2022 is shaping up to be a linchpin election for this country, so let me whine for a moment:

I played little league baseball as a kid. I was a catcher for about three seasons – my wholly unreliable brain tells me – and that is how I hosed my knees. I went from baseball to swimming and water polo and didn’t really think about my knees for several years. After college, I played in a band and didn’t have a problem worth noticing. Then I got a job at a bookstore and coined (I think) the phrase “retail knee.”

Retail knee(s) is simple: take a screwed up knee or two and add constant standing for several hours a day on hard floors, bending and squatting throughout, and you end up with a constant cacophony of OUCH. At this point in my life, I wear knee braces to help a bit, and they do, in the moment. Middle of the night walks to the bathroom are a Frankenstein’s monster shuffle of stiff legged lurching and escaped squeaks of protest.

Retail knees are noisy. Pops, grinds, ratchets – all the fun noises that a body shouldn’t make. It’s like and Adam West’s Batman fight scene down there.

I was talking to my 85 year old father on the phone this week and we both need to have knee replacements. His right knee is bone on bone, and walking – the only exercise his doctors insist he does – depresses him and he has to fight to get up and move. Both of my knees are garbage, and my left knee is a total waste of parts. The last time an Orthopedic doctor took a look at my left knee, he flatly refused to do the job, because of how much work it’d be for both of us.

Up to six months immobility – something to do with ligaments needing that long to reset to the bone, then three to six months of partial mobility with at least a couple extra months of physical therapy. The doctor’s point was that I would lose at least a year and that I ought to wait to get it done. So, there’s that, insurance fights, and a huge problem with having no savings, and an inability to find housing that can accommodate a wheelchair, I’m holding in place because it’s bad enough that I’m willing to lose the year – I just can’t.

(As an aside, between the knees and my back, this week’s remodel has seriously harshed my mellow. I’ve got the cane in the car so I can get in and out, and I think we’re at the point of constant use to get around … which I hate.)

So, I’m feeling a little whiny and picked on right now, especially as I ran out of pain killers a few weeks ago, and the medical establishment is terrified of pain management these days. It feels personal. It makes me sad.

It’s just my stupid fucking knees.

There is not one damned thing personal about any of it, it’s just circumstance and poor planning, you know? Complaining is just that – an expression of air and vibration, wasted on an uncaring universe that, despite the voices in my head, is not out to get me.

Now, if I was an American woman, I would have grounds for violent protest. Coming out of Texas, and bouncing like a “rubber and glue” off the Shadow Arm of the Supreme Court, a vile and myogenetic piece of shit law has legalized paying a bounty to hunt women and report on their medical care.

What the fuck, you know? Where the hell do I live?

We’ve talked since the beginning of The LEFT Show about the GOP War on Women. Screaming, yelling and fighting (I can’t tell you how many internet arguments we’ve been in from people who don’t think the GOP WOW is real) to try and get the word out, and here we are now. A draconian law that punishes health care workers and doctors, friends family, neighbors … and the Supreme Court of the United States of fucking America punted.

I know how lucky I am.

I know how privileged I am.

My worst days are often better than any woman’s best days.

The low level panic I feel day to day watching Republicans dismantle liberty and bodily autonomy is a small drop in a large bucket to what most – MOST – women have to be feeling, and, frankly, that fucking sucks.

As an additional aside, there is nothing so terrible or despicable to me as someone who sells out their own to gain power and advantage. Lookin’ at you, ladies of the GOP.

Well, this took a turn, didn’t it? Whiney to cringe. Well, WTF, you know? It’s my silly online journal thingy, I can be as scatter shot as I am.

Complaining rarely solves anything but an immediate problem – blowing off steam to make the uncomfortable mildly less so. Action, protest, marching, and, frankly, fighting are the only way to fix the systemic rot of the GOP in American politics. Oh, and voting. Voting is important. If the shitwits lose their government jobs, they have a much harder time fucking things up for everybody else.

2022 is shaping up to be a linchpin election for this country. How about we work on swinging apathy to action and, you know, not fuck it all up?