By Bonds Unseen

Some days I feel trapped.

I'm just now getting to sit down at the computer and compose this post, which I have to do quickly becuase the library will be closing in less than 90 minutes, and I still have a lot to do before they kick me out. Then I have to run (perhaps literally) to the bus terminal to catch the last bus that will take me close to the house.

Living on someone else's agenda using limited time. There's a trap right there. But as the well-known commercial intones: "But wait -- there's more!"

I also feel trapped by the remote location of our neighborhood and the near-nonexistent bus service thereto. Trapped by the lack of income that would allow me to handle everyday expenses and escape poverty hell. Trapped by a job that I'm frankly no good at and that pays within throwing distance of minimum wage. Trapped by a lack of independent transportation.

Trapped by a lack of options in general.

Don't get me wrong; even living in the Hinterlands is a lot better than being bound to GIHN's rules and regs (which, I've come to find out, aren't always evenly applied. Strange, that...) and I can remember a time when the buses in this town stopped running for the day at 6:00 pm and not at all on Sundays*. But I can't help but look around at the barren landscape that used to be my future and asking "What the hell happened here?"

And it doesn't help that I have to look at what everybody else has and be reminded of what I'm missing out on. For instance, I'm the only one at my job that lacks a car, and I have to walk in ninety-plus degree heat being passed by cars with air conditioning. This is also the season at which people start to take vacations. Every summer of every year I have to sit in the corner and quietly seethe as I hear somebody else brag about their freakin' trip to the beach. Or the mountains. Or Vegas. Or SanFran. Or Europe.

You know when the last time I went to the beach was? Mike was 1 1/2 years old. He's 17 now. Do the math.

Okay, okay, I admit I'm doing too much grumping and not enough acting. I should also have more patience, but dammit, we've clawed our way out of homelessness; now we're ready to get back into our lives. Or reasonable facsimilies thereof.

*I'm not exaggerating. The buses around here used to be operated by Duke Power Company (Now Duke Energy), and their budget was of course much smaller. Consequently the buses only ran 6 am-6 pm on weekdays and Saturdays, and there was no Sunday service at all. Meaning if you had an emergency or a job after that time, or missed the last bus from the mall, and had no other transport, you were officially boned.

The best thing you have going for you ight now being a partisan of the working poor is that you are articulate(and not in that condescending 'he s a black guy who can speak in complete sentences and write also' way). What I m saying is that you re able to put the voice out there for the people who can t express the ideas and the contemptuous things that pass for gravy in their lives. Here you come in with distinct points. A lot of the time our discourse on the vanishing middle class I being moderated by college professors(who have never WORKED a day or they would have more empathy to the students that attend their schools, everyplace isnt DUKE or Yale. In this country the majority of universities are public) or 'think-tank' brainioids(who always have some hidden agenda and hope you cant figure it out).
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