The Waiting

via Daily Prompt: Anticipation

The waiting kills me. The final hours before payday are the most painful, particularly this time of year. There are so many needs that trump the wants that the wants aren’t even thought of these days. These days are all about survival. Indeed, we work too hard to be this poor.

Simplify. Reduce, recycle, reuse. Stop, drop, and roll for all the good it does me.

The waiting to be more than I have become is the most taunting. The remnants of opportunity now unreachable flail in the wind filled with hissing, red-eyed snakes.

The waiting for it to be better, easier, simplier is laughable at best and heartbreaking more often than I can tolerate. Eventually, there will be a breaking of me and I will no longer be waiting.

Til that day comes, I count pennies to fill my gas tank.

And wait.

The Cost of Having Not

I just don’t understand this culture that encourages so many people to live in poverty. Even the  people with “good money” live foolishly and end up poor. Meanwhile, the genuinely poor are looked down on rather than assisted or even emotionally cared for. There is no compassion. This wide-spread practice in turn makes people with money so desperate to spend to show their status to avoid the stigma of “being poor”.

I don’t understand why its instinctive to live in such a way that you become a prisoner to your own choices. We create the chains ourselves. So why is it so hard to just say NO and simply STOP living that way? Americans spend themselves into bankruptcy just to impress their Twitter followers.

Personally, I’ve been trying so hard to make the money stretch.  I’ve stopped spending on needless things,  but there simply is not enough to go around.   I use a pre-paid “burner” phone. I wear clothes from the thrift store. I buy store-band groceries. These small sacrifices do not bother me. What bothers me is that, despite the corners I cut in our spending, there simply is not enough left to pay the bills. Life should not be this way.

I’m married. We have children to raise. I did a year of college, and maintained a 4.0 GPA.  Medical reasons forced me to take a break in school, and then life forced that break to go on too long. Now, it’s not possible for me to return to school. My family needs me to work full time. If I were to return to school, I’d sacrifice the little time I have to see my kids. I’d love to go back to school, but that is not a price I’m willing to pay.

So, for all intents and purposes, I am a slave to my choice to have kids before finishing my degree. The result: I am officially uneducated and worth too-few- dollars to an employer, despite my experience.

The stigma of poor equaling “less than” at the human level triggers a fear response that causes  us to live beyond our means simply to save face.

We must let go of the thinking that  wealth signifies significance.

America was built on the backs of the poor. The laborers. The ones in the trenches. The mothers and fathers and the children they worked hard to raise.

So I keep going. I keep working for less than I’m worth because my family needs my pride to stay in check. My family needs that steady income. All the while I feel powerless; because despite the hours and effort, it’s simply not enough.

My choices have become, 1) Be actively involved in raising my children or 2) Have an education and career that will  allow me to provide them with IPhones and Jordans.

This society teaches our children that the latest tech and fashions equal importance and signify love. How could I sleep at night if I did not do everything in my power to teach them this is not true?

 

 

She is.

Carefree- writing prompt

 

She is blue eyes and blonde curls

with flushed cheeks and pink lips

that smile when she runs away.

She is giggles that will not be contained

and raspberries that must be blown

lest she burst.

She is laughter and light

that will never die.

Photo May 30, 4 08 05 PM

 

Meanwhile, in search of hope

Writing Prompt: False

It’s not like I was asking for a BIG miracle; just a small one would be plenty.

Just enough to take the edge off the waiting.

I hate waiting. –> Such a funny statement that is. Seriously, who enjoys waiting? Is there anyone who doesn’t hate waiting? 

“I enjoy long walks, waiting for the end of time, and Rocky Road ice cream.” –> you won’t find that profile on OKCupid.  *Pro Tip: If you do, ABORT, because that has to be one crazy Mother…*

Just a little miracle I insist, like a bum begging for a cigarette at the bus stop. My paper bag canteen has run dry and the reality is sobering.

Defeated, I fold up my cardboard sign and walk away, middle finger to the sky and eyes searching the ground.

 

The Riddle of Time

Photo Jul 01, 8 14 53 PM

I’m not sure where I’m going.

I really don’t understand how I got here.

All my life seems to have been spent waiting for the next event. Tomorrow. Next year.

Never now. Never present in this moment.

Ever jumping ahead.

Memories are meant to be cherished. Not obsessed over.  Memories, when indulged too deeply and too frequently, become a razorblade that severs our focus on reality.

What was, was. What is, is. That is all.

Painfully aware of my own mortality as I am, I’m having a bit of an unhinging of sorts, presently.  It seems to be that there are few manners in which to spend our limited time in this dimension which will have any true impact on the realm that survives us; that which will continue regardless of our existence or lack thereof.

If time waits for no one, then what the hell are we waiting for? That doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Rather time laughs, mocking, as we spend our lives in vain, waiting.

Ever waiting.

That doesn’t make sense.

Either jumping forward and missing now, or standing still refusing to move forward; Time makes a fool of me both ways.

So what is the answer?

Presence.

Awareness of This Moment.

Intentionally alive with Now.

Sounds simple, right?

What if, in truth, there is no answer?

Does it really matter what we do here if it’s going to be swept away in an instant when we fade to black?

Why do we chase the horizon when the tide will still catch us?

Is there a reason for this moment?

For any moment?

Since I’m going to die despite anything I do, does it matter what I do?

Que sera, sera.

I used to think I had some sort of talent; a reason for existing. That someday I would achieve some greatness.

I used to like to think of myself as a writer, as though I were worthy of such a calling.  Truth is, I have no self- discipline, and just enough good intentions to pave my own road to Hell.  I thought if I just had the time, the right music, the right space, the right software, the right moment, I could do it.

There it is. That moment I’ve been chasing again. It’s a slippery little bastard.

The reality is, I’m afraid of failing. So I make excuses. Valid ones even, living breathing excuses which are very real. However, excuses none the less.

Then there are times that I wonder if it’s even worth the excuses. Mayhaps its just not something I really want after all.

Mayhaps.

And when I seek the advice of wise counsel, I am told the best thing to do is write about it.

And I do.

And here I am.

And here you are.

And in this moment,

THIS moment,

I am a writer.

And I am free.

 

The Audience

Writing Prompt- Tourist

They are ever watchful, those tiny eyes we forget see more than we wish them to understand. Little sponges soaking up the dirty bits of common moments, our less than spotlight worthy performances behind the scenes of the theatrics we play for the world around us.

Ever following, ever learning.

Ever growing.

Ever changing.

We go through the motions- smile, pretend to care when needed. Nod, pretend to listen when expected. Agree, pretend to be compliant when demanded.

Then.

Curse, behind backs and amid shadows when needed.  Slam doors, when frustration leaves nothing else to do but walk away. Defy, because you know you’re right, after all.

Oh, the sights those little eyes see!