Scarcity and Contempt
So I am 31, and still very clearly remember some images and feelings from early childhood- mostly the traumatic or triumphant ones, but this particular series disturbs and fascinates me more than any others.
I must have been in 3rd grade (sparing you boring mile-stone marker rationalizations for this conclusion). My mother baby-sat for a family down the street, 3 kids all younger than me, plus our family at the time had 4 kids.
The family was like the poorest I had ever known up to that point. I don't understand like, if there wasn't available welfare assistance in 1988 or thereabout when this occured, but everyone in the family was like Holocaust ribbed; big, sunken eyes and bony cheek-ridges, wiry, bone-popping torsoes and shit. They were freaky looking.
I remember hating the kids so much. But when I think back and picture their faces, they are often kind and smiling or welcoming and calm, and I have no memory of them ever doing anything mean to me or my family. But, I do distinctly remember my mother giving them roast beef and me being pissed off. She usually said no to me and my brothers if we wanted this or that good food before dinner, because of scarcity.
So I can still see their hollow faces on the stair-case watching me eat my lunch, all covetously and shit. They brought mayonaisse sandwiches from home and would haunt me while I ate.
Anyway I remember hating them so bad, and I reflect on this often. I think that I even had a crush on the oldest one, because she was very proud and graceful and dignified, in a developed contrast from her younger siblings, who just hovered like wolves. The boy especially (it was 2 girls and like a 4 year old boy) I just viscerally hated the sight of and wanted to hurt.
that's really the point. lol I have little insight about these memories, but I am curious how people interpret them. I attribute my hatred of wealth today though in part to how they made me feel.
"Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."
Jack london, "Before Adam"