Painted Blue: When you Call us Freeloaders

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A man goes to get his MRSA spot treated.

He has no insurance and is considered by some to be a non-entity.

Two years ago, the doctor prescribed medicine for which he paid for out of his own pocket.

Today the doctor refused to look at the man’s records.

“I’m not concerned about then,” he says.

He will not prescribe medicine without a series of treatments beyond what the man can pay.

Into the room came a lawyer. Not a doctor.

The doctor had the man sign a waiver that he refused the offered treatment. Neither a doctor nor nurses gave the man a wrap for his oozing arm. Not when they could be held legally responsible.

A woman at the front desk gives him one paper towel.

This man is me.

I have no race.

My upbringing was white collar, but my soul is blue. I am the American worker even if my job is not there.

Blue collars pop up everywhere.

Sometimes you do not see us. Sometimes you spot us in line at the grocery store pulling out our vouchers or food stamps to feed our kids. Maybe you stare, curse, or roll your eyes and move to another line.

Blue pumps in the blood, in pride and a walk. It is in all ethnicities, education and backgrounds. Some have disabilities while others have children with disabilities.

Those employed work two jobs, others are between jobs and some sit in front of a computer at a library. We have thirty minutes to use the Internet to do our job searches or send a résumé.

We earn an MBA and have lost our high dollar income. Others of us have high school diplomas and build big things with our hands. Our children take free-and-reduced lunch. We stand in line with food stamps, WIC or both. We hear the doctor tell us we must spend $500 for a starting treatment.

Whispers carry when you stand in line at the grocery store.

“Get a job freeloader.”

A child hears you. He or she looks into your face and knows what you think.

This working class of Americans goes to school, has gone to school, work several jobs, or share one car with their families. Some of us have lost our job and our homes. We write, paint, build or tell stories.

News says the recession is getting better.

Thirty-one percent of younger Americans live at home with their parents and look for jobs.

The housing market is recovering, some say.

You whisper your tax dollars are used by people who abuse the system.

Tomorrow the man who refused treatment will return to work on a metal roof. He will work from seven in the morning until the sun is almost gone.

By Rebecca T. Dickinson

Whatever your cause, raise your voice and write.

Thank you to all those for their support in the publication of “From Red Loam” in The Copperfield Review.


7 thoughts on “Painted Blue: When you Call us Freeloaders

      1. It was my pleasure. I think that people just assume the worst about others. The “freeloader assumption” is a subject I’ve been thinking about lately and it was a great reminder as well.

    1. If someone has not walked in your path or vice versa, assumptions are easy to chew. When the shoe is on the other foot, those assumptions go down like rocks. I try to write every now and then this column, Painted Blue, and I also write the troubles of the economy in my short stories. I have seen the reality everywhere dating back to 2008. The economy, recession or whatever you want to call it has affected more people than we realize.

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