Monday, February 23, 2015

A Philadelphian Conversation - Number Three

The doorbell rang and I assumed, because it had been snowing all day, that it would be Scott with a shovel. I set a little bowl of spaghetti down on the table and looked out the window to see who it was. Scott had already started shoveling, so I opened the door and told him I'd pay five dollars when he finished.

When he knocked on the door again, he said "You know they stole my bike" and I said "Really?" and he said "You don't seen me on it, do you?"

I shook my head to indicate that indeed, I had not seen him on it.

He said "My own people took it from me! My own people took my bike."

"How do you know that?"

"'Cause I couldn't catch 'em. They was too fast. I had it locked up and everything and they came up with one of them clippers and cut it loose." He sighed. "I had that bike fourteen years."

I told him about what happened to me a few months back when I was assaulted by a random person walking down the street, and how I got away before the guy and some other guy he was with were able to rob me, which, I told Scott, was certainly their intention. He said "You lucky man" and I gave him the five dollars and he turned to leave.

As he walked away, he shouted back to me "I'll get me another bike! You'll see! I'll get me another one!" The snow came down on him beneath the streetlights, and I realized it was coming down on me too.

Monday, February 9, 2015

James' Dilemma

James leans back against the hard plastic of his seat on the train. He thinks about the man he had to let go today, envisions him telling his wife he's out of a job. He thinks of how a few years ago, before he became a supervisor, it could have been him getting his pink slip. Imagining the look on his own wife's face if he were the one breaking this sort of news makes him cringe.

James likes the house he and his wife bought shortly after his promotion, but the property taxes rose by an astonishing forty percent last year, an abnormal raise not likely to occur again but a painful one nonetheless. Between that and their mortgage, healthcare, pre-school for the youngest of their three kids, and a laundry list of other expenses, he can barely keep up.

It's okay, he thinks, as long as my kids get a chance. It's okay as long as they get an education and a clean slate. It's all okay if they can do something with this world.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Desire and Nothing

Desire originating within, influenced by outside forces, aiming in various directions. Survival instinct can go too far. Self awareness fights insecurities revealed around others.

The desire of the moment or of a lifetime: to create something positive. Driving oneself beyond basic needs can lead to threatening levels of excess. Power seduces and the true self fades away, hides away, sometimes too far gone to be found.

To just be can get lost. The privilege of survival and self awareness are often lost with it, but those who hold onto that basic knowledge are rewarded by the knowledge itself.