To Kill The Giant

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Cardboard Castles and Gold Dreams

Don’t make eye contact. Just keep walking and don’t look at them.
They are strewn throughout the city. Covered in newspapers, cardboard boxes, garbage bags, littering the streets. A shower is never heard of. Food is from hand outs or the local soup kitchen with mandatory worship service. Signs held in their weathered hands show their status, a displacement in the world and what they need. The destitution, the despair once shown in their eyes are now placid, glazed over as pain no longer affects them. Some are seeking medication and don’t know it, while still others have been turned out by society, family disownment, societal outcasts. Loss of jobs, death of a spouse, mental illness, the list is as long as a train to nowhere.
Some are seeking their last fix on the streets, some are selling the only thing that they have left for money, their skin, and some won’t make it to see the awakening of their agony in the next morning. If only to be discovered by some lone stranger walking by who has never stared death in the face before. The lifeless no names, lying in a pool of their bodily functions that let go upon death. Their bodies are brought and tagged in the morgue as jane or john doe. No one desires to claim the remains of remorse and pain left in their lives and save the last bit of dignity they left behind, their soul, left on the streets.
The shopping carts are filled with belongings, the last of the goods they believed they owned, a shoe found in a dumpster, a torn stained blanket taken from a dead boy or from the homeless shelter, to a plastic toy when wound up emits a smile for brief second.
Lifting these items secretly looking around to make sure no one sees them, their finds are gold treasures. These trinkets and junk mean nothing to the people unlocking their front doors with heat and air conditioning. The comfort of leather and embossed silk sheets offer luxury to slink into from high heels and hundred thousand dollar jobs but anything to someone who has lost everything with nothing to be found or given to them, except taken when no one is looking is worth more. The cardboard box, wet from the dew in the morning is their refuge from the cruel animals that toss pennies their way.
Was their homelessness a request from society? Was it a gift from their higher power to teach a lesson? Or was it that the animals who toss pennies have no empathy for someone who truly suffers?
The helping hand extended for the weekly sermon in church is reverted when help is asked outside of the gothic emblem representing the Diety, the almighty.
Was it not Jesus who fed the poor and who died for the sin of the world so that you could have eternal life in a city of gold, happy and free? The splendours not found for many on this earthly plane. Again, the meek shall inherit the earth? He will come to judge the living and the dead. Should it be such justice as to consider that the meek are the homeless and you will be judged for not looking into their eyes.

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500%

500% and climbing
He raised the price 500%. Now Deloris cant afford the pill to make her well. Her insurance rate will skyrocket, in turn dropping her from their list or she will lose her insurance due to her medical bills. I know first hand. My insurance skyrocketed to over 2100.00 a month when I was diagnosed with the big C. Blue Cross and Blue Shield was the company.
I couldn’t pay them. So I couldn’t afford the treatment. So I went without health insurance.
He said he is not making profits on his new cancer drug. Yet, he doesnt have that much overhead to contend with.
He said he will think about lowering the price when and if he feels like it.
He said he donates millions to charity.
Where did he get these millions? His company and the markups his pill has seen in the last few years? He is not the only one to do this in the last few weeks.
What charities does he donate too? Aids in Africa? World Peace?
What about the charities that want to end what his pharmaceutical company develops? Why can’t he donate to those charities? Because, it might make the end of disease happen quicker.
Why would he want to do that? That means the little pill he raised the price on 500% would be non existent and no one would want it or need it anymore if the disease was eradicated because they found a cure with his millions of donated dollars.
He holds two paths in his hands, and both might yield the cure.
Is it the yellow brick road or the road to financial success?
For Deloris and countless others, it is the end of the road.
Get the pharmaceutical companies out of the hands of private companies, the FDA and individuals. Allow it to  compete with other companies and open the market. Open the market

