The Other Side

Yesterday I had the dubious pleasure of having to visit my local Social Security and Ohio Medicaid offices in Xenia to find out if I qualify (i.e. if I’m poor enough) for help covering my Medicare expenses when they kick in next year.  I don’t make enough SS income to even pay for routine Medicare and drug plans, once my Medicaid coverage kicks out.

Great timing, eh–just in time for an a–hole Pres. who wants to screw old, poor people out of even more of the few services we paid into and depend upon to survive.  To add insult to injury, the shrew behind the bullet-proof glass in the stark prison-like waiting room was very nasty and dismissive, as if I had the nerve to politely ask questions about the confusing paperwork I had to decipher.  I slunk out of there with not much more information than I arrived with, feeling very demeaned.

I imagine that’s how how many poor people are used to being treated on this side of the figurative tracks.  It’s a real eye-opener.  And I’m one of the fortunate ones, for now.  Next year I’ll be going from the frying pan of Ohio into the fire of TN.  You just can’t beat the timing!

The best thing we can hope for the next four years is that nothing will get accomplished, because it’s all so insane and wrong.  Then hopefully people will wake up to the lunacy they’ve brought upon themselves, and vote these clowns out.  Meanwhile, we rewatch the utopian fantasy series “West Wing” as an escape–how wacky is that!

Here is a shot whizzing through Dayton recently to visit friends.  Behind the façade of festive lights were street after street of abandoned, derelict buildings, the true side of post-industrial Ohio cities.  The bleakness and poverty are depressing, like one of those dystopian scifi movies, only real.  It’s not quite Detroit, but close.  When you witness and experience this side of America after being somewhat insulated from it, it’s disturbing.  I can only imagine what four years of extreme regression will look like.

You can see why I hesitate to write lately.  But writing is one of my few outlets, so please bear with me.  I promise I’ll keep my demoralization to myself during the holidays.

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