Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pink Houses for You and Me

I remember in college how hungry I used to be. I had a couple of bucks one time so I got a salad which was sold by the weight. I barely had enough to pay for it but damn it was a good salad. That was the only time I was able to afford to eat at that college.
I was so happy to get accepted there, I did everything I could to go. I was a single mother and I desperately wanted, dreamed, and lusted after a better life. Against all the odds, I thought I could make it.
I took an overprice apartment in a good neighborhood for 99 dollars more than my monthly welfare income. I transferred my case from the small town I lived in to the city of St. Paul, MN. The first thing I found out after a month into my classes was that I wasn't approved for daycare. I needed a thirty hour a week job to get approved. I cried on the bus ride back from the appointment with the state. My future that included no low income housing and food shelves vanished. I dropped out of college and stayed on welfare in order to live. Well that's that story.
My life had high points and low points since then. I was definitely at t a low for a minute there (like the last two years). I met the wrong people, trusted them and my dumb ass is where I am, but I consider this a blessing. It sobered me up. Am I gonna be sober from now on? I can't say. But I am right now.
Yesterday (Memorial Day) all us Oglala Lakotas gathered with each other and prayed. We remembered our families on the outside. It was a hard day for all of us so we stuck by each other. Some of the girls lost parents while on the inside. It was hard.
We ate good for the weekend, though(because of the holiday). Bacon cheeseburgers, broccoli and cheese, salad, fresh fruit salad, onion rings, cheese sticks and Hershey's ice cream pie form Burger King. I was like screw the diet, this is what I worked out for. I was stuffed, stuffed. AS I walked the track I listened to my friend Tuck's headphones. Pink Houses by John Cougar Mellencamp was playing. I thought back to those days when I tried to go to college to make a better life for myself. How I could cut the bad part of the veggies, pull chicken meat from the left over chicken to make some kind of stir fry for my kids and I. I thought of how hungry I was in school. How jealous I was of the younger kids in school with their parent's credit cards.
I listened to Cougar Mellencamp sing, I was so full I walked the yard a couple of miles, the weather was nice, the razor wire was even sparkling. Here I was full, committing gluttony in prison. The govt fed me but I'm locked in. On the outs, they fed me a dream. Ain't that America, for you and me. Ain't that America, little pink houses for you and me.