Okay, yesterday I was writing about getting on a plane to Calcutta and just chucking all of this nonsense. Well, I'm checking out the airline tickets right now because I am so agitated and upset that I could either get in my car and drive at very high speeds towards the ocean or drive downtown and jump off of Staples Center or go to Calcutta and disappear into a sea of saffron robes. And why am I upset, you might ask? INSURANCE. The fucking awful horrible should be taken out and shot insurance companies. Now let me stop right here to say that I am grateful and lucky as hell that I have insurance. And when it works, it is fantastic and I am blessed. But when these stupid people who just work for the huge bureaucracy and have no idea who you are and don't give a shit who you are or what your problem's are on the other end of the phone line from God knows where, and you are on hold for FORTY FIVE minutes and if you hang up you may never talk to anyone again and therefore you will not get the pills you were supposed to have three weeks ago...Well, when these things happen you just want to grab Dennis Kucinich and say, okay little man, you said you could fix this thing, SO FIX IT!
There is so much I am pissed off about I don't even know where to begin but I shall begin...HERE. Get a load of this one...Medco, my insurance conglomerate, had a rule that if they do not get you your pills on time (they are mailed from Canada) then you can go to your local pharmacist and get a fourteen day supply at the insurance rate. So that would cost you about $15, which is great. However, they changed that rule which means if they do not get you your pills on time, even though it is THEIR error, you can go to your pharmacist but you pay full price, which in my case would be...(Hold your hats) $3,360!!!! That is for two weeks of chemo pills. And I'm telling you, you can yell at the other person on the line until your face turns blue or your nose falls off and it does not matter because you are but a number to this person and they just do not give a shitshitshit in any way shape or form. They do not care.
And here's what makes me really upset...Bob. Bob the pharmacist. He's been my pharmacist through Will's sinus infections and chicken pox and all the little childhood illnesses. We are on a first name basis. We talk politics. We talk Sicko. And this guy, the center of a community, is being wiped out by these conglomerates. What happened to our neighborhoods? These horrific big box stores make me sick. I hate Costco. Costco is hurting Bob. It's hurting Norm who used to sell my parents small appliances in Chicago. It's hurting Mr. Flinkman who sold my parent's glasses from his little shop on Addison. You can buy all this stuff at Costco or Target or that awful Walmart from...a no named person who just doesn't care or know your first name and doesn't know how they are getting screwed (especially from Walmart) because they don't have a pension or any security and when they turn fifty they might just be replaced but they are too young to imagine that. I know it is the future and I know it will never go back to what it was, but I cannot believe that politicians wonder why people are feeling alienated. Do you think George Bush has ever been in a big box store? Anyway, people would know who he was and treat him differently, but your average sweet person just walks through the stores with their enormous cart getting twelve hundred cotton balls and thinking, where the hell am I? Does anybody know I'm here? Does it even matter? Hey Joe, how are you doing? Never hear much of that anymore, especially in Costco. This is how old I am, my grandparents owned a mom and pop grocery store in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. (Yes, Joe Namath worked there!) Mom and pop. They did everything. He was the butcher, she picked out the produce. They lived behind the store. They would give people a cut of meat when they were low on cash because everyone knew everyone else. It sounds corny and incredibly old fashioned and I have become one of those older people saying things like, "Why, in my day we used to walk twenty miles through the snow and blahblahblah..."
But I hate my insurance company because I'm no one and you're no one and Bob is being pushed out of his little business and I'm walking around Costco feeling invisible and alienated and I like people and I want to talk to them but they are all too afraid and plugged into their IPods so they don't have to actually have human contact. I miss Norm. I miss Mr. Kramer who used to sell shoes and put my foot under the X-Ray machine to see how much it had grown. (Yes, another cancer device but at the time it was fun.) I miss Mr. Flinkman and his cheap glasses.
And I will miss Bob when he sells his last pill and puts up his "closed" shingle for the last time. And maybe we will run into each other pushing giant carts around giant stores and maybe we will find a little corner where we can talk and give each other a hug and I can say, "Thanks, Bob. Have a nice day, Bob. I love you, Bob."