Breathing through a cigarette
Through a filter of smoke
A little girl, fingers curling nervously
Stands at her side
Eyes carefully empty
Except around the edges
Where she watches
Other boys with sullen eyes
Glaring through fringes turned into cowlicks
By damp palms shoving them up up and out of the way
Bikes half cocked
Ready to rock
Endlessly patrolling streets
They’ve got a home that they carefully return to
Going on 32
Ages are insignificant
The years roll by
Amount to nothing
Lessons learned early
What to avoid
What to hate
A world with nothing in it
But what you take
Work is for the entitled
Is for those with no name
Who live in a system that deals in shame
Shoves problems under a carpet and casts blame
On every other Government department
And we all nod and judge
Offer narrow advice
I see those 4 year old empty eyes
There must be another way
*An infinite loop in software programming means something that is set to code and then it just keeps repeating
Is that it will never go away
Until something fundamental changes
A few weeks ago, an 11 year old aboriginal girl took her own life, she had been repeatedly raped for most of her sad little childhood
Violence and abuse is endemic in the more isolated communities
Probably everywhere really
I wouldn’t know, I live an entitled life, whereby I live with purpose and passion and continue to grow and learn and expand my knowledge
Some people are never given even a glimpse of hope and happiness
The idea that their lives could be big and broad and wonderful simply never enters into their heads
*I wrote this two weeks ago and didn’t post – I don’t know why, it didn’t have a happy ending perhaps
This afternoon on a completely different agenda my path crossed with those “sullen eyed boys”
Who I was with might have made all the difference – faces wreathes in smiles they settled in around her like birds, all talking at once
An extraordinary story
An extraordinary woman
I can’t wait to bring you her story Issue 4 – next month. Some times I pinch myself as to my life right now as it feels like it is turning inside out. The gold was on the lining, all the time.
6 thoughts on “The infinite loop”
My god Kate this brings a tear to the eye! I too am entitled.
Good! It means we are able to help by asking “how would you like me to help?” If the right people. 😘
Entitled. I’ve been thinking about that word since reading your work. That’s an interesting and loaded word. Since it always seems to be associated with money. The accepted use of it in my country seems to mean poor people are entitled to more and and rich people to less, though somehow the opposite is the reality–according to the narrative. It has both the connotation that if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you are “entitled.” But there is also the connotation that if you were born poor, you are “entitled” to what other people have. And if you feel entitled, here these days in the US, you are likely possessed of collective guilt since there are few actually living guilty people. But of course, it has meaning not attached to money: allowed , authorized , deserved , deserving , desirable , due , earned , eligible , empowered , fit , having the right , justified. Interesting it means “earned” when to some here it’s come to mean just the opposite. It’s become a political word which is too bad. It implies relative materialism and short cuts a word that should be so much broader. WE’re all entitled to some things that have nothing to do with social constructs or guilt or lack. Or we are entitled to nothing –any of us — which is probably closer to the truth. I’m not certain if it applies to anyone on the planet or everyone. I guess that’s because I don’t believe as much in circumstances at face value since they so rarely can be qualified as “good” or “bad”–it’s impossible tell since all circumstances are linked together in a gigantic chain. One leading to the next. Nothing is inherently good or bad. Not sure how it applies in this universe or the next where parallel lives exist according to physics and where one’s circumstances are possibly entirely different. Or we exist not at all. It’s one of those words that tends to divide when it shouldn’t. And implies people don’t “help” when I’ve found them to more often do the opposite. Bottom line: there seems to be no way to end discrimination and entitlement or lack of it where money is concerned WITHOUT discrimination and perpetuating the fatal flaws in the human condition. Which is ineffably sad. However, there is no limit to people who are willing to help. I hope.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment Lyn. I absolutely agree that we earn our entitlement to wealth by hard work. However, I didn’t earn who I was born to, where I went to school or even the concept that I could do whatever I wanted in life. My parents and my upbringing gave me those things for which I am intensely grateful. It’s like I simply began a race so far ahead of some of the other kids that were born at the same time and of course there were plenty ahead of me too.
We can’t control our starting blocks in life but we can be aware of them and reach out a hand to others where we can and help them. I don’t have any guilt for where I am but I do have a great deal of gratitude. I am fortunate so I try and help others instead of ignoring them – especially the kids, some people can’t even extend a smile. I always have one of those at the very least.
So well written again Kate but devastating, the part about the change in faces gives me a tiny bit of hope, look forward to her story.
I think we have to stop relying on systems and return to people helping people. It’s the only way that works.