I ALMOST NEVER think about how I don't have health insurance. It just makes me angry. I don't think I deserve to have the rest of the country pay for my trips to the doctor—but when I see us buying hella jets as a nation, it makes me mad and I have to stop thinking about it. I should probably be more aware of my lack of health insurance. I'd probably write fewer columns about sandwiches. I would probably be a much healthier person if I spent more time dwelling on the fact that I'm shackled to a get-fucked bomb, I have no idea how long the fuse is, and I'm ruined when it goes off—either financially or physically.
Of course, being more aware would enforce healthier habits, but it wouldn't keep me from breaking my leg, turning an ankle, coming down with some rarefied Oscar bait-type disease, sleepwalking into a horse, pouring piping hot spaghetti water into a colander wrong, getting strep-everything or losing a thumb war in a hyper-tragic Darren Aronofsky-type way. No, all the kale in Laurelhurst can't save you from those sad fates. That's probably why I try not to think about how I don't have insurance.
Once you start thinking about it, the terror consumes. Your breasts and testicles stop being the sexual Scottie Pippen to your vagina and penis' Michael Jordan. (I feel like at some point, proper grammar would have told me to use "respectively" in that last sentence, but FUCK GRAMMAR.) Instead, your boobs and balls become nothing more than shit you definitely have cancer in, except no way that's cancer, except that's totally cancer. That's life without health insurance—being simultaneously convinced that you have cancer and that you definitely don't, and for the same reason... you can't afford it.
WebMD says you have gout, but you probably just sprained your ankle, so do you want to drop large dollars to find out for sure?
Last weekend I got WELL DRUNK INDEED, GOVERNOR, and woke up feeling like the garbage behind an Arby's. I assumed I was hungover, but as the day wore on, it became clear that more powerful warlocks were at work. I had a fever, my skeleton felt like bullshit, and it was 80 degrees outside and I was wearing two sweatshirts and shivering. My shin was covered in some sort of creeping red menace that looked like a cartoon sunburn. I should have gone to the doctor right away, but going to the doctor meant missing my two shows that night, and I needed to do those shows because I needed the money so I could go to the doctor. It's like a modern-day "The Gift of the Magi" that Rand Paul wrote to give himself a quaking erection.
The next day I went to ZoomCare, and they were lovely and told me I had a cellulitis infection in my leg and they gave me antibiotics and it didn't end up being that expensive and I felt very fortunate. It's an unsettling fortune, though. It's snapping to reality behind the wheel of your car, realizing you have no recollection of the last five minutes. It fucking sucks that, for so many of us, health care is an "OH SHIT SOMETHING TERRIBLE" endeavor. The gambit makes it necessary to banish the thoughts from your head so you can have a fucking day, and perhaps that's the hidden toll of having no health care. Having the very idea of "getting better" associated with a pile of bills you can't pay. It's fucked and it's terrifying, but hey, airshows are pretty fucking cool. Fuck.