Author : Charles Spohrer

I totaled my motorcycle. Of course, I had no medical insurance.

I figured if I ever did have an accident, it would be final. I never expected just a couple of broken bones.

The ambulance dumped me off at County. The drivers wheeled me inside and left me on the gurney. A middle aged lady walked over and dropped a stack of papers on my chest. She pushed a pen into my injured hand. I winced as I reached over with my good hand to grab the pen. Without waiting, she began to leaf through the stack. “Sign here, and here” she said, as she flipped the pages quickly. I signed wherever she pointed. She gathered up the papers and left. Eventually the doctors set to work.

I was out of there before the start of the next shift.

By the time the road rash scabs fell off my face, the bills arrived. A year’s salary for a broken wrist and some scabs. Outrageous, I thought. So I let it slide.

Bills become past due bills.

Past due bills become final notice bills.

Final notice bills became phone calls from the collection agencies.


For weeks.

Then the calls stopped.

A few days later, six in the morning, I woke to the sound of my front door crashing in. Several policemen in SWAT gear and guns drawn rushed into my room. They pulled me from my bed, threw me to the floor, and sat on me with my arm behind my back. A technician in a white lab coat over a bullet proof vest jabbed my bicep with a syringe and drew a small amount of blood.

After a few minutes, he said, “That’s him alright. He’s the one. DNA markers match at a 95% confidence level. You can bag him.”

One of the cops spoke. “We hereby serve Notice that you are in Default on your Obligations to County Hospital and invoke Reclamation pursuant to the Rights assigned by Contract as agreed by You at the time of Admission.” I could hear every capitalized word.

Those were the last words I ever heard.

It’s been a few days since I got my sight back. Quite remarkable if you think about it. I can see in four different directions now. It’s not that hard to process, especially since the decision logic isn’t that complicated.

The green light flashed on.

Summary judgment came quick. For not paying the hospital bills, I gave up all rights. Everything. I understand some politician’s son got my body, something about inoperable leukemia. He just happened to be next on the waiting list for a full body donor. It was all in the fine print.

Yellow light.

So what happened to me? Well, they found me some work. Look for me on the corner of State and Madison. Inside the traffic control box. The latest in intelligent traffic management. If you do come by, blink your headlights twice. I’ll hold the green a little longer for you.

Red light.

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