the view from here

incidental dreams and other musings.....


Saint Petersburg, Florida, somewhere, over the rainbow
December 05
the everything girl
please wipe your feet first
still breathing every day the last time I had it checked..


Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 13, 2011 1:59PM

The Food Bank Line

Rate: 44 Flag

 White fog hung down low hugging the river valley reaching upwards towards the mountaintops.Vast deep china blue sky cradled the new autumn colors peeping from the giant hardwoods. Cool wind licked my bare ankles walking across the church parking lot.Deep breaths of fresh air swelled my lungs as I headed for the heavy glass double doors and the slick stainless steel handle. I walked in the door to the white Formica counter.   “Sign in please, here’s the notebook”  An elderly balding man speaks from behind a monitor. He slides a clip board my way. The tiny beaded chrome chain holding the pen dances in tinkling spasms.  “I recognize you. You’ve been here before..??  I nod and head for one of the hard plastic molded chairs.    

Swooshing sounds as the door closes and a hunched man limps in. The green cloth billed cap has a dark sweat stain peaking over the bright yellow letters spelling out John Deere Tractors. One twisted foot gives him some obvious grief as he holds the arm of his plump short battered wife. Both faces show a life time of equal parts sun wrinkles and hard work. Both share deep sunken eye pits with a glinted set of dark brown eyes. The wife helps him to a identical molded plastic chair as the one already bringing a sharp ache to my lower back. He sits down heavily and she signs the page below my name.    

Two over weight twenty something women come in, five tots all featuring saggy diapers and plump bodies. One makes a grab at the others blue plastic truck. Screams echo in the white walled church reception area. I try not to stare at the broken teeth of the women grabbing up tots and sticking them into more chairs. I keep trying to cover my own with my lips...  

 I glance down at my wrist and decide it’s going to be at least thirty minutes before the food boxes are ready. My back is screaming and I can’t keep sitting. I head down the hall into the clothing store. I can at least look at the clothing and scattered household items.   A black marker scrawl says Bag sale. $1.00 buys a Ingle’s grocery store bag full.  I don’t have any dollars.....    

I walk in anyway. I had never went into the clothing store.  It’s a madhouse. Too many circular racks hold too many winter clothes. The large room is jammed tight with too many shoppers. Snot nosed children whine unseen. Large bodied woman and a few men peruse the clothing, jerking warm winter clothing off the thin wire hangers and stuffing them into the bags held together with heavy purses and diaper bags. They keep their eyes all looking down at the clothing.. All the white and pink mottled flesh speaks of a diet full of starches and grease soaked protein. I gag and decide some fresh air will do the trick.

I head back up the hall and straight through the double doors again. There is one stand of beauty by the pavement’s edge. A large tall stand of bright yellow sunflowers reaching upwards bobbing heads from the breeze. Two elderly women grunt climbing from the faded plastic seats of a still oily smelling smokey Ford sedan beside the flowers. One grabs a broken straw hat to cover her hair. The wind caught it anyway and the stiff hair-sprayed curls moved faintly. She tied the dirty white cord tight and gave out a sigh...  The other woman grabbed a walker from the open trunk and wheeled into the church. The wafting smell of heavy perfume and old clothes did little to ease my now upset stomach and tortured lower back...

 Bye bye, American Pie.. The dreams all died..

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Yesterday's diary entry.
A true story of the real world.
Awesome Neighbor. Looking forward to the next installment!
There you have it neighbor. A large helping of my 'piece of PIE'...
This should be EP/Cover shit Mis, but it won't be. Emily has picked out her "Favs list" as they all do sooner or later, but it will get read by the people who count. Your friends and the people who know what you write is true!
Friends. Do you have enough? Write and be paid. I'd buy. Its like poetry- not actual prose.

Dear God, I hope there was embellishments- a whole lot.

