ODE TO ROCK LEE

IF YOU PRESUME THAT I DON’T ENGAGE IN CERTAIN ACTIVITIES WITHOUT EVER FOR A SECOND CONSIDERING THAT THE REASON MIGHT BE FINANCIAL, THEN YOU HAVE JUST RUN YOUR CLASS PRIVILEGE ON MY ASS.

IF YOU THINK THAT I DON’T LIKE SOMETHING

THAT I DON’T WANT TO DO SOMETHING

JUST BECAUSE OF SOME PERSONAL PREFERENCE

AND IT DIDN’T OCCUR TO YOU THAT IT’S ACTUALLY BECAUSE I CAN’T AFFORD IT

THAT THE THREAT OF MONEY (NEXT TO THE THREAT OF MEN) IS THE REALEST THING IN MY LIFE AND I WOULD NEVER DO ANYTHING TO JEOPARDIZE MY ABILITY TO KEEP A ROOF OVER MY HEAD AND FOOD IN MY MOUTH (AFTER HAVING LOST IT ONCE BEFORE)

THAT I CHOOSE NOT TO DO SOMETHING RATHER THAN NOT EVEN HAVING THE CHOICE

THEN YOU JUST RAN SOME NASTY CLASS PRIVILEGE ON ME.

DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO GROW UP IN A GREASY APARTMENT? FOR YOUR MOM TO DROP YOU OFF AT YOUR OLD SICILIAN GREAT GRANDMOM’S WHILE SHE WORKED THE NIGHT SHIFT? THAT YOUR MOM WAS PROUD TO BUY A ROWHOME WHEN YOU STARTED HIGH SCHOOL BUT THAT IT HAD TAKEN THOSE WHOLE 14 YEARS SINCE YOU BEEN BORN TO GET DECENT ENOUGH CREDIT AFTER HAVING BEEN PREYED ON BY BANKS AT A YOUNG AGE? DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME YOU REALIZED THAT YOU HAD MADE FRIENDS WHO WERE ENDOWED WITH IMPORTANT FINANCIAL ADVICE BY FAMILY, AND HAD WEALTH TO FALL BACK ON, AND NOT A SINGLE PERSON IN ALL YOUR MANY-BRANCHED MEXICAN, ITALIAN, IRISH, BLACK AMERICAN FAMILY HAD EVER BEEN TOLD THOSE THINGS AND EVERYONE WAS STILL WORKING IN THEIR OLD AGE AND NOBODY HAS TIME TO ASK YOU HOW YOU’RE DOING BECAUSE THEY JUST WANT YOU TO EAT THE DAMN MEATLOAF ALREADY SO YOU CAN GET YOUR HOMEWORK STARTED, CAUSE YOU’RE SMART AND MAYBE THAT’LL GET YOU SOMEWHERE IN LIFE IF YOU DO GOOD IN SCHOOL, IF A MAN DOESN’T RUIN YOUR LIFE FIRST, AND YOU MANAGE TO NOT FUCK UP YOUR NONEXISTENT CREDIT.

A GENIUS OF HARD WORK.

YOU FIND THINGS OUT THE HARD WAY CAUSE YOU NEVER KNEW HOW THE PRIVILEGED MANAGED TO GET ALL THAT WEALTH, LIVE COMFORTABLY, GO CLOTHES SHOPPING FOR FUN (NOT FOR THE DISCOUNT OUTFITS IN ANTICIPATION OF BACK TO SCHOOL), TAKE FAMILY VACATIONS ANYWHERE OTHER THAN THE SHORE, PUT ALL THEIR KIDS THROUGH SCHOOL, WITH GRANDPARENTS THAT BEEN SAVING FOR IT THE WHOLE TIME, AND HERE YOU ARE
HAVING CLAWED YOURSELF INTO A WORLD OF THE EDUCATED, THE RADICALIZED, THE TENDER HEARTED, THE WELL TRAVELED,
AND IN ALL OF THAT YOU CAN COUNT ON YOUR HAND THE PEOPLE YOU’VE SINCE MET WHO EVEN REMOTELY KNOW WHERE YOU COME FROM, SINCE NONE OF THE MAJORITY EVER TALK ABOUT THE FINANCIAL SETTINGS OF THEIR TORTURED YOUTH

SO YOU SMILE AND NOD WHEN THE REST OF YOUR EDUCATED RADICAL SWEET NEIGHBORS TALK ABOUT SOMEBODY’S MOM’S HOUSE WITH A POOL AND GOING TO BEAUTIFUL NATURAL PARKS AND WHO WENT TO THIS COLLEGE YOU SHOULD APPARENTLY KNOW THE REPUTATION OF AND TRAVELING THE GLOBE AND BUYING A HOUSE AND ALL THE THERAPY SESSIONS AND HAVING BABIES AND ANIMALS AND NEVER EVER EVER WORRYING ABOUT HOW THEY GONNA PAY RENT

AND NEVER EVER UNDERSTANDING THAT EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN WORK HARD TO AFFORD ALL THOSE THINGS, THE UPPER CLASS STIGMAS THEY ALL CARRY SATURATE YOUR BLOOD, AND THAT YOU CAN HEAR THE VOICES OF YOUR AUNTS AND UNCLES MAKING JOKES ABOUT THEIR UPPER CLASS WINO COWORKERS TALKING ABOUT THEIR THERAPIST AND THEIR NEW HOUSE AND OTHER BULLSHIT THAT THEY JUST COULD NEVER EVER AFFORD BECAUSE THE PAYCHECK HAS TO GO TO BILLS AND INSURANCE AND CIGARETTES AND GOD WILLING THAT ALIMONY CHECK COMES IN TOO. AND IT ISN’T ABOUT MONEY. IT’S ABOUT DOMINATION. AND ACCESS. AND WORTH.

AND WHAT IS A WORKING CLASS PERSON’S WORTH IN THE FANTASY WHERE THEY STOP WORKING?

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