I had a bad dream. The world said I’m disposable. Enraged voices echoed, spewing about their right to congregate superseding my right to live. I walked through static darkness and heard money was more important than my well-being.

I had a bad dream. Sickness grew in hulking mounds. Dark monsters reaching out, grabbing anyone nearby. Sanctimonious crowds stood in sporadic clusters, jeering at bodies hefted by the monsters. The bodies fell in broken, bleeding piles. Steel glinted in the crowd’s eyes. Shouts went up in booming bursts. “Take the weak; bring us back our wealth.”

I had a bad dream. I was told my life was not worth as much as your right to make money. I was told to suck it up and let others live their lives, unencumbered by public health directives. I was asked to give up my life for your paycheck.

I had a bad dream. I wore anxiety like a corset, binding me, taking my breath. I was told to go back to normal so business could boom. A hand gripped my throat. Air escaped in wisps. I swam in currents of voices declaring the economy needed protection, not my life. I closed my eyes, adjusting to the knowledge that I’m disposable.

I had a bad dream, and it swallowed me.

By Imperfection

Bridgit Kuenning-Pollpeter is a mom and writer from Omaha, Nebraska but recently relocated to Urbandale, IA. When she’s not chasing children, picking up messes or reorganizing the house, she enjoys yoga or reading to relax. In her spare time (A.K.A. her dreams) she’s a Broadway star. Kuenning-Pollpeter is a freelance marketer during the day, a creative writer at night. Her work has appeared in the Brevity blog, The Omaha World Herald, 13th Floor, Misbehaving Nebraskans, Hippocampus, Emerging Nebraska Writers and Random Sample Review. She has her BFA and MFA in writing from the University of Nebraska Omaha. Her essay “The Body” was a McKenna Fellowship finalist, and her essay “Imperfection” was a 2020 Best of the Net Nominee. She is blind and writes frequently about disability. She’s working on a memoir about the disabled feminine experience. With the kids though, expect it in stores in about a decade.

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