The last time I got a parking ticket was when I was still struggling to make ends meet. As I ripped it violently off my window, I growled out, “Why are you trying to fuck with me?”
I’m usually a very calm person. But there’s something particularly upsetting about being broke.
It’s not the constant juggling act of which bills to pay immediately, which to save for next pay period, and which to let go to collections.
It’s not the constant scare of walking around without health insurance.
It’s not the inevitability of unforeseeable setbacks that will guarantee you never get caught up.
It’s not any of the numerous ways in which being broke limits your options. It’s that always living with limited options gives you a persecution complex.
These experiences make you feel like a victim. To have enough to survive and yet never feel like your head is above water makes you begin believing that the world is trying to toy with you. Your circumstances start to feel like your identity, so any inconvenience becomes an insult.
This mindset is an involuntary response to the situation. Cynicism, apathy and anger are the coping mechanisms of the dispossessed.
And I was just pissed because I was overqualified for the job I was working. I’ve barely waded my feet in the deep waters of class oppression. So I can’t even imagine how disenfranchised I would feel if I thought I would be stuck in wage-labor for the rest of my life.