after work at the clinic (musings on poverty and passion)
The most upsetting part of existing in the strange liminal space of American poverty is the way it makes you question your ability to be grateful.
Ingenious really, on the part of the grand old conductors, who set in motion the machine with purpose, so that eventually its workings would seem little more than happenstance. Be grateful is the message, I am not a starving child in Africa. No, I am a severed thread.
I am diluted African-American starving for freedom.
I am puerto rican diaspora that doesn’t speak the language of my colonizer.
The burden of working odd jobs is that they all require that you disregard your dignity in order to survive. I am 25 and perhaps I have yet to truly work a professional job, one with a career path. But I have done everything else, mostly sales and retail and clerical work. And now i work at a methadone clinic. As the gatekeeper to these not yet ready to reform addicts, and their patchwork attempts at treatment by daily dosing pharmaceutical grade opioids with twice the half life.
And the irony of my knowing their struggle is not lost on me. Still I loathe the work, and often them by extension
Redundant and judgmental, encouraged states in this world.
Even as my past dictates an understanding of their struggle, i succumb to another abuse, an abuse of wayward pride, of misplaced self regard. I've gotten better, why can't they?
why can’t I quit for good? Quit this act and find another way? Is there even another way? I refuse to explore the possibility, to sustain the risk. I refuse to put forth the effort in so much as the direction of uncertainty.
My only comfort comes in the understanding that I will never be happy until i do, and that makes it inevitable.
And for that, I am grateful.