Antiquated for the Forgotten

An amputee with a name badge sits waiting with other men and women in seats lined up in front of a television. Another patient is talking about his ailments to a person sitting next to him who doesn’t want to be bothered and has heath problems of his own.
Pensive, no emotion showing, his turn is coming up. Then the name badged amputee disappears behind closed doors, to re emerge a few minutes later after his blood is drawn. The fingerprinted chrome on his industrial style wheelchair shows age and the large handle bar above has dents in it, quite possibly from bags, oxygen or whatever else he wants to hang from it as he wheels himself down the hall to another line formation. This time it is for his medications dolled out in a paper bag with a digital name board checking the people off as they pick them up. He then heads out of the front lobby to the bus waiting to pick him up, along with others in wheel chairs.
Once home, his medications lay in front of him. They are outdated old medications in orange bottles that need a wrench to unscrew them. Rat poison or cumadin to thin his blood, then there is an antiquated blood pressure medicine not used since the 60’s, medicine for his diabetes also being cheap for the government to supply the masses. His finger hurts from all the sticking he has to do and the monitor is large and heavy from the 1980’s.
His chances along with thousands of others are slim. His health is not great, and time is not on his side. Never mind his A fib and never mind his bi polar medications which are akin to barbaric treatments. The last time he got upset was over how old his medications were when there were new ones out on the market. They were housed in some commercial warehouse, removed from a shelf, dust blown off the tops of the cardboard boxes, and labeled sufficient for him and others and conveniently handed to him in a white paper cup. When he refused to take them and wanted newer drugs to see if they would work, the men in white uniforms came in. He was headed to level three, to the psychiatric ward. Upset, the thumps in his chest became stronger. His heart rate was all over the place. Stress, anxiety, not knowing, fear of being locked up once again because he didn’t want to take those medicines.Why? He was not trying to commit suicide, he just wanted medicine that would work. They would not give him his meds for his heart on the 3rd floor. Two women stood in the way, one was a Brazilian doctor who cared only about treating his bipolar and not his heart and the other was his girlfriend who stood in the way of the doctor hauling him away to the third floor. He signed over his power of attorney to his sister who showed up and she kept him out of the dungeon yet again. What awaited him in the psychiatric ward was not pleasant. Was it going to be shock treatments? More drugs introduced to him intravenously or the constant barage of take your meds, take your meds drilled into his head. He wasn’t sure.
Where are the new medications? Why must he take the pills when there are new therapies out that might work better? Why are all of these third world doctors employed? It took him 3 months to get this appointment he had today to get his blood checked and it will take another six months to be able to see his primary care doctor. Are there not enough doctors in the house?
He gave everything he had, to include his mental state, and his left leg, while some give more, some gave their lives. They say the system is not broken. Some say their dying to get seen. Some even say it is a scandal to kill them off so the government wont have to doll out millions of dollars of medical treatments.
The officials have better health insurance and can go to a private doctor where they can have better medical care and newer medicines.
The government officials wear fancy suits, drive nice cars and speak to congressional hearings. They don’t live in trailer parks or subsidized housing or lower income housing neighborhoods. They don’t have to take community buses to their medical appointments or have them pick them up.
How do you fix this broken ferris wheel? Stop hiring government officials to run the VA, instead, have a veteran run it.
They knew how to fight the enemy. Today the enemy is the government official who thinks they know best.

Tower Power

Toupee of Tower Power

They wouldn’t allow me to go to the elevator. Was I a guest or was I visiting someone? Did I have credentials to be in the building? Shyness is not my forte, rather when men look at me or other women, they are shocked to see how forthright I am. How much power I exude, even my voice commands respect. I am not soft spoken at all. though my worn leather greyish coat has marks on it that won’t or can’t be erased. My boots are scuffed and my hair has five points where it decides to do different things. People stop and stare at me. Is it my blue white eyes that turn grey when angry? Is it the white light I walk in that glows as I cross a room? Or is it my smile when a smile is not called for?
“Yes” I am with so and so.
They ring the apartment.
“Okay, you may proceed to the elevator.
There a man waits in full uniform to take me to the top floor.
He escorts me to the front door.
I am let in.
Later I go out into the lobby with the people I came to see.
There he was, not much taller than me, with an entourage. He suddenly looks at me and stops, his entourage piling into him like a set of domino’s set off on a table.
“Beautiful” he mutters.
I smile and the smile was called for.

I turned to my employer, a very elegantly dressed and well to do man in his own right and said to him, He just called you beautiful.

We laughed. I am still a nobody with a gift.