I used to say that I didn’t value money
I always had it, spent it, made rent without a sweat
I paid the bill, chose the nicest red by the glass
They knew my first name at my favourite stores
We both knew they liked my credit card
But it’s nice when they know you.
I am grateful for every dime in my car change tray
I am grateful for every morsel of food on my plate
I eat it all
I am grateful when I have enough money to buy propane
To have a hot shower at my cabin
The other day I had 60 bucks to last me three days
I bought groceries
Opted out of a shower
Fought with a Coleman stove from the sixties
For 45 minutes on my deck in hopes of a coffee
but when I had a coffee two days later—I won
I’m a cushioned and privileged broke
I know my mother won’t let me starve
I’m also too proud to ask for help
I’d rather eat oats and deli meat
Remind myself what it takes
Being broke is okay
There is some of us who have big houses
That are empty
With seats where love has never been made
Shirts without wrinkles
China in cabinets
That has never been eaten on
With no company worth having
to share it with
Record collections of a king
Listened to alone
Because they’ve worked their life away
And for what?
A pension? Early retirement? So your father smugly approves?
F*ck his approval.
Work to work to work to die.
These people are the real peasants
I’ll take freedom over a pension any day
Where are my stocks?
Remove the t
and then you’ll find them in the first drawer.
Where are my investments?
In this leather-bound notebook
In this prolific soul
In that man’s smile
My freedom lies here
With my broke ass
Sleeping in my car by the ocean
Showering in salt for two days
Because my only source of income
Is renting my bed for a night
It’s worth it
Look at this view!
I can afford to have an aching back from sleeping in a car
Keep your pension
These experiences make me rich.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photos: courtesy of the author