Shut the fuck up with your upper to middle class bullshit. Stop and look where you are. You are surrounded by nice things, but what did you do to go about earning them? Shut your mouth before you claim to be struggling. How much have you already had to eat? And who made you this feast? Have you ever been threatened to spend a night on the street? Your tent is used for camping, not living. Your closet is full of clothing for fashion, not necessity. Your dumpsters are used for trash, not scavenging. You have the support of family. You have money. At times you don’t have to work for a living. This is luxury. Change the tone of how you speak. The step towards poverty is shorter than you think. There is less that separates you from the homeless population. All it takes is one addiction. One step in the wrong direction. One downfall of your reputation. Stumble and you might fall with the best of them. Refuse to stay humble and you might lose your chance at working. Nothing is beneath you when you haven’t eaten. Nothing is too difficult when you don’t have a bed to sleep in. Nothing is too far fetched when you have the luxury of dreaming. This is reality. This is why I continue working. This is why I turn down no opportunity. This is why I have to do work that is beneath me. There is no slack. There is no back up. There is only survival. Since poverty can so easily destroy all of my progress. I can so easily lose it. So shut the fuck up with your claims and complaints. And be thankful you are enough rich today to have middle class complaints.
Yesterday I wore the red heels. I stunned and impressed and was dressed for it appropriately, reviving a hibernating side of my personality, the side that operates confidently. I was dressed for the interview, I had my notes, my questions, and my conversation cues organized and ready to use. I was properly caffeinated, perfectly primped, and ready for this conversation. I was the picture of experience, work ethic, and mindful openness. I had this. The questions flowed and my answers were perfect. I deserved this. The man was impressed and interested. But half way through the interview, I realized I don’t want this. I don’t want to have the perfect answers. I don’t want to have to dress like this. I love these heels, but they were meant for a stage. I love this dress, but I did not want to iron it. I love the way I look, but it can be put to better use. I could be dancing or writing. I could be exploring. I could be living boldly. I am dressed to the nines for a nine to five. I am forcing a habit to seem alive. I am checking off points that I was told hold value, when I could be doing even more. I thought I wanted this. I thought I had this. I thought this was my opportunity, but my goals are changing. I want to live freely. I have to be paid money to live, but I am willing to change what I do to get it. I am looking to switch everything up. I want to throw out my closet and begin again. I wanted this interview to end, so that I could go back to living bohemian. No cubicle was meant for me. No office can support my individuality. No memo can summarize my dreams. I am changing. What I prepared half my life for now is no longer relevant. I could have never anticipated this. I should have changed my focus. I should have admitted that what I wanted out of life was different. I should have seen it. There was so much time I missed, when doing what others expected. But today I end it. Today I will turn down another success. Today I will continue searching for what I’ve always wanted. Today I will wear the read heels and never look back.
I am tired of the (I don’t know)s and the (woe is me)s I have am exhausted by my own nega(tivity) I am resisting the (counting on me)s and (I can do)ings They now have a hol(low) ring I am no longer listening to (me) There is the saying (you’re only as good) as your weakness making me excel at a you (can)t do this mentality I am tired of the words (I think) and (I’m trying) There is a phrase I keep rep(eat)ing I am not (worth)y or was it I am not (pick)y I must admit I was not (listen)ing Since these words and phrases are (grat)ing and I am still (wait)ing for some random k(night) to come and save me I want these solutions handed over or I will continue (to have and to hold) my own mind for ransom I will (dive deep) into a pool of sarcasm dripping (down the road) I have chosen to travel along (Rolling like a stone) I will prove to love no one and no(thing) I am building a foundation on (nega)tivity seeing how far it might (get me) I am (exhaust)ed with d(r)ead I am dragged down by depen(dance) I am (seeing red) Grabbing the (bull)shit by the horns I will (take it) no more This is my (chance) I lean in to g(r)asp another breath.
This was the second one of the evening,
wandering in on my shift,
looking so sure of themselves,
yet incredibly distant,
walking with a confidence that says they are used to being looked at.
It was more in the way they moved,
that tipped me off as to what work they do,
there was a look of abuse,
lingering in their eyes and resounding in their words,
tainting the beauty of their natural curves.
It was their soft spoken way with men,
countered by an aggressive connection with other women,
they opened up to me unknowingly,
describing why they came in to buy weed,
due to back pain and sore knees,
but that was obvious to see.
I know what line of work can inflict this kind of pain,
and what they were avoiding saying,
how they earned the money that I was now being paid,
I could see it in their face.
It was the dead look in their eyes,
which their heavy makeup only emphasized,
paired with the strength of their thighs,
and hunched over shoulders,
showing the pain of spinning around a pole.
It was the words that went unsaid,
and the singles I was paid in,
that confirmed what I was thinking.
And that’s when it hit me,
that I could be one of these women,
I could be paid for dancing,
I could be using my body to earn a living,
I could be dead inside while being told I’m sexy.
There is not much that separates me from them,
we are all women,
we are all working,
we are all struggling.
I once joked about stripping for a living,
but once I encountered the real thing,
it is something to be taken seriously,
because I am certain it would kill me.
Mornings taste like hope, or panic, or daily practice, as I sip slowing on this liquid tactic.