Posted by: dougery | September 8, 2011

Disparity

Is there a word for ‘epiphany’ where said perception isn’t so much a lightbulb appearing all cartoon-like over one’s head and more a giant nail being sledgehammered into one’s skull?

Moments ago I finished eating my lunch. It was a peanut-butter sandwich. I also had small packet of fruit snacks bought in one of those wholesale boxes that contain like, 50 packets. I had this meal because I want to rationalize an upcoming purchase of some vinyl over the internet. I haven’t bought any new music in months and it is slowly withering my soul. And if I don’t run across the parking lot at lunch three times a week for $8 sandwichs I can very easily balance out the old bank account. The point is, L and I aren’t poor, but there ain’t room for many extravagances either.

Less than 24 hours ago there was this function I went to.  I was seated in a room that featured, among other things, an actual map drawn by European explorers in the 1600s. And this was kind of a den, located downstairs. In other words, most of the ‘good stuff’ was a floor above me. The house itself was enormous and beautiful, the view of the mountains something out of a storybook. As a guest, I felt completely out of place. Like someone was going to walk out of some door and politely show me my way out.

As I sat eating my lunch moments ago I was looking in horror at the town of Hershey, PA being inundated by the Susquehanna river. I’m thinking of how events like these effect those poorest among us the hardest. They don’t have the money to replace their clothing, let alone their beds and houses and refrigerators. Events like this essentially destroy human lives even when the victims themselves are not killed. This of course comes from a person who has always been safely ensconced in the (admittedly lower) middle class. I have no idea what being poor truly means.

It is difficult to sit here and not think WTF is wrong with a society where so much wealth is possessed by so few? What causes a person to step beyond, miles and miles beyond, comfort? And how do they not feel incredible guilt at all of the people their wealth has been built on top of? That the ridiculous excess directly contributes to the wretched living conditions of so many other people?

I just don’t understand how people can be so fucking terrible to each other all the time.

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