Rise and Shine

You ever feel like nothing you do will ever be good enough? Like the relentless march of days is speeding by at break-neck speed and all you can do is crawl? Like maybe the whole world is huffing amphetamines in the bathroom while you struggle to get out of bed?

I used to feel this way all the time, and I still do when I’m sifting through the classifieds and a desk job requires you to bend, and stoop, and lift 50lbs “frequently”. You see, I did some research and employers aren’t required by the ADA to reassign “essential” job functions unless they already let their employees freely assign them among themselves. But jobs aren’t what they used to be.

I almost got a job as a liquor store clerk this week, but there is no longer a purely cashier position, everyone in the store is required to do every function, including receiving shipments. Ok, I get it, there are a lot of heavy, fragile bottles in a liquor store. Probably not the place for me. But it seems like every job these days requires you to be able-bodied even if it wouldn’t seem necessary from the job title. I guess it’s the companies covering their asses so that if someone calls out everyone else knows how to do every job, but what about disabled people? I’m not quite disabled enough to get disability, but not physically capable enough to get a job. Well, I could be a cashier at a grocery store. Maybe they’ll give me a stool. Apparently that’s all the ADA covers.

After my accident I drew a lot of caged birds or winged creatures that were in some way grounded. Trees were another favorite, not because I fell out of a tree, but because I saw myself as a tree with severed roots, unable to grow or connect. Here there are collapsed buildings at the edge of a city, a reference to my structural integrity. The sun is screaming, almost like that person at the party who just lost their job and says, “Give me another drink, I’m gonna have fun God Dammit!”


Rise and Shine by Camille Willis


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