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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Reese Kusza

All I Have Left Is My Name

I’ve been ornery since the day I came out of the womb.

My mother never ceases to remind me how irritable I was as a baby, how she had to lie down next to the crib or carry me around, et cetera.

I was stubborn as a child, too. I didn’t like the way the pretty girls or the boys with well to do fathers got away with murder while the funny looking kids or the ones with drunk fathers or no fathers were punished for being naughty (or for no good damn reason).

God gave me a big mouth and powerful lungs for a reason, but any time I used them to fight the bullies I was told I was in the wrong. I was “leading with the chin”. I had “a chip on my shoulder”.

I needed to learn to be nicer, quieter, less of a loudmouth, less of a fighter, less than, less.

Over time, I had some of the piss and vinegar knocked out of me. I learned to temper my temper, to bottle it up, to conform, to behave and follow the rules even when they made no sense.

I did my duty, worked hard, drove the speed limit, paid my taxes, didn’t lie, cheat or steal and it didn’t do me a bit of good. (Neither did pretending to be someone I wasn't.)

I am almost 50 years old without a pot to piss in. The only thing I own is my car, about 10 boxes of books and a room’s worth of furniture and dishes – the last vestiges of my former aspirations to a comfortable, middle-class life.

No, I am not depressed. I’m angry. I am angry at every politician who has been leaning on the working person and stealing our tax money and using the poor to get elected and then casting them aside after the polls close.

I am angry at all the bimbos who flash their breasts and bottoms to get ahead and then crap on other women in the workplace instead of mentoring them. They make it difficult for the women who don't and especially hard for women who are abused by creeps to be taken seriously.

I am angry at all the men who use girls and women for their own enjoyment, convince them it is ok to empty their uteruses when an inconvenient kid shows up, and then throw them away, broken.

I am also tired.

I am tired of doing what is right while the world rewards those who bilk the system and punishes those who are decent and honest.

I am tired of being told it is not worth fighting for what is right, what is just, that I need to stay in my lane, that the battle is not mine.

I am tired of losing, of being a loser, of never being enough. Or being too much, too loud, too "abrasive", too ornery.

Your mother is too ornery to die. That’s what my ex-husband said in December 2019 when my own body was trying to kill me with a cytokine storm. It was likely Covid-19. I haven’t been sick since.

Not that I’ll ever know. The doctors and politicians and government bureaucrats and investors are too busy making money on ventilators and expensive medications and experimental injections to test survivors of Covid-19 for antibodies so they don’t have to get the shots.

They want everyone to get the shots even if they are killing people or don’t work.

It is all about making money.

Profits over people.

No. I won’t live that way. I won’t put profit over people. I won’t commit fraud to keep my job. I won’t work in a hospital where doctors go on fishing expeditions on old people just because they have good insurance.

I won’t work in a facility where I have to lie to patients and tell them to take a medication they don’t need and probably won’t help them or that violates their religious or cultural beliefs just so some rich bastard can get richer.

I won’t work where religious and ethnic minorities or people with medical conditions that preclude them from taking certain medications are discriminated against.

I won’t put my name to that.

All I have left is my name.

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