It was the worst of times. I'm sorry Charles Dickens but I cannot tell a lie.
Going to the recycling yard to scrape up the rest of the money I needed for my thanksgiving dinner marked a new low for me. It was raining and I hauled my stash into the covered awning and predicted I'd get back about seven dollars. It was barely worth the gas it took to get there.Vacillating between momentary devout prayers of trust and panicked worry, I counted the dollars and tried to reconcile it with my list. So many of you are at this point as well. It is a new experience. Being poor in college doesn't hold a candle to being tight when you have teenagers! Hungry, socially active teenagers.
And then, I saw them. The three of them, two men and a woman, crammed into a pickup truck loaded to the gills with aluminum hubcaps. None had washed for at least a month. Teeth missing, clothes a tattered collection of someone's castoffs, they were nonetheless a pleasant bunch.
I'll be getting a check or two next week.They probably won't. I'm just temporarily tight, and have a warm house with bathing facitlities and clean towels. They clearly don't. I visit the recycling facility when the pile gets too high in my garage. They most likely scrounge everywhere they can and visit often.
Being hungry and homeless is a far cry from where I am. I must remember this. A little perspective changes almost anything.