Regardless Scanner, it speaks for itself well.
Id say thanks for keeping "it" real but also for lifting us up to see a real that is so unlike the waves that are rolling in under a light fog today, where each house is down from two million to 1.3, and the golf is much better up north at Pebble Beach too. Sure are hard times all over.
Maybe I'll win the lotto too Mango.
If I can ever afford a ticket...
Ah Snow. A piece of my pie for you too.
Too, too real, unfortunately . . . I know how true this is . . .
More and more know this refrain I'm afraid wise Owl.
Too many of us....
And yet you keep me on your list...I would love if you were here working with me, realizing a job is a gift right now in this economy. I feel horrible for whining about my troubles when they could be SO much worse. I wish I could fix it for you....
I care about many here LL.
And when we can't fix the world, we can remember the people we know who have even more grief than our own....
I wish you strength to hold it together until things improve.
I admit not holding my breath till they do Keri.
oh dear mission. such beautiful writing about such sadness.
Nothing but straight descriptive prose Monkey.
That's all...
This was so amazingly written. Half way through, I checked the bottom hopeing it would say fiction. You did a wonderful job making us see. I wish it was fiction for all. Take care.r
No, not fiction Hugs.
yesterday morning bright and early.
The faces haunt me still. I'm glad this is written clearly enough for you to see them, too.
This is the haunting truth to what reality is for so many across the country. Though the setting may be in Appalachia, it could take place in any town in America. I wish you all the luck I can muster, Suzy.

The latest poverty statistics are out from the latest Census and they ain't good.

The worst part of this is the heartlessness in the comments section of this report from CNN. Naturally, they blame poverty on the poor's unwillingness to better themselves. I hope those people choke on their money.

And Congrates on the EP! Very well deserved.
Thanks for the well informed comment Michael. And also thanks for the editing work you did too friend. We should all pause for a moment of grief at what our country has indeed become.
Third world ranking....
The same back to ya Trilogy.
God, Mission, it's so hard...I feel so helpless. We are all so close to the circular racks with the winter clothes.
Too many of us know this all too well Linnn. And many live in some strange land of denial to admit the truth.
Poignantly presented, striking observations of the realities. May life start looking up for all of us, Mission.
If I hear the words that the recovery is right around the corner again Fusun, my head will explode....
That is right up there with telling the kids in the backseat that the ride ends at the top of the next hill..
So sad. I wish someone was nearby who could really help you.
I am just one face in a sad sea of many Miguel.
I sincerely apologize for butchering your name Miguela...
This is a striking piece of writing, Mission. Well done and unfortunately all too real. I was hoping the tags would say "fiction." Congratulations on a well deserved EP. ~r
A sad and beautifully written story Mission.
I wrote nearly all this after being at the food bank Joan.
I wrote the very best descriptive prose I could wrangle trying to describe both the beauty of the morning and the faces of the people with me. My brothers and sisters. The children.
US!! WE!!...the POOR!!!
Does any one out there see US??
Who are we to all the world out there??
We are just as human as the rest....
Even though I admit getting these comments, I don't think anyone sees the purpose of this entire piece.
I am one face of the poor.
One in a sea. And so help me, we are drowning in the seas of 'so sorrys' and BS.
I am doing my best to put human faces in the blanks every calls poor and 'poverty stricken....
My advise to you Steven to to go early to a local food bank and see what real poor people look like.
who knows?? My face may be there too
A well-written slice of life that many see and more need to know about.
Thanks for sharing the hungry truth.
I want some empathy and understanding Scarlett, for not me but the masses of the poor.
For having SNAP benefits is an admission that you do not have enough income to keep either yourself or dependents fed.
And having to visit a food bank to keep your belly full.
It is a sad time for so many out there. Not just me at all...
OMG. What are we doing to this country, to each other...
"The tiny beaded chrome chain holding the pen dances in tinkling spasms."

