30 October 2006

not poor

I had one of those terrible moments today in which I went to the atm and got money out and got a receipt (usually I don't, because I don't want to know) and the number on it was so shockingly low that I went into a little panic because I live in New York where a bedroom the size of a king-sized bed is $925 a month. I wondered once again why I am in law school. I can't afford this law school thing. Only corporate lawyers can afford it. I wanted to say, "I'm too poor for law school!"

Then I remembered that a few weeks ago I was talking to a friend online and I said, "I'm so poor right now." and this friend, in Africa, said, "Please don't say you are poor. Say you are broke."

I'm not poor; I'm broke.

This summer, I saw a little girl in a white t-shirt and a red skirt skipping down the street near my office in Liberia, positively blazing with joy over the 10 Liberian dollars clutched in her fist. 17 cents is one ice cream cone or two bags of plantain chips or four peanut cookies or six fried dough balls. She was so obviously feeling very rich.

If she isn't poor, I suppose I don't get to be, either. But I am still pretty broke.

No comments: