I am always aware of what I can’t afford.
I can’t afford a dentist or a doctor, can’t afford a lawyer. I can’t afford a new computer, can’t afford new boots, the old ones will do.
But that stuff, well, that’s just the obvious external bits. The reason I can’t afford those is because of the other things I learned I can’t afford.
I can’t afford to care what others think. If I want any breath at all, it’s the relationship between me and my creator.
I can’t afford to make easy us versus them assumptions. I live in the battleground between the gangs, both them and us, and have to not do onto others what would be hateful to do to me, assume they are less than a unique indvidual.
I can’t afford to throw pain and hurt back into the faces of people who hurt me. It doesn’t build connection, only affirms their expectations. Their choices may be about them and their fears, and not about me, but it’s me who has to take the pounding.
I can’t afford to stop just because I feel pain. Nobody can afford to engage my pain.
I can’t afford to express my nature. The costs are higher than the return.
I can’t afford to expect anyone else to understand. I’m in a place that’s not on the map for most people, and the others in places like this are paddling so hard against the pounding waves of stigma that they don’t have time and space for me.
I can’t afford to take the everday abuse of normative assumptions. My skin is just too bruised and abraded by now.
I can’t afford to desire anything. Desire is the process that society uses to control and manipulate.
Money, well, it’s what money always is: just the scorecard for what we get or lose.
It is what I can’t afford that is the barrier between me and hope.