On Getting By

Some mornings I stand alone, my feet finding ground where I am standing.  I take in the air, I listen to the sounds of the morning in Bel-Air.  Tall trees, one-lane, two-way highway in the background, birds stringing their songs in nests.  Rocamadour is in school, and I have gotten to work.  So, our day has begun.

I check in with Sara, see if she needs anything before I wash the dishes & put laundry in the washer.  I’ve started to run the water & my mind also starts running.  Doing simple math in my head; total income this week, minus car insurance, minus gas, minus phone bill, minus a random and unplanned take-out meal because my house is too far to drive to get food before I get to class –oh yeah, minus school fees.  Minus, minus, rarely ever plus.

I began to figure out the hours I need to work, the perfect schedule to make ends meet.  I think about the $500 needed to file my paperwork for a work permit and I…just…can’t.  I gotta cover the basics first and then worry about the rest.  But a work permit would make things so much easier, but I can’t afford it and honestly, days pass and the job I need doesn’t come up.  I’ve told people my afternoons are free.  I got shit to pay, I gotta carry some cash on me, you never know.  The car started making a noise and I’m afraid to see what it is this time.

Sometimes, I wish I lived in a different place, a different society.  I want to be in the middle of a green, green valley with clear skies and a lake to look at.  A school that is walking distance for Roca, a job that doesn’t require me driving for an hour and a half every morning in traffic.  A teacher for my son that understands his sense of perception, someone willing to teach him about life in a classroom while I’m out trying to find purpose in a job that pays the bills.  I check my bank account balance every other day, every expense eats up a good chunk always leaving less.


Most days I stay calm, I know somehow things always work out.  But throughout the day I’m found trying to plan out the month, see where I can take from, where I need to bring in more.

Rocamadour’s sleeping breathing frequency soothes me at the end of the day.  His hair is growing, it points everywhere.  Every morning it’s a battle he doesn’t want to wear gel but I can’t send him off to school with those sea urchin hairs.  I’ve been rubbing a special moisturizing cream, it’s helping with his dry skin.  He’s growing taller, lengthy legs spread out in his Superman bed.  He’s worth everything I do, everything I need to do.  Building takes guts, living is a brave thing to do.




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