CXXVIII. Charitable Mockery -

A lack of sleep has again made its presence. Only this time, the absence of supposedly good-skin-inducing slumber was due to a stress I didn’t have before. That stress is student loans.

Having made payments in a timely manner, sometimes even exceeding the required amount, I was sure that the initial amount had dwindled considerably, a little over a year out of college now. 

To my dismay, the scamming loan providers no longer sent me emails and charged interest rates I didn’t know applied to federal loans. I suppose this is my naivete. 

As per the usual, my parents never let finances, or knowledge of how to fill out a check, cloud my otherwise not-cheery-still-serious unpaid academic aspirations.

Though I do not consider myself a hippie, (although my style vector does point in the hippie-type paisley, muted and yet colorful, somewhat over-sized apparel that skims over the body, direction,) I have taken to pursuing an intellectually-driven, self-actualized place in the academic discipline that I want to pursue as a career.

“What did you expect?,” my father asked rhetorically as my face was mangled in exasperation, eyes reflecting the online payment portal in front of me.

“They’re not going to give you charity,” he continued, referring to the loan providers.

I am not sure what possessed him to use these choice of words. I never alluded to the fact that an elite education would be even close to humanely priced, much less charitable. In fact, I knew fully well that I would not compromise my educational pursuits for money, with my parents’ blessing of course.

I truly thought that the loan amounts were decreasing and coming to an end.

In the midst of filling out graduate school applications, paying for application fees, transcripts, and the pricey GRE, the undergraduate money scheme seems nothing short of unethical.

I should be making money; I should get paid for my work.

It’s no longer a matter of acquiring experiences or being greedy, though truth be told, I do fancy the “finer things” in life, whatever you want to infer from that. I do not care for trivialities and the concept of a vacation is a foreign to me, however, there is no denying my inherited classic New Yorker taste for what has already been tasted; In other words, what has already been within reach, or what has already been given to me - a charity of sorts?

This is me declaring that this God-forsaken, life-sucking, unpaid internship that requires hours in public transportation fit for the rodents that occupy the train tracks, is the very last internship I will ever pursue.

Walking on egg shells around a freezer-box and nonfunctional office is truly burdensome and despite my mental efforts to remain positive and not reduce my life span by stressing, I have only been counting down the weeks until this hell is over,

I already have plans for what to do next. They include, no more self-inflicted pain.

I cannot wait to be in the warmth of my home, among family who hold fort in other rooms, possibly surrounded by limited edition seasonal pies, only the crust of which I ingest, with the bleak, grey and dreary light, romanticized in its depth and darkness, streaming through the living room blinds, obstructed by the always real Christmas tree that bisects the length of the living room windows.

Give and take is a cliche, yes, but it is one that reflects real-world use. Unfortunately, anything that is given is equivalent to charity; in a non-synonymous in definition but rather in connotation, kind of way.

Take for example, the label of ‘charity case.’ If you were to be referred to as such, well, that would not be swell. Objectifying a living human being as a ‘case,’ never means well. For example, substitute “charity” with “mental,” if you will.

See my point?

I don’t want charity and it’s not that I cannot do something, like a retail job to help support my schooling endeavors, though having applied since high school has led to no response; rather, I cannot fill those positions. It’s not me, as my father says.

My resume reads as the inchoate resume of a professor about to reach tenure - purely academic and poignant in its linguistic embellishment.

Forces beyond my control have saved me from embarking on a path where I would be paid or given, money.

As far as my journalistic efforts are concerned, I am not given information. I am aggressively seeking out information, acquiring knowledge, producing content, and earning a living in non-monetary terms. I’m fulfilling a desire to think as I wish.

Ironically, I am also succumbing to not living as I truly wish, with the stresses of enduring an internship I want to leave but that I know will help to build my resume and expand my mind with a burden of onerous memories.

Charitable mockery - mocking even when I am in a position in which I am given nothing.