The Girl in the Room Upstairs

I’ll tell this story only once, although it’s hardly rare,
About the girl who lost a life but lives in the room upstairs.
She got ME four years ago and struggles through her day,
But had some help from the government, who gave her some sick pay.

But when one day they tested her and said “we think you’re fine,”
She begged them to rethink her case and they told her to work ‘part-time’.
“I can’t,” she said, “I’ve tried to work, my body will relapse.” The government said: “we need those funds or this whole show will collapse.”

But collapse they did despite her funds, a scandal took them down.
They forced some families into ruin, who were mainly black or brown.
Again she said: “I need your help, I have no money left.”
They sent a phoney doctor to cook up another theft.

“I don’t think that this condition is a thing that you believe.”
“Damn right!!” said the phoney doctor as she got right up to leave.
“This is my life, I want to live, I beg… don’t make me pray.”
“Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to, this is the UWV?”
“We’ll take your life, we’ll take your smile and rub your doctors out.
That’s how we roll, that’s how we play, we always find a rout.”

This is why we educate, but still don’t know what’s best.
I send my friends and family to a doco called Unrest.
This ME is a spiteful thing, of that I can assure,
For 50 years they’ve studied it, but still there is no cure.
I’ll keep telling you my story though, I know it is not rare.
About the girl who lost a life and lives in the room upstairs.

What is ME? (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Unrest (Available to watch on Netflix)



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Rob O’Brien

Writer & producer based in Amsterdam. Stories for NYT, Independent & Penthouse. I write about people, life experiences, the everyday. Twitter: @robwriting