Monday, March 12, 2012

Not a Have-Not

Someday baby,
we'll bust out of this town
we'll blow so hard
we'll nearly knock the walls down

We'll come up against ropes
and cut them, each one
then, baby dear
we'll head back to the sun

We'll be rich in the rumba
dance merengue for bread
have-nots here in this world
in that world,

well-fed.



I am riding my bike in the rain, trying to save a few bucks on gas and parking permits. I'm riding through a pretty lane filled with overgrown permaculture gardens and houses finely painted in the latest hip tri-colors -- the kind of neighborhood I'd live in if i had my 'druthers and could pick not based on economics. I'm looking at the happy bouncy kids coming home from school in their safe, dry Volvos and Subarus as i'm wiping a drooly mix of rain and leaf-slop off my helmet.

I dream for a minute about seeing my own daughter running up the path of that beautiful garden yard, its Dr. Suess trees and blueberries so inviting. I get jealous. Then in my head's this monologue, one sentence long.

"I am not a have-not, I am not a have-not," the words drifting through my mind in time with the pedaling. It gets harder to do so now, the hill starting to slope upward, not in my wet favor.

"I...am...not...ahave...not," i go on, not missing the irony of the fact that it gets harder to convince myself of this sentence as the slop continues and the hill climbs. I feel a bit stunned that i am starting to think i'm enough of a have-not that this monologue creeps in. I should know better, what with the traveling i've done all my life and that i KNOW there are many, many who suffer far worse than me. Food. Clothing. Shelter. Free education. Health care. I have these things -- far more than many people.
I've seen 'em. I know 'em. But i still need convincing i guess.

So this poem is part that, and part my lament about how i keep going back and forth about moving out of this country. Most of you can imagine a reason or two to get out of these United Sad-States at the present time; me, I keep kickin' the tires on that idea because of 1. the experience for my child and 2. the experience for me and 3. the overall reduced cost of living anywhere I'd pick.

What with the added benefit of the sultry Caribbean air and the dancing, i should find myself downright rich, never again pedaling and having to remind myself so pitifully with that monologue. I may not have that pretty tri-colored house, but i am still not a have-not.

3 comments:

Jack said...

I won't bother her, I won't, I won't, I won't! Okay, just once. I never know how serious you are about things, but sometimes you seem to need an encouraging word to get over that next hill, and being a quiet fan, I sometimes can't resist the urge to give it to you, especially after your post has been up for a while, and no one seems to care. So, make what you will of this:

We live in a mobile home... in a park. It's a nice one (double-wide, skylight, fireplace, the works), but it's also the punchline of American housing. Our grandkids have cousins and the other grandparents who basically worship money, and are loaded. They all love to come over here, and often tell us how much they like our house; what 10-year old does that, right? All of them live in homes that make this place seem like transient housing, so what's the attraction? It has to be the love they feel in here, right? Children know things, and they don't try to shade them, they say what they feel. Measure your wealth by standards other than coin of the realm, and you might find you have more than you think.

As to leaving the U.S., I've gathered from your posts that you have some experience in these exotic locales, which is the huge stumbling block that stops most people from taking those big steps. With the big half the battle behind you, look seriously at it. Do the research, evaluate it realistically, and if it will serve your needs (and that of Li'l Vulcan, of course) do it! My wife's shrink once told her, "If you aren't happy with the situation you're in, change it!" Sage advise from a professional... No charge to old friends.

Sarah Fox said...

Love. this. in so many ways. it sums up something i often find difficult to put into words. thanks.

Nico said...

Thanks guys! @Jack - you know you're welcome at this virtual doorstep anytime -- how could i unwelcome such a positive, affirming fan? haha