Tuesday, May 1, 2012

sometimes a 40 ounce and pack of menthol kings is the only answer

 being a woman at 48 is never easy.
the apartment has no pillow, and maybe no sheets.
there is no money for laundry, or even soap to wash things in the tub.
the metro rent is exorbitant.
"daddy is dying of cancer and he's not right.   he used to like me. when i was little, i was the apple of his eye.
the dream of a factory job, even when you get it, can be empty.
7 weeks of walking to work on tired legs with worn dollar store shoes, standing on cement, having no lunch or feminine needs, being stared at like a freak by luckier coworkers......
those tiny tiny tiny paychecks.   almost every penny has gone for fines, now $240 from being  paid off.  
catching bronchitis and missing 10 days of work was hell.
the job, surprisingly, was  sill there.
do you get a ride home from work?    "no, i just like to walk and think about things."
"i'm going to lose my place.  my children need help.  i can't pay the rent.  what am i going to do?   i'm sick, but there is no money for a doctor and no insurance.  i don't want to go to a shelter."
surviving any way she can is a living hell.
sometimes we talk.  "i don't believe in a hereafter.  when we die, that's just it."
i told her about my 20 year old homeless, pregant suicidal niece in columbus who is on methodone.   her baby will be a drug addict. my sister is going nuts taking care of her. 
"when i had my babies, i didn't even smoke or drink.  i wanted them to be right"
i stopped reading and believing in fairy tales and hope some time ago.   praying is not for me. is doing the right thing really the right thing?
there is little more than enough to squeak by, but by being frugal and lucky, i've survived and kept a  home.
i won't offer false hopes to folks with glossy  promises and won't/can't try to  take care of the world.
today,  i may pick up a 40 ounce of milwaukee's best ice,  a pack of menthol kings, and a can of  potted meat....
she'll be by, for sure.

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