TO BE A LOWER ONE

Thanks to my stay at the San Diego Rescue Mission I was inspired by this lovely piece.

You walk around barking orders at women from the moment you walk into the door.

You stand there pointing your finger over and over again.

Kids run around screaming their heads off.

Moms sit and stare, some on their phones, some puffing on their cigarettes.

Me, sitting waiting for the day just to be over.

Wondering how and what I was doing there.

What is wrong with me, how could I do this to my kids.

Resignated and defeated I make the one call that I have dreaded all my life.

To their father. The one who has never been there.

And to my surprise he laughs and tells them that he can not help.

We walk downstairs to the room of death.

A morgue for the dead now converted for the living and in despair.

It’s gloomy and loud. for the children have not settled.

Five minute showers that’s all that is allowed.

While she walks out and yells to the kids to keep it down.

A feeling of depression overwhelms me then I hear her speak.

The devil in disguise. Welferas. People of the system.

She is spitting out words that roll of her tounge about how we have to get out of the system.

She then tries to smooth out her prejudice by saying,

“I once was there.”

But I ask myself where?

I have worked almost all my life since I was fourteen.

Making 8, 9 dollars an hour can not pay for 1200 dollars of rent.

The face that she makes is of disgust.

Then she bows down her head and says “let’s pray.”

The lower ones.

We are underground and not allowed to speak to the ones that live above us.

The lower ones.

The ones without a roof above our heads.

The lower ones.

At 7 am is the dismissal so you can return at 5.

Carrying your belongings all day long.

The lower ones.

You cant brush your hair because 4 more women are in the only bathroom.

I am thankful. Do not get me wrong. There is a roof on my head and food on my plate.

But this feels like the system.

I feel like if I was being punished and doing time for being poor and broke.

My health seems to get worst.

Then the devil return with a grim in her face and looks at me and says,

“You don’t look disabled.”

Wow I shake my head. I did not know or was I aware that one had to look disabled to be disabled.

The lower one.

In a dungeon of grim and the sad.

Where the food looks like slops.

The hot dogs are green and recycled chicken is every 3 days.

The lower ones.

But I am thankful. I have a roof on my head and food on my plate.

I want to cry and scream I do not want to be a lower one.

I want to work and have my own roof and cook my own food.

But I can’t afford it. Our health seems to be deteriorating.

But you know what.

Come to think about it.

I am not ashamed to be a lower one.

I am just one of many that has been lowered due to all this political greed.

I am one of many that have tried and somehow missed that step to greatness.

I am a lower, a lower who will rise from that dungeon of sadness,

And I will live to see many brighter days.

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GOODNESS

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Well today was a day of giving I might say. You might not realize this but a smile can come a long way. Me I am not good in smiling. I guess it goes back to my really depressing kind of childhood. That is how my father raised us, to never trust anyone.  It always seemed weird because he could seem that nicest man and a lot of people liked him, but the moment that he turned around I would here all sorts of things come out of his mouth. He trusted no one no matter how friendly people where and even family he would tell us not to trust. He always said that people only looked for him for what they could get out of him but not because they really needed him.  But yet my father gave what little he had. He nagged for a while then he would say to himself, “Well they probably needed it more than I did.” I never understood what he meant until I grew up.

I never thought my father was right. As difficult as it was for me to swallow I saw how people that have come in to my life just leave. I might not hear from them for years and then one day they magically appear. And what makes matters worst is that the first words that come out of their mouth are “Hi, How are you, look can you do me a favor?”. This eventually got tiring and I started to keep away from people and me myself become judgmental. I began to nag about people asking me for things especially money but I have always hold true to myself that a person,  no matter what, should never be denied a cup of water or something to eat. And then the true tests came.

The day they stole my first car. I was very materialistic and trust me it hurt. I felt so angry that some bastard took my car out of all the nice cars that where on the block they had to steal my beat up ford escort station wagon. I remember crying because I felt like my world was over. But not realizing that its something material. I just couldn’t comprehend.

Then one day a knock came to my door, a little boy with an empty jar asking if we could spear some milk for his baby sister. He could be no older than 8 or 7 years old. They had planted themselves in an abandoned house in front of where I lived and his parents would go out to the dumpsters to find things that they could sell in the small  corner marts around Tijuana. I would see the neighbors how they would just stare them down and talk smack about them. Just because they where poor. The little kid got into the habit of coming over and at his short age he would offer to help around the house to make some money to help his parents out. Which I would tell him no and let him play with my kids instead.

Materialistic things.  I started learning slowly that none of this crap that we have in this world really matters. There are better things out there. I did not realize how blessed my house had become after we became acquainted with this family. Then it happened again my second car got stolen, I didn’t even have a month with the car and it was gone. Just like that. But somehow my attitude towards the situation changed. I remember hearing my significant other ranting and yelling and when he looked at me he tells me if I am not mad or if I was going to do something. Well I told him I was going to do something, we where going to report it to the authorities like always and let it go from there. Don’t take wrong. I was very upset but this time I did not show it or acted on it. Instead I prayed and thanked God for giving us life and protection of all evil. Things could of been much different but they weren’t.

I have then through the years have grabbed a bunch of clothes, shoes, food and all other items. And made bundles and once every year we go to places where their is the need for those items and give them away. And I hope that one day I will be able to open a living quarters for children in Mexico or place where disabled kids can live. But for that it’s going to take a while but I know that I can do it.

Now going back to today. As I was putting gas I was approached by an old man. I was in a rotten mood and was cussing a storm under my breath because the stupid gas station did not have change for a hundred dollar bill not even knowing how much gas I was going to put in my truck. So when he approached me. I was like “what do you want!” He looked towards his feet and said. “Sorry mam to bother you but can you change me these two ten pesos coins for two dollars I just need some gas to get back home.”  I knew I had two dollars in my car so I was going to do it. But in my mind I was thinking “What if he is going to use it for booze. Don’t give it to him he is probably some guy just asking for money. I will not support someones addiction.” But then another part of me said ” Don’t be a bitch, give the man some money you never know what situation he could be in.” So I looked down my wallet and I had two five dollar bills and a ten dollar bill. I couldn’t find the loose dollar bills. So I pulled out a five and handed it to him. He looked up and smiled and told me “God bless you, What is your name? I want to pray for you so God can bless you and your family” I told him my name and he offered the two ten pesos coins but I told him to keep them. Some how my mood had changed. I no longer felt that heaviness in my heart that I had felt that morning. And when I pulled away I saw that he was driving a brown car that had been parked alongside my truck and he was filling up.

Goodness! To Give is to be Blessed! Because the day we die we take nothing. Everything is material and will rott away just like our corpses. It’s our soul that needs to feel good for what we do, not for what we have or what we can take.  I am blessed.  I am not rich, but because of the love that I have from my family I am richer than anyone and this is something that no thief can take away.