Note: As the current president-select has brought us to new lows in public vulgarity, I’ve chosen to follow much of the corporate media in using a word in my headline that I ordinarily utter only in my own home (but haven’t much since I was young and dumb).
I’m grappling simultaneously with a couple of enormous challenges. In the United States of America, we’re all doing that these days, regardless of which presidential candidate we voted for – or were prevented from voting by new Jim Crow laws or immigration status, or chose not to vote because of our political beliefs or a hopeless feeling that our vote would make no discernable difference. Sadly, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of the ill-informed white people who voted for that Velveeta-colored, cheese-brained idiot will suffer mightily when the Repugnicans who pull his strings dismantle the entire social security system that keeps them alive and well.
Besides the personal-political struggle to keep fighting this national criminal insanity, I’m grieving the death of an old friend and ex-lover. He died of depression, the slow and therefore excruciating way – I’m convinced that a successful suicide attempt, although more painful for the victim’s family and friends, is a hell of a lot easier way to end your life than through passive neglect of your health.
I have much, much more to say about Ron and the connections between his personal tragedy and our national and international one, but I’m trying to simply get something down on paper or laptop, to start to speak. I don’t want such a caring human, such a good man, to be forgotten.
A week ago when I learned that Ron had died, I called a friend in our hometown and ranted. Goddess only knows what I said in my brand-new grief, but she listened carefully, patiently as I talked about his health problems.
At one point she responded, “And of course he had no medical team helping him!” I knew that this was as much a political comment on the horrific state of our national health “system” as on Ron’s personal needs. Later in the day, when I recalled my friend’s comment, I went on another rant, to myself: “ ‘Medical team’?! Where does she think we are, Cuba?!”
Because we live in a shithole country, where damn few of those in power give a shit if poor people, those with chronic illness, and people of color die. It was always obvious to those groups, and now we sheltered, middle-class white folks can see it more clearly each day, in every tweet from the Shithole-in-Chief and every comment and legislative move and federal appointment by his shithole puppeteers.
More to come, because I will not go gently into that good night. Ron did, and that is a tragedy.