Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More coffee, please

I am not operating at full efficiency, despite the amount of coffee I've drunk. The festivals are over and I need to move to the next thing. I need to fill out a form for an auction donation, like I said I would. I need to deposit last weekend's take. I need to organize my financial records. I need to clean...

It's bad when I'm too busy for happy hour. I don't want to live in a world where I'm too busy for happy hour.

My mind is spinning again. Sell the action figures. Reduce clutter. Read. Learn all the things you keep dancing around -- words, lighting, mortgages. Pay the auto insurance bill. Sleep.

On the walk to work from the water taxi, I've been approached by different men asking me for money. This has happened at least 3 times in the last week, more if you count the evenings. I don't give them any and I don't like it. I think back to the 3 days this weekend I spent in a 100 degree tent trying to sell my work. I think of all the nights I've matted prints, or spent Sunday mornings editing photos. Or, you know, the job I'm walking to. They see the coffee cup in my hand and I suppose they assume I will feel guilty for having so much when they have so little. An easy mark. Maybe I am too hard, but I don't feel guilty about it at all, just irritated. And tired.

I do struggle some because I know we're all just one medical emergency away from losing everything. But the men who are trying to tell me their sad story on the street are perfectly fine. At least they are fine enough to communicate and walk.

I guess that's just part of living in a city. They have the freedom to ask and I have the freedom to say no. Although I do wonder what it'll be like when the sun sets at 4pm and I'm a woman walking alone to the bus at night... this area is about as sketchy as where I used to work, but here there are a lot more pockets of isolation.

I hate that I am even thinking about this.


KermitFan said...

Your observations are completely normal -- I've thought about the panhandling issue often as I've said "no" as politely as possible and moved on my way. I feel the same way you do: why should I go to work everyday and "slave away" at the office to earn my pay, and then give my money to people on the street who are not necessarily willing to get up and go to work for their money too? It's not fair. Life isn't fair. But I'm not going to feel guilty for earning my way through life instead of trying to live off of the fortune of others...

Christy said...

I appreciate that. I know you've shared with me some of your personal experiences on this topic. I guess I just feel weird about feeling irritated. Does that make sense? Like I should feel something different. Compassion? Nope. I think it's because I believe these men just want to take advantage of my goodwill and I see through it. People who legitimately need help? That's still a different story. Guess my heart isn't completely cold and dead yet.