Jackson sat on the park bench, its paint peeling and cracked from years of neglect. Wiping his forehead with a handkerchief, Jackson took in the scenery of the park. For the most part it was like any other park he'd been to in the fifty-plus years duration of his life. The green grass carpeted the rolling hills and fields that made up the park. Tall, thick oaks were scattered amongst several elms and sycamores. Plush shrubbery lined the walking path that stretched from one end of the park to the other, winding around two playgrounds. Jackson watched the neighborhood children play on the playgrounds, their youthful peals of excitement and joy reminding him of his own youth. "Only difference," he remarked to himself, "we didn't have product placement shoved down our throats. We were thought of kids and not future consumers." The squawk of a pre-recorded message from the "make believe" McDonald's drive-thru only accentuated his thoughts. "Would you like fries with that?"
The thought of how much had changed during his years growing up only put him in a bitter mood. "All in the name of progress, I suppose." The thought didn't brighten his mood any, if nothing else, it made it worse. He thought of the long trek that was ahead of him to the local Social Security office. The office had contacted him about a denial of benefits for his wife's medicare. There was no public transportation available to get him close enough to the office so he was forced to walk the several miles to the office. He typically enjoys walking anywhere he goes but today he was not feeling up to snuff. He had to cut back on his heart medication due to the rising costs of his prescriptions. Now they were going to cut his wife off completely. "This is not the America I fought for in the Second World War. This is not the America FDR envisioned when he pulled this country out of the Depression. This is not the America our Founders sacrificed their lives for."
Wiping his forehead again, Jackson mustered what strength he had to lift himself from the park bench. Straightening himself, he began the final leg of his journey.