Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dim Sum and Social Consciousness (A Fragment)

 . . . struggling with game effort to participate in a conversation laden with a subtext born of a particular standard of living and the accommodations which (only naturally, you see) follow from it, which could be called 'privilege' if only that word weren't so vague, and to be honest, diluted by its place in modern semantics - connections leading to jobs, easy networking, career decisions bound up in self-gratification, with the base underlying assumption being that life is meant to result in perfect happiness and satisfaction, for everyone, that is, everyone we know, and that one could switch careers and priorities until you arrived there. Which is all well and good, since we all want happiness for ourselves and those we care about, but my classist (god, what an awful-sounding word) mind couldn't but envision it as entitlement - entitled to ultimate happiness, which you could find, ultimately, by mobilizing your plentiful resources and falling gracefully back onto them when and if plans took unexpected or unpleasant turns. And it became a reminder of my own lack of resources, the lack of resources in my mother's life, in the lives of the people I became an adult alongside, and how scraping and clawing and living in the cheapest apartment I could find and eating little but the cheapest food and always making do had for me only resulted in one opportunity, which I didn't have the luxury of abandoning.
     But that was not a viewpoint I could voice, giving that it was a polite luncheon, after all, and it was in general pleasurable, beyond the annoyance of my friend inviting another friend uninvited, and the quills of my seat, psychosomatic manifestations of being the third wheel in the conversations of others, who would most likely stare with disdain and mild surprise when the measured rage inside me came to light . . .