I find it very tragic, but you have a singular fortitude and courage.
I am also on a similar path, several steps behind. It's a daily struggle. I only hope I can display half the tenacity you do.

I'm sure you know what a smudge pot was used for, traditionally.

Keep on protecting the tree of liberty as long as you can.
Thank You.

Just open the box and see

This is some heavy stuff.

This is some heavy stuff. Hope ya live a long time brother. Hope I can go out with as much courage and dignity, no joking. Good writing. Can't wait for your book for some lighter stuff, too. Be well.

Love ya, Smudge Pot!

Your story made me cry. I can relate big time with your frustration on some level. Our system ('healthcare', welfare/warfare state) is one great big nasty joke that no one seems to get.

On another level I have no idea what you must be going through. I am sending good vibrations your way.

Hoka Hey

So glad you spend your precious time here.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Hoka Hey! Where are we going?

Fishy you are a figther. You have known me for longer than you know and told us of your state. I have followed your posts with great interest and I do see you smoothing out. Never forget that you are a rather rare object, you are a WARRIOR FEMALE.

Let's not forget that war is brutal and ugly and somebody has to do it. And let's not forget that while is warriors charge into battle, it results in brutal and ugly things. I have not only worn a badge and a gun in my time but I also used to be part of an agency that provided "police services" and part of that job was picking dead bodies up from the desert.

And it is a non-desirable job. It stinks, it's ugly as you want it to be and you can't quite get it out of your mind. But there is a secret:

There is honor in it. To be the last taxi. To bear somebody's remains and deliver them into the care of somebody who loves them. And the only 2 times we found a DB, a dead body that had nobody, me and my Chief stood by their internment.

We were the last taxi. But our God loves us all, even the animals and the birds and the fish. "Trouble ye not about the morrow and what it may bring".

Consider ye the birds, they do now toil or reap and yet our heavenly Father feeds them,

Consider ye the lillies of the field and how not even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed such as one of these.

ok. i don't normally do this.

To the East and to the South and to the West and to the North, to the ones below who always listen and to the ones above that see everything,

to the land, to the wind, to the water and from the tall mountain


fishy i bless your eyes. I bless your feet. I bless your arms and legs. I bless your heart. I bless your long suffering husband. I bless his arms and legs and hands to strength.

I bless your body and your mind, may you continue in peace. And may you gain in the knowledge and grow strong and with grace like the dew that just evaporates with the rising sun and the promise of beauty,

may you walk in the Beauty Way and may your ancestors rise with your dawn. And to greet you and bring you home.

Now you are blessed.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.

I am indeed blessed!

I don't pretend to know where we are all giong, I just know that the fate of my ancestors is good enough for me. Perhaps our paths will cross while we are still wandering on The Way, but if not, I shall see you when we get there, my friend.
May you and yours be blessed as richly as you bless.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

I'll tell you a sad story

and maybe it will have some happy parts.

We got called to pick up a DB, a deceased person from the desert and we have to dive for miles across 4-wheeling territory, we are one of the few agencies so equipped.

We get to the scene and this guy is in a Toyota Corolla and it looks like a pretty elaborate suicide scene, they guy had a vaccume clearner hose going from the tail pipe of his car and into the passenger compartment but my Chief smelled fowl play. As if a dead body roasting in a car for a few days doesn't stink enough. But the question was how did this guy make it up here in a Toyota Corolla? Didn't seem possible.

Now you have to know a little something about crime scene investigations. YOu don't just tromp in there in the field, not in the desert, you make slow circles and you observe everyting you can: tire tracks, boot prints, every object, every broken branch, every everything.

I made the call first. I knew this was a suicide and not a murder. Know why?

His car was pointed at the exact angle to watch the rising sun.

I made that prognistication and everybody, cops, deputies, my own Chief just stopped and looked at me. For a long few seconds all we could hear was the sound of our diesel engine purring away....

OK the proof?

I will never, ever forget this.