Nice line!
All I can do is feed all the children I can possibly feed and make sure those with less get more than those with so much. I wish I had an answer, no one who can enact change gives a damn. The ones who care don't know where to start..
When I complain/whine about not having a place of my own to live in and my meager Disability check that isn't even close to $800, the cost of my drugs, gasoline, etc., a friend will say, you should go to the Pantry (community food bank). I don't go, I make do with my bit of money and my scrap of food stamps because there are others in this affluent community that are worse off than me.

I do have a roof, even though it isn't mine, over my head. Though this affluent community would tell me I'm wrong, I know there are others who don't. I wish your story wasn't true and I wish these presidential wannabes would quit telling me I can take care of myself so I should shut up and stop taking money out of the pockets of millionaires. I truly wish I lived closer so I could give you some of what I have.

(The Pantry here doesn't charge for the clothing though.)

I was guided here from the Facebook page where this was featured by Joan H.
LL, as a poor child growing up, I still remember the kind women giving me all I could eat. God bless you all. When I thought of angels while young, I thought of those women behind the counters dishing out good food for me.
What are we doing to this country Shelia?? The economy is flushed down the toilet and the politicians act like middle schoolers riding the school bus shooting spit wads at each other while lining their personal bank accounts with more money...
Nice comment Pro!
I sincerely hope you do not ever have to go Pastvoices.
Yet I did and know not if I will ever have to visit again.
I expect I will if I have to. Eating is eating.
I will throw a shout out here of thanks to Joan H....
I was there rummaging through clothes a few times as a young single mom, stayed in a woman's center and was frightened all night laying my baby next to me and staying awake all night, on guard. I will never forget it. I feel fortunate I made it out so far, but I know it can happen to anyone. Hope things begin to turn for you and all of the folks who need it.
The thing is Rita, that NOTHING points to any future of wealth for anyone except a smaller and smaller handful percentage wise people who are increasing Real personal income. That has been in decline in this country for years and years. I expect a long brutal winter for many more than usual in the coming months....
God I'm glad you're here, Mission. I'm so glad you can write like this.
I suspect somewhere a CEO is guzzling champagne singing "I'm Proud To Be An American" from his well appointed office. Doncha just wish we could see film of one getting his teeth knocked out by a fly ball at a game?

The power brokers of this country make Charles Manson look like an amateur. The shame belongs to the filthy, the blood is on their hands. How much evil will they spread before they're satisfied? How many food lines before the greedy are full?
Mission: I never got the impression at all that this was just for you. The hungry truth is the truth of many as you show here.
I'm glad I'm here too Kim dear. At least I can use my writing to give a voice to many who cannot speak out for themselves...
Good direction of anger Blue. You say it well.
Saying exactly what I mean is hard sometimes Scarlett by typing out letters. I thought I made a good reply to the hungry truth and apologize fiercely it if seems like a personal attack to you at all.
Mission: I didn't percieve it as an attack at all. Not need to apologize at all. I wasn't sure if what I wrote to you came through, so I was just clarifying. Computers have no tonal qualities when we speak with our words. It's all good, Mission. ;
Suzanne ~ the type of problems taking place in this country at this time are of a magnitude I never imagined happening in my earlier years. When you consider all of the resources this country has it is a disappointment that we're in such bad shape.
Monkey said it. Such lyrical description, such a despairing picture. Bye bye, pie, indeed. Heartbreaking, Mission.
Sad thing to type, isn't it John. Our country has bit the dust.
Whatever form it is in now, the past is gone. Dust in the wind.
I fear the future most of all. For us all. Yet it is the small and weak we must all protect. For they will suffer the most during this time....
I'm a tough old bat made outta leather Matt with a head hard as a rock to boot.
Yet there was something horrible to me at this place. Those faces of the people struggling.....
I agree with the second commenter.
What a nice neighbor. What a Moon.
I recall this Harvest Moon. Golden.

