Poverty can be a bummer, I know that firsthand, poverty as a single parent for example, but at least I didn’t spoil my kids with too much junk, and now…

Last week I was thinking I would never have to worry about being poor again because I went back to school and finally landed a teaching position, the same paycheck every month.  But then I just got my first paycheck.  Oh $12,000 a year gross, that’s not much.  I realized I’ll probably be poor for the rest of my life.  What a relief.

I’ll never have to worry about making a final will and testament because I have nothing much worth talking about, never have to worry about being sued for a million dollars because I’ll never have nothing like that.  Even if some client is just shooting lower, I know what a lawyer would say, it ain’t worth the trouble.  Also, I never have to worry about trying to figure out if a woman I’m involved with is just a money-grubbing gold-digging prostitute disguised as a regular women.  Those women are looking elsewhere.  That’s just a few of the benefits about being poor.  I never have to try to figure out if I can afford this or that, just chuck the junk-mail catalog in the trash where it belongs.  It’s a cinch being poor.

I never have to worry about getting addicted to gambling, certainly ain’t going to give the five dollars I have to some rich company that has plenty of money, that makes no sense to me.  I’ll never get addicted to cocaine, or anything like strippers or prostitutes or something like that.  Oh yeah, stripper girl, please take my last five dollars if you tease me with your goods, that doesn’t make any sense to me.  And those women waiting outside the 7-11 on 82nd, I sure ain’t going to spend my food money for some simulated loving.  “Maybe if you paid me that much I might consider it.”

“You want me to pay you?  You’ve got it all wrong.”

“That’s what I’m trying to tell you.”  Let’s just call it even and go our separate ways.  “I’ll catch you later.”

With the holidays coming, I don’t have to worry about going Christmas shopping, getting all hectic and depressed like the rest of them.  My friends and family know I still love them, just don’t have the scratch to get them anything.  And they know not to get too extravagant with my gifts.  That would just make me feel bad.  And anything I get is probably something I don’t have so I’m a cinch to go shopping for.  I’ll truly appreciate a brand-new pair of socks or a 2-ounce bar of chocolate.  My socks need mending, and my belly is always ready for some tasty treats.  I’ll savor that junk.  I’ll never forget wishing I had a glass of OJ in the AM, and a handful of cashews in the evening.  If I’ve got that, that makes me appreciate being alive and not starving to death.   That’s something worth remembering.

That’s what it’s all about, for me at least, appreciating something as simple as a bag of groceries, a walk in the woods,  a night out at the movies.  I never have to consider which flick to see, just wait until they come to the budget theatre.  That makes it easier.  And going to music shows, I never pay more than a few bucks, never get disappointed because I paid 40 to see the show, and if you have a great time at the five-dollar show, that really makes you feel good about that.

And if you’ve got a bunch of money to spend, it starts an ugly cycle.  If you buy an expensive car, you need expensive insurance.  I’ve never paid more than $400 for a car, always sell them for at least that.  My most recent car cost me one dollar so I don’t have to worry about getting expensive insurance.  My bike does me just fine but it only costs five dollars; I doubt if anybody is going to steal it so I don’t have to worry about it.  And if I had indoor heating, my electric bill would go way up.  I’ve got it made in the shade with my blankets.  I fall to sleep with hot tea, wake up with iced tea.   It’s great.

Also, my income taxation is really low.  Sure, I pay some of my income to the State but I get a lot in return, roads and skateboard parks, free books and movies at the local library, hiking trails and sandy beaches.  Someday if I run out of food, I could probably even get food stamps.  I’ll try to avoid that, but that’s good to know, makes me happy to pay a few dollars to the tax man.  Meanwhile, rich people can’t even get food stamps.  That doesn’t seem right to me, taxation without digestion.

That may seem crazy, but think of it this way: what if rich people weren’t allowed to get books at the library, had to buy their own?  What if they couldn’t go to the park because they’ve probably got their own big yard.  It’s the same thing to deprive them the opportunity to get food stamps.  They get the shaft.  If I were rich, I’d be bitter about that.  But I’m poor and get plenty for the taxes I pay.  I’ve got nothing to complain about.  There’s a lot to be grateful for when you’re poor.

And when you finally get a few extra bucks in your pockets, you really get happy about that.  That’s a good feeling, but if your wallet is always packed with Jacksons, I don’t think that would be as much fun.  And plus I’m a so-called artist, and everybody knows that staying hungry is usually the way to go when it comes to finding motivation and inspiration.

Plus nobody gets green with jealousy, wishing they had my life.  My life and my lack of greenbacks makes people feel better about their situations.  As long as you don’t have a hand out for a hand out, people like poor people, and on the other hand, people tend to hate filthy-rich people.  I’m not sure why that is, but that’s the way it seems to me.

That’s how come they made up that dirty name for them.  It doesn’t really make sense to me because they look pretty clean.  Like in Portland, Oregon, poor people are snobby toward rich people, maybe just because the rich people likely had a bit more sense.  There’s no reason to get ugly about it.  It’s weird to me, but I don’t have to worry about being at the raw end of that argument because everybody seems to love a poor man.  I make rich people feel better about what they’ve got and I make the poor happy to have more of their own so they don’t feel all alone.  Poverty works out for me.

I’m part of the 99%, like most of us, that’s why they call it that.  I hate to say it, but I’ve got nothing to complain about.

— winch


One thought on “Poverty

  1. Pingback: Poverty Rules « POVERTY

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