My Disturbing Dream of Karen Ignagni




ignagniAnd somehow, in this dream, I represented the American people, and maybe our government too, while the telegenic flack represented the private health insurance industry, just as she does in real life as the chief lobbyist of AHIP.

And she was seated next to me, just the two of us at a large dinner table, which on closer inspection was The actual “Table,” with other places set for the various “Stakeholders” who were due later, but first I had business with Ms. Ignagni that couldn’t wait.

For more years than I could remember in this dream – decades even – our relationship had been a nightmare of abuse, bankruptcy and disease; yet every time I’d tried to move past her she had wormed her way back into my life somehow and made things even worse.  But this was it.  “Karen,” I began, “we have to talk.”

“You’re not cross with me, are you dear?  You haven’t been talking to …” her eyes narrowed jealously, “those liberals again?”

“It’s over, Karen.  I —“

She leaned forward urgently, nearly tipping over her chair, and grasped my hand in both of hers; I tried to pull it back but she clung tightly.

“Those people don’t understand you.  Only I understand you!  We were made for each other, you and I.  You’re not like those other … milksop countries.  Government healthcare, nanny state, that’s not you!  You need a tough chick like me.  You’re so special …”

She leaned in further and licked my face like a tiger; I shoved her away but she jumped onto my lap unfazed and wrapped her arms around me.  “Karen, no.  It’s not working.  Get off me.”

“Have you any idea what a cold, scary, dangerous world it would be without me?  I know I haven’t been perfect but, baby, neither have you!  We can make this work, like we always have …”

“No, Karen!  Not this time.”  I pulled back, trying to regain my space.

She straddled me with both legs, breathing into my face, and I struggled to fend off the old familiar feeling of arousal.  “What do you NEED from me?” she hissed, her eyes inches from mine.  “I’ll give up 2% of my profits for the next decade!  I’ll give up ‘pre-existing conditions!’  I’ll do anything you want, ANYTHING.  Just …” she whispered passionately into my ear, “just stop all this talk about a Public Option!”

That’s when I woke up.

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.