I’m friends with several conservatives on Facebook, one of whom was a perfectly nice kid in high school, but has since become quite the troll.
Anything and everything on my wall that’s remotely rational and sane (or what he would call “liberal”), he pounces on. Today, it was that I signed a petition in support of Planned Parenthood. He posted this question: “How does cutting funding put people at risk?” I gave him six before I ran out of steam. Forgive the condescending tone; it was intended for a person who has no idea what Planned Parenthood is, excepting what Rush Limbaugh may have said.
1. If cancer screenings aren’t available, then people who have cancer won’t know until it’s advanced, and then they could die.
2. If HIV tests aren’t available, then people who have HIV won’t know and they could infect other people. Many of these people will wind up with advanced symptoms in emergency rooms, which ends up costing the taxpayer thousands times more than the original test and early treatment.
3. If tests and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, like gonorrhea, aren’t available, people could be infected and not know. Many of these people will wind up with advanced symptoms in emergency rooms, which ends up costing the taxpayer thousands times more than the original test and dose of antibiotics cost.
4. If immunizations for HPV aren’t available, then people will contract HPV, which can cause cancer. (See number 1).
5. If birth control isn’t available, then unplanned pregnancies will occur. Unplanned pregnancies make rates of abortion go up. Abortion is not ideal, and most conservatives claim to be very much against abortion. Conservatives, then, should support Planned Parenthood.
6. Most unplanned pregnancies result in babies being born, many of which are born into families that cannot afford them. Families that can’t afford children receive social services, such as subsidized healthcare and welfare benefits. This costs taxpayers money, which conservatives don’t like. This is another reason why conservatives should support Planned Parenthood
To me, cutting funding for Planned Parenthood, along with the attack on healthcare reform, shows a conservative lack of respect for human life, hiding behind a guise of being “pro-life.”
So, you died. And I’m not mad at you for that. I mean, I’m disappointed that you died (and so fucking young), but I’m not mad at you for that. I’m mad at cancer. You were the last person I thought would die young. Well, that’s not true– I often worried that you’d be in an accident on your bicycle with the way all those jackasses drive in Florida. But I never thought illness would kill you. I thought it would either be an SUV or old, old, old in a rocking chair on a Southern porch with tons of grandkids around you. I thought you’d be growing and decorating your gourds well into your 90s. And I’m so angry you didn’t get to do that.
I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t angry at you a little. I mean, you were sick and you didn’t call. You left my letters and postcards unanswered. They didn’t get returned to me, so I figured you got them and were waiting to answer them until you had something exciting to tell me, like that you’d finished your PhD or that you were getting married. (Yes, I always thought eventually you’d find someone worthy of you and who appreciated you, even if you didn’t. And you were right). I would have come to see you, Jamie, if I’d known. I would have made a road trip of it. You know I always liked the Georgia landscape. I’m guessing you don’t know how I found out– I found out from Carrie over Facebook. Facebook, Jamie! That’s bullshit. And I think she thought I already knew; it was like she just wanted someone to talk about you with.
I loved you so much, Jamie. I know I busted chops a lot, but that was my way of showing you I loved you. Your thing for gourds– yes, I thought it was odd, but I loved that about you. The big one you decorated for me is in my kitchen. I keep less stuff in it than before because you told me it wouldn’t last forever, and if it breaks, I’ll be devastated. The fact that you didn’t have a TV but you’d sit in your truck to listen to This American Life, well, that was charming and just so you. I do it sometimes and think of you. Shit, I think of you whenever I hear Ira Glass’s voice. Whenever I hear “Baby Got Back” and “Sex Machine” I tear up a bit. Of course, before I knew you were dead, I used to just smile when I heard those songs, our silly Waterworks dance songs, and think of you. Now I hear them and I get immensely sad. I don’t think Sir Mix-A-Lot (or Jonathan Coulter) would want anyone to cry when they hear it, but there it is. I can’t stop thinking about our trips to St. George Island with the Gulf on the news all the time. I miss those days. I miss your smile and tanned head and spotless kitchen and your confidence in the water. I miss how passionately you argued that “She Sells Sanctuary” was the most superior of the great songs by The Cult. I check in with Chris, Christina, and Willie every so often to make sure they’re okay. They all knew about your cancer, too, and none of them told me. What is wrong with people? Where did the assumption come from that my breakup with Jeff meant that I didn’t love you anymore? I can’t believe that my breakup with Jeff made you stop caring about me. That wasn’t you.
Chris told me you were working on your dissertation almost right up until you died, so I’d like to think that you didn’t contact me because you thought you’d beat cancer. I’d like to believe you didn’t feel the need to say goodbye to anyone. You weren’t afraid of snakes, alligators, or motorists, so it only makes sense that you wouldn’t be afraid of the tumor in your brain. Oh, Jamie, I hope your death didn’t suck too much. I mean, for you. Obviously, it sucked, and continues to suck, for anyone who ever met you.
But I really wish you’d given me a call. Or even a fucking email. What I wouldn’t give to talk to you and hug you one more time.
Chloe’s right here. If she spoke English, I’m sure she’d want me to say hi.
Someday I’ll grow gourds in my garden.