The guy had a paper note pad on his lap, a composition notebook just like we all used to have in school. And he had a number 2 pencil in his hand. And on the very first page of that notebook he wrote 2 words:

Dear Mom

And that was as far as he got. A brand new notebook with two words on the first page: Dear Mom.

And he died with the rising sun.

And whoever mom is, we gathered up this huge lunk, he was a very big guy and we stuffed him into a body bag and took him to the morgue and checked him into a freezer.

But i would like to finish his book if possible. He left plenty of pages left.

Dear Mom, mom, I don't know how to tell you this. I have done something so wrong and I don't know how to own up to it. Dear mom, I am in so deep now that I can't even tell you. Dear mom, I love you. Will you still love me?

We were the answer. We're not mom. We were what some people call "bounty hunters" but withhold your revilement of me for one second

while i tell you that we treat all persons alive or dead with respect.

And as ugly as it sounds, there is honor in it. And it's my honor now to be able to finish that man's sentence.

Dear Mom, I love you.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.

Okay, you've literally made me cry twice now. Please, Please

Smudge Pot, don't die without knowing where you are going. I cannot prove to you that I know where I'm going--all I can say is that I do know. You can KNOW where you're going too! I don't mean hope, pray, wish, or be almost positive--I mean KNOW (as in even more than you know your eye color). Please listen to the following


I know as an Indian, you probably believe Jesus is for the white man. (My mother has Indian blood and was raised on a Navajo reservation). Jesus Christ came to reconcile us to the true God. He himself was not white, but a Jew whose own people rejected him. God has laid the foundation in many an ancient culture, for finding Him. Read Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson. I truly love you as a fellow liberty lover, a fellow poor hard worker :), and mainly just as a fellow human being. I wish you the best and will pray that the God of the universe will reveal Himself to you.

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

hey you don't seem to have an email address linked

to your account.

A quick clarification: I am in fact mostly white. I totally understand the confusion because I do in fact speak as a native a lot of the time. Cause that's how I think. Having grown up in Dineh'tah your mom probably shared this charactaristic. It's a pretty different world view, totally different perception of time.

So to address some of your points, I don't exactly know where I am going but I pray to the One, to God that I come home. And that is my deepest heart's desire.

And I'm sure you know that Christianity seems to float right down on top of native spirituality like...kinda perfect. It seems we can have both belief systems and merge them like the NAC or other examples, there's TONS of Christian indians. There's something of a mystery in there because we still pray to other powers but there's something in there where they stop just short of being DEITIES. So I'm not sure we were ever "polytheists" in the sense you might think. I think we have been pretty clear that there is ONE AND ONLY ONE SUPREME BEING, THE FATHER OF US ALL. And He is called many names in many languages but it is all the same name.

So you pray that God reveal himself to me. Thank you. And I tell you in fact that according to my tradition, that's pretty much our job in this world, in this life. And all of our 7 Sacred Ceremonies are designed to do exactly that.

And it all begins with the Pipe. The Sacred Channupa which was given to us by a transcendental being called White Buffalo Calf Woman.

Hocho ka wanji, yuha ilotakeki, miksuya opagi-yo.

So am I OK? Nope. Do I have to pray for strength and not to be afraid sometimes? Yup. Do I feel abandoned? Nope. I feel like my spiritual well being is very well cared for. I have a lot of confidence in my ancestors and I was taught to believe in my "spirit protectors". I guess my big concern, being the last of my line is I really don't want to die in an alley. And my bones have to get into the ground next to my people or my ashes. Something, that's what is most important. And I carry certain possessions that need to make it into certain hands to the medicine is not broken. These are the Wampums, the "more than money" that document our relationships. One of them must go to a Llennappe or be returned to Cherokee.

Some very old promises at work here. And I think you just made yourself part of them. I will sing a song for you. Take your pick, you can have Morning Star or you can have 4-Directions. If you have kids take the 4-Directions and they will have protection.

You are very kind to me.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.