The walls were insulated because the Teaching math is my thing shirt and I will buy this prep room had to be kept so cold and nobody wanted to shiver while eating their lunches. My friend, whom I’ve known since high school, had a mental breakdown a few years back. He had been bullied pretty severely in high school and was physically abused by an uncle when he was younger. When combined with the rather acrimonious breakup of his marriage, he snapped. He became suicidal and began experiencing anxiety attacks and sought inpatient treatment. While I was there I heard of many others that made a big fuss. One person, I remember well. She would steal from other people food before you had a chance to eat it or save it for yourself as in a midnight snack. That is allowed there. My future mother-in-law called me at all hours of the day and night with the craziest questions, from what color lipstick I was planning to wear to what kind of flowers I wanted on the tables, and would I allow guests to take the centerpieces home after the reception? Because if I was planning to do that, then I had to make sure the quality was good. I responded, with a written message back. I felt empathetic and understanding and I told her that I was sorry that those things had happened and that she must be a very strong person to have overcome them. I told her that on a scale of pain in life from 1 to 10 that the pain she went through was off the charts and immeasurable. I congratulated her on her strength and success in overcoming those things and I tried to convey optimism. All these other countries, in the meantime, look at us with anything from bemusement at our backward ways to ever-increasing horror at the sheer inhumanity of our system. Even right-wing countries like Israel view the health of their citizens as a national priority. In the US, we spend nearly as much per person on paperwork for healthcare as Israel does actually providing healthcare for everybody. Federal US spending on healthcare for some is more per person than Israel’s single-payer healthcare for all. For insurance purposes, and possibly to get building permits to make repairs, once the wall was opened up, for the next couple of weeks the workers had to eat lunch with a big hole in the wall between the lunchroom and the embalming room. Depending on where you sat while you ate you had a fine view of the several dead bodies that were waiting for preparation. Not really all that good for the appetite.
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