What the gumdrops is going on?

“And so I gave my thirteen cents