I just finished posting a new blog to my page. I’ve lost myself so much in the endeavor that I have forgotten to eat. My stomach now ever so unkindly reminds me of my folly.
I get up from my oh-so comfortable chair, its afternoon now and the birds have stopped singing. When did this happen? I walk towards the kitchen as my stomach edges me on. My silent and bare apartment is a peaceful yet subtle reminder to the fact that it’s Sunday. I reach the kitchen and open the fridge. As expected not much there. I sigh realizing that soon I will have run out of food. I would run to the supermarket and buy some groceries but between rent, utilities, unforeseen charges (like a parking ticket….on a state vehicle) and little net income my funds are nonexistent. I look up, a welcome yet familiar sight. I grab the romaine noodles and
my trusty Faberware sauce pan. It’s still dirty from yesterday’s romaine noodle dinner. A good wash should fix that.
As I now wait for the water in the pot to start boiling, my ears capture the song of a mockingbird. I open the blinds and look out my second floor apartment window in hopes of catching a glimpse of the singer. Yet all I see are the two story high Great Myrtles and people strolling by in their perfectly conditioned isolation mobiles also known as cars. Water is about to boil so I start to prepare my noodles. The plasticky sound the wraps make reminds me of how cheap this meal really is. Tears begin to fill my eyes as I slip the noodle blocks in the now boiling water. It’s hard to imagine not being able to eat much. Even harder when you realize you’re in this alone. I drop in the seasoning. I actually love the smell of the chicken noodle seasoning. I guess after a while you get used to the taste. My mind accepts the fact that, after all. I’m just a poor college student. I open the fridge and pour myself a nice self-made tea beverage as the realization of what I just had the nerve to say (in my head) hits me.
Poor? Did I really just say I was poor? I take a step back and asses my situation. Hot roman noodle in a pot ready for my consumption only to be followed by a nice cool tea; dripping with quenching sweet flavor. I open the fridge to see that, in spite of its empty appearance, there are still some eggs and other items that I can whip into something eatable and healthy. My environment is air conditioned and protected from a harsh Florida exterior. And even though my food consumption may not be as frequent and or as substantial as my contemporaries, the fact remains; I have food and I’m alive.
I take my now finished soup delight to my room. On the way I pass by my now awake roommate who is attentively watching the Euro cup on His nice TV. I am reminded that I am, in a sense; surrounded by affluence.
I enter the room and I close the door behind me. I’m not really interested in the cup this year, but my thoughts are still reeling from the image of me calling myself poor when in fact I’m rich. I sit at my desk where my blog page stares back at me. I may not be as smart or as educated as some, but the fact remains; I ameducated. How many people around the world can say that? With my current level
of education I am amongst the top 8% in the world. That means 92% of people worldwide can’t say that they have what I have. So really, who is poor? Who truly is poor? I go a few meals without eating and my stomach growls. So what? There are those who go days, weeks, and even months without food or shelter. I look at my boot cut blue jeans and my large white “muscle maker” shirt. I’m clothed. I’m clean. I take a sip of my tea. It’s cold. It’s clean. I’m not poor. I may be uncomfortable but I’m not poor. My folly is my pride. I want to have what everyone else has. I want the car, the exuberant meals, the flashy toys, etc. but what I don’t readily realize is that I don’t need all of those things. And that in spite of its “humble” appearance, I have been provided for.
I smile because I realize, not only am I not poor, but I’m not alone.
Juan Castillo Jr.