You want to reach outward and kiss.
I mean kiss the Night sky and others.
TO NIGHT - Percy Bysshe Shelley -
Swiftly walk o'er the western wave.
Spirit of Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave,
Where all the lone and long daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear,
While make thee terrible and dear,-
Swift to thy flight!
Wrap thy form in mantle grey,

(there's more - google?)
I was happy to see Geeze94.
I have his signed book. Thanks.
I wish he'd share more. Thanks.
I do understand why folk leave.
I was bumped today`gin. Who?
Oh, never mind. Live and let be.
I'd rather let some folk just be.
It's sad to know some corrupt.
heir Spirit remain depraved.
But that's not our problem.
We can live and learn calm.
Where art thou beloved Tomorrow?
When young and old, and strong and weak,
Rich and poor, through joy and sorrows,
Thy sweet smiles we ever seek, -
In thy place - ah! well-a-day!
We find the things we fled - Today!
I almost forgot. I was viewed as homeless.
It was one wonderful complement in DC.

I watched an elderly woman cross the street.
She saw me, reached in her purse and shared.
She apologized that the coin was so very little.

I wander away from the vegetable vendor booth.
It's a habit to observe the diversity of urban people.
I mentioned that I wasn't in horrible straits. "I farm."
She filled with tears. We spoke awhile. I was touched.
I will never forget the encounter and Her words to me.

Last Thursday near the White House I was given a plate.
It was a paper plate with vegetables and rice from servers.
I ask if the Servers were from Myrian's Kitchen - Gleaners.

Gleaners pick up the extras after farm markets. Blessed be.
The Servers were from - Dorothy Day's Catholic Workers.
I asked: "Does the Catholic Worker Newspaper cost $0.01?"

She said: "Yup." I use to subscribe via mail in the seventies.
I may re-subscribe. It's a beautiful paper with print/poems.
I got a haircut. Granddaughter want PaPa's to look/kooky?
She showed me a wizard image on the cover of a child book.
I don't look like I am from K- Street. I ask: "Chop mop up."
That's to only mean - mean - Ya's get a bit of a hair/trim.
You jot down daily observations. You watch butterflies.
The First
Stars are peeking out and the moon is shining its glory over us all Art.
Trailers loaded with heavy round hay bales have rumbled by all day and over the past week.
Two fellars riding a tractor went by headed out to help dig a ditch yesterday. Screech owls cry early before first light.
Seasons changing fast right now and a big V of Geese landed yesterday on the river.
Oh Harvest Moon!!
May you show the way for us all.
God bless ya Art James...
You keep us well fed with these words of wisdom...Thank Ye...
Beautiful. Just beautiful. Cause its so damn TRUE! May that harvest moon I just saw shine on you.
Maybe I was a little premature, my wife told me that once, hah!
Just came in I hope the final time Chi Guy and the stars are shining bright for us all. The bright moon lights the silver path ahead for us all. Orion rises soon a sign cold is coming fast.

Ya a good friend Scanner. Terri knows you best dear...laughing...
Mission, your writing on this piece is so clear and true; ... just as is the reality of the day and the people you let us see. An absolutely masterful piece of writing.

Congratulations on the EP. Well deserved.
I had hoped you would get to see this Little Kate. TY for the kind words.

Me fingers are refusing to work anymore tonight. God bless us all.
Headed off to bed. I get up early...
Please feel free to continue to leave comments. I'll read and reply too them tomorrow...
Sleep well, friend. Rest and take care of you, okay?

Much love.
I am glad I am only reading this, and not standing in it as you are. Good to see you here, Mission, and wishing you well, it has been a while.
There are so many now Indelible Ink.
One in six of us 'poor' folk. The rising poverty level shows the true nature of where this country and so many are headed. In a downward spiral ever sinking into the morass of admitting their income will not keep them fed. The elderly. The single mothers, like your best friend. The sick and disabled like me. Yet attacking at a personal level is the new game in town. Personal blame, personal shame.
I slept like a worn out child Little Kate...
The grimy reality OB, continues to grind us all.
Gorgeous imagery, Mission. Such is our world. Rated.
You had me breathing it, smelling it, walking through it and needing to run out and breathe just about the same time you did. Bravo, if even under the pall of such a sad reality. My only consolation is that I'm motivated to try and improve whatever little corner of the world I can. Realizing, that while the rudder is obviously off the ship and the crew abandoned the passengers a long time ago, leaving a smiling blow-up captain in the wheelhouse, we may still avoid the rocks and come to rest in a better place.

