Skip to main content

Love the Money, Hate the Poor

Paul Lojeski: Outside the grocery store he came up slow but steady, an old man (as old as me), wearing hard times on his wrinkled, scarred face. In a dirty army jacket and beat-up Yankees’ cap pulled tight over long, gray hair he asked me for money.

View image | gettyimages.com

Outside the grocery store he came
up slow but steady, an old man
(as old as me), wearing hard times
on his wrinkled, scarred face. In
a dirty army jacket and beat-up
Yankees’ cap pulled tight over long,

gray hair he asked me for money.
All the usual conditioned responses
drummed into our dulled, conformist
consciousnesses since Reagan banged
around my head; damn the poor and
homeless, the weak, slothful and

genetically inferior, deserving
of suffering and lonely, cold deaths;
the rusty anchors of despair dragging
us down into the abyss, the irrefutable
evidence of systemic failure that can
only be explained away by blaming

the victims of its merciless operations.
Turn away, then, from this aged bum’s
parasitic needs and I would’ve (I had
before) but a fresh anger flared in
the flash of realization that I’d been
so easily manipulated all my life

to cut off kindness, compassion
and sharing, as if they were but
gangrened limbs to be hacked off
enthusiastically by red-cheeked
Rightists dedicated to the cause
of Individualism and the worship

of Want. So I put a few of my few
dollars in his shaking palm, an act
rapidly becoming subversive in our
dark, pre-dictatorial days and headed
into the store to get some Cheerios,
milk and a jar of peanut butter.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for You

“No Excuse for Violence”

The President said
about the rumble
in Baltimore. Really?

About the rebellion
in the streets. He said
that? The Commander-

in-Chief of the mightiest,
most sophisticated
murder force ever

assembled in the history
of this down and out
planet, who uses, no

brags, a hundred
excuses to kill and
maim all over the

world, all the time said
that!?! I don’t believe it.
He couldn’t have!

Paul Lojeski