Challenge #01469-D008: Judge Alike
“I heard someone say once that many of us only seem able to find heaven by backing away from hell. And while the place that I’ve arrived at in my life may not precisely be everyone’s idea of heavenly, I could swear sometimes—if I am quiet enough—I can hear the angels sing.” —Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking (2008) -- RecklessPrudence
Hell, like Heaven, is relative. One being's paradise is another's torture. And for Til, life was that torture. Another day to live was another day fighting her own demons. Resisting the voice in her head that told her to do harm. Struggling to breathe. Struggling to move. Struggling, in general, to live another day as close to the accepted normal as possible.
Struggling, especially, not to kill the acceptably normal people for the things she heard them say. Every. Single. Day.
Of all of them, the politicians on the news were the worst. Their sound bites became the memes in the mouths of the everyday people. People like Til were lazy, unhealthy, diseased. People like Til should be locked up at their own expense for the good of everyone else. People like Til only deserved a life as unpaid test subjects for the good of science, and the rest of the real people.
That particular stuffed suit, Til wanted to bite.
She struggled to show mercy. Struggled to remain civil in the face of people who never bothered to understand. Struggled to only laugh at the people who would never know what it was like to need a CPAP system attached to an oxygen tank in the middle of the day. Who never knew what it was like to start the day with two dozen pills and an injection, just to be able to eat. What it was like to save some of their mobility just to go to the toilet.
People who said, "Four hours of activity is plenty of time to work." They didn't count the time it took to medicate, clean, get dressed and travel there. Or the time it took to travel to work and back. Or the fact that they had the ability to just hop into a car and drive, while Til had to make it to inconveniently-located public transport, and wait.
People who said, "Yoghurt and Yoga cures practically everything," had no idea what it was like to be lactose intolerant. They had no clue that mobility of any kind was yet another struggle that Til fought with every day. They started from fitness, or near fitness. And, in extreme cases, they started from the best ever day in Til's entire life.
Normal people had no idea what it was like to have a live-in nurse start their day with fresh bandages and saline washes.
But the truly ignorant ones. The ones who said, "People like you shouldn't be allowed out," or, "allowed to live," or, "Why do they let people like you be a drain on our taxes?" or anything that involved the words, "people like you". Those people... they deserved what spite she could summon.
For them, Til turned her chair around for them so they could see her life support equipment and panted, because it was always a struggle to breathe and talk at the same time, "Don't think... I should live? Go ahead... pull some plugs... yourself."
Normal people were always at home with casual murder when it wasn't their responsibility. As long as it happened far, far away from their concern, their view, or their tax money... they were happy. Making it personal scared the beans out of them.
And they could catch a fragment of a glimpse of how frightened they made her, with all the ignorant things they said.
She never feared someone acting on their words, when she made her offer. In the extremely unlikely event that she met someone who pulled a plug, they would be guilty of murder and she... she would finally fly free to Heaven. She had already done her time in Hell.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / lunamarina]
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