From a blog called killermartinis, a stark account of living in poverty:
… Rest is a luxury for the rich. I get up at 6 AM, go to school (I have a full course load, but I only have to go to two in-person classes) then work, then I get the kids, then I pick up my husband, then I have half an hour to change and go to Job 2. I get home from that at around 12:30 AM, then I have the rest of my classes and work to tend to. I’m in bed by 3. This isn’t every day, I have two days off a week from each of my obligations. I use that time to clean the house and soothe Mr. Martini and see the kids for longer than an hour and catch up on schoolwork. Those nights I’m in bed by midnight, but if I go to bed too early I won’t be able to stay up the other nights because I’ll fuck my pattern up, and I drive an hour home from Job 2 so I can’t afford to be sleepy. I never get a day off from work unless I am fairly sick. It doesn’t leave you much room to think about what you are doing, only to attend to the next thing and the next. Planning isn’t in the mix…
Read the whole piece. It’s as if someone said “Just the facts, ma’am,” and the blogger said OK, here goes, and what came out was an artfully plain explanation of why poverty often feels like quicksand — the more you struggle against it, the deeper it sucks you in.
The headline is “Why I make terrible decisions,” but the piece illustrates how hard it is not to make terrible decisions when none of your options is good. The best you can do is choose the option that seems less bad than the others. When you’re poor, this is the same thing as high-stakes gambling.
But it looks like the story might not end on a grim note. Another blogger apparently read the killermartinis post and said, damn, maybe I can help drag this woman onto solid ground. So the other blogger apparently established an online fund to help pay to have KM’s teeth fixed. Check it out.
And it seems KM’s “terrible decisions” piece may have caught the eye of a literary agent.
All of this seems to be on the up-and-up, although the cynic in me is always suspicious of Frank Capra-esque plot twists. Again, check it out.