<HONEA EXPRESS: I Thought I Was Money, Ergo I am Spent
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Monday, September 24, 2007

I Thought I Was Money, Ergo I am Spent

I've been in something of a funk lately. I wouldn't call it a depression, I've been there and this isn't it. I'm just not content, financially speaking.

It's funny. They say you shouldn't talk about religion or politics with people. I talk about those all the time, when I have someone that will talk about them that is. My stance on both is pretty out in the open and I've discussed them enough here, besides, they aren't my problem, at least not directly.

No, the topic that makes people uncomfortable is money. I hate talking about it. The thing is, I'm so broke that I can't think of anything else. I can't even afford to go to the store and buy a few of the things that we really need because my check got sent out a week too late. I don't even care that I don't have bottled water, I want bread and milk. Besides, if the dogs can drink from the toilet, then so too can the boys.

I can only sit here and stare at the mailbox and wonder when. When will my money be here that will cover bills past due and the fees of an overcharged bank account? When will my boys realize that having graham crackers and hot chocolate for breakfast isn't a result of good behavior, but a consequence of empty cupboards?

I missed out on something that I wanted to do over the weekend. I said it was because of a babysitting problem, and that's true. The problem was that I couldn't afford one.

Why am I looking sideways at 40 and my pockets are as empty as they were twenty years ago? Yes, I have things now that I didn't then. I have a mortgage, student loan payments, children, taxes and the business end of a line of credit. I've done my part to feed the machine that is our economy, yet it leaves my children hungry. It leaves me hollow.

I actually make more now than I have in years. I work nearly 60 hours a week to make it happen, but those hours are in my home, and that makes them all the easier. My wife, on paper, makes a decent wage as well. Where does it all go?

We don't nickel and dime, not really. Sure, we buy the occasional this or that, but for the most part we buy gas and groceries and sit home at night drinking cheap wine and watching basic cable. We're simple folk.

I'm supposed to go to a party tonight at Anthony's. I don't know if I will. I've been fighting a cold and might use that as an excuse, and it would be true, or I might blame Heroes, which would be all the truer. Or I might just sit here and stare out the window wishing for a way out while watching my boys running, joyfully oblivious to our plight.

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