Rated. Give us more.
I've never seen things as bad as they were when I left the United States two years ago.I'm not in any big rush to get back. Keep us posted.
I've never seen things as bad as they were when I left the United States two years ago.I'm not in any big rush to get back. Keep us posted.
Heartbreaking. Beautifully expressed by a truly caring person.
Very, very worthy EP . . .
I thank you for the kind comments.
'Tis a strange world we share Erica...
Samasiam, the boat is sinking. Rearranging the deck chairs helps none.
Lea, glad to see ya visit again.
Patrick, I'll do my best to keep all posted.
Owl, thanks for coming back.
The US becomes a third world country as more and more people are hungry. Your voice is an important reminder. But will those in power listen and act?
I say speaking out about problems is the way Hawley.
Whether or not world leaders listen is up to them.
with one out of six Americans living at or below the poverty level, someone needs to listen, for sure.
Thanks for writing about this. I hate that bad food is cheaper to get than good. I hate that poor people not only have to go hungry, but when they do eat they often have to eat crap that makes them even more uncomfortable and fat. I hate that kids are going through that. I hate that mothers are going through that. I hate that old people are going through that and I hate that people with disabilities are going through that. I would hate to be going through that. My heart goes out to you. So with my spare cash today, and there's not much, but some, I don't know whether to donate it to the flood victims in Pakistan or the homeless charity right here in my home town. This article makes me think I should give it to the people in my home town, because they'll get a bigger amount of it. Life is too cruel, it seems to me today, a lot of the time.
Wonderfully told. People don't realize how difficult it is to capture such a disheartening moment when it takes so much energy just endure it.

I heard some rich guy on the radio today mocking the idea of hope and change. "What's there to change? Mexico needs changing, not us!" He thought he was funny.
america has been here before. 1890's, 1930's, and now were the major disasters, several smaller ones along the way.

the american dream is pretty much that of the buyer of lottery tickets, some win, most don't.

if americans could afford to travel, they might visit more successful societies, the northern tier of europe would show that varieties and degrees of socialism are not only not fatal, they actually lead to better living for more people.

ignorance and inexperience lock them in thrall to lies, and the lies keep them quiet in the face of exploitation.
The so-called "American Dream" was created by the rich, for the rich, and of the rich to enrich themselves all the more. The Right Wing Wealthy Ruling Class, whether media CEOS or dukes and lords or aristocrats or corporate CEOs or monarchs or Wall Street bankers or members of government (after all, no one leaves Congress poor!) or movie stars, control the world for their benefit only. We, the people, are currently deemed expendable so that now the RWWRC is no longer holding back. It's going to be their way only which is "war forever". They chose guns over butter (the old economics argument), long ago, and unless one is really stupid, then one recognizes that our culture is saturated with war imagery, war "heroes", war media, and so on to promote their agenda. Be a trained killer! Join the American military!

The corrupt, immoral, unethical society the RWWRC has created will collapse under its own obscene weight as it's unsustainable. It's also a complicated, contrived, bullshit society focusing on profit and material things rather than preservation of all living things and our only home, Planet Earth. But such evil must and will end.

Besides, Mother Nature will have the last word. Personally, I think the future will be fewer and fewer humans attempting to survive between weather disasters!!
I can see it and smell it. You make my back hurt, and my heart.
This was really good. We don't have enough people speaking out on what it's like to be poor in America. Thank you.
Ah Mission, I'm so sorry for your ache. I'm sorry for the sea of aches.
Thank you Thank you. I needed to read this tonight. Peace.
Your my kind of neighbor...Cheers!