To See the Dawn
To see the dawn is a gift of the spirits.
It is a truth for any time or season, but now, it carries the weight of being.
Three and a half months ago, I nearly died, and no one knows why.
My heart was led to believe it could not function; its major artery cut off all oxygen. My blood pressure spiked from the red zone to the dead zone over and over and over again, while my body went numb and my vision gray, limbs ice-cold and skin the shade of ash.
I was not sure I would see the face of my life’s great love again, much less another dawn.
My heart, it seems, is healthy. “Beautiful” was the word the surgeon used. But no one knows why its artery fails to function, why the very wind steals my breath and the pain refuses to subside. No one knows why my upper body contracts in on itself, as though shocked into submission, what it is that seeks to free itself through the wall of my chest. No one knows why I can no longer lift, bend over, or walk any reasonable distance without sitting, without gasping for the air that should flow freely, the oxygen that should feed heart and limbs uninterrupted.
What happened three and a half months ago was only the beginning.
It continues daily, to mostly lesser degrees.
And when it happens, my chest spasms, my whole torso contorts in upon itself. The pain is a needle and a scalpel and a burning flame and a dead weight, squeezing, spreading, stealing breath and thought and life itself. And when it subsides, I wonder whether the next one will be the one, the thief that takes it all forever.
They tell me to reduce my stress levels. Out the other side of their mouths, they dun me daily for the “care” that failed to find, to diagnose, to treat. My bills have hit the twenty-five thousand mark and still they rise, and all are overdue.
This does not reduce my stress.
I have no choice; they will be paid, at the expense of my body and my very life. In this society, debt collection is perfectly willing, happy, even, to have blood from a stone, its disciples will gleefully dip their hands in it, smear the red of your body across their faces, and dance on your grave as they do so.
In the days and weeks to come, I will use this platform as I once sought to use Patreon, until they allowed my data to be breached, one in a long, long series of events in which my safety was less important than a corporate saving of a few more cents. So I am doing as it seems I must do with my very survival: taking matters into my own hands.
In the ensuing weeks, I will post a series of projects here, designed to pay off my astronomical medical debt. There will be the equivalent of a subscription function, or perhaps sponsorship: Readers will have access to exclusive content based on the amount pledged. Some editions may be fiction, some may be visually- and image-oriented, some may be policy analysis and critical theory. My first goal will be two-fold: to retire the $741 ambulance fee, and the $935 local hospitalist fee (the hospital charge itself is ten times that, but that will be for a later effort), for a total, for these two items, of $1,676. It doesn’t seem like much — less than $2,000. But it’s money we don’t have. And there is another $23,000+ waiting behind it.
So, if you’ve been moved by my writing and my work — to action, to tears, simply to think — watch this space. I will have a great deal more of it for those willing to help me make a go of this.
Because I am not ready to give up or give in. There is too much to live for. For many decades yet, I want to see the dawn.