So, I just got off the phone with Sallie Mae. They were calling to let me know that my case had been escalated to “pre-legal”; meaning they are preparing to garnish my wages. This got me to thinking about a lot of things. My first instinct was to come on here and rant about how the “American Dream” is a scam and how we are programmed to follow a certain regime in life [ go to school, get a job, have a family] and how the program actually sets the vast majority of us to be in debt for life and yada yada yada. But…the truth is that every thing boils down to love. I realized that I didn’t really care about being in debt for the rest of my life. The root of my sadness is that being in debt for the rest of my life really means I will probably be alone for the rest of my life. Let me explain my thought process:
The end game of all mankind’s pursuits is not money, it is being able to do the things that you want to do. Doing those things cost money. Well what do we all want to do? We all want to share our lives and experiences with someone we love as long as we live. And we want to do that to the best of our ability. Now at this point I am inclined to expound upon the idea that we are driven by commercialization to acquire, conspire, and do what ever we have to do to have “nice-r things” but I wouldn’t be telling you anything that you don’t already know. However, what you might not realize is that we only acquire, conspire, and do whatever we have to do to have “nice-r things” so that we won’t be alone [take a little time and let that marinate. I don’t feel like explaining. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…*tapping foot*]. If you have not come to that realization yet you definitely will at some point. The only chances you have at not ever having to come to this realization are because you already have “money” and/or you are a woman [let that marinate too].
As a black male this reality shapes the rest of my life. No woman wants to be with a broke man. People don’t gravitate towards or like to hang around people who aren’t ever able to pay their own tab, or have the financial capability to do “stuff”. No woman, no friends, no “life”. Sure, it is possible to find someone as broke as you, or find someone willing to take you “as is” but we all know that no one really wants to live like that. Whatevs…I got life. A few days ago my love Katherine and I were discussing me being a “minimalist”. In my mind I am/was a minimalist by choice. For example, I don’t own a television because all the shows I like are readily available on the internet. I drive a 2005 Toyota Corolla because it’s efficient on gas. The list goes on. She was explaining to me [in a round about way] that I had made the choice to be a minimalist because there was no other choice. I didn’t like that idea and I vehemently disagreed. But today I realized she was right. I’d have ‘nice-r things” if I could, but that is not an option. So my brain, in all of it’s marvelous splendor, convinced itself that I had chosen to live my life the way I do so that I’d be happy. Thank you brain for trying, but you are too smart for your own good. All of this leads me back to my original point. I will probably be alone for the rest of my life because I am in debt and I can not provide “nice-r things” to those I love. If not, it is because I settled. Sad, but true. Now I know you must be thinking ” This dude is tripping. He is obviously a pessimist. Student loans aren’t insurmountable. With a good financial strategy and a little perseverance he can be right on track.” Well let me pop that little bubble. It is 100% true that student loans can be paid off, but student loans to the tune of approximately $80,000 on a salary of a little less than 50k/year…yea. AND Sallie Mae is not my only pimp. I owe whatever financial group that owns Enterprise Rentals about 6k, then my credit card which is about 3k, oh and don’t forget the I.R.S. which is about another 3 stacks. Yea…I’m “that” guy. In all my debt totals up to about $100,000. Which is not bad [ha!], but when you think about it that’s a mortgage. Which typically takes about 30 some odd years to pay off. 30 plus 27 means I will be financially free at the age of *calculating* 57 [ around the year 2041]. Hardly the age I [or anyone else] envisioned myself seeking out love. The average life expectancy of a black male in the United States [as calculated by Laura B. Shrestha, specialist in demography, Domestic Social Policy division for the US Congress in 2006] is 69, giving me 12 years to live the “American Dream” [I also learned that white females have the longest life expectancy, which is 80.5 years. Ain’t that a bitch? Betty White… she probably has an extra 10 years added on because she has the word “white” in her name]. This is saddening to me because if Katherine were to wait until I “got my life together” to be with me [which she has established as a prerequisite of us being together] she would have to wait 30 years…30 YEARS!!!!! [I think I can pretty much chalk that one up] That being said, I will share with you [my readers] my open letter to her. And it goes a little something like this:
My dearest Katherine,
I love you with all that is in me and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. However, I have come to realize that I will probably be “this guy” for the rest of my life. I know that you aspire to have and do “things” and I would love to share that with you. But I feel that attaching yourself to me would only hold you back from those “things”. All I have to offer you is my love. Love is cool, but we both know and understand that it is not always enough. Realistically speaking, if you and I were to be together you’d be settling. I love you enough to want you to be completely happy and given that the chances of my situation changing are slim, I don’t think that you’d be completely happy with me. Now I could be wrong but our numerous discussions over the matter make your intentions seem quite clear. I do not want to make this decision for you. I have made that mistake in our relationship before. My desire is to be with you if you also share that desire. I just want you to have all the information so that you can make an informed decision. If you can go out to that used car lot, test drive me, and accept me “as is”…I am on board to ride until the wheels fall off.
Anxiously waiting to hear your reply,
Stephen R Freshley
[I gave her the link to my blog but she doesn’t read it so she will never really see this letter]
Now, on to the brighter side of things. I do have a couple of chances at making it out of my situation:
1) If my books and/or other writings and musing become nationally popular and people actually start paying to read my works
2) If I hit the lottery
3) I run into some large sum of money through some chain of seriously fortunate events
4) I start rapping and become the next Kanye *Kanye shrug*
Thanks for reading. *sarcasm* For more information on life expectancy in the United States visit your local library or do like I did and Google that shit http://aging.senate.gov/crs/aging1.pdf
© Stephen R. Freshley and wordbending , 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Stephen R. Freshley and Word Bending a secret but not so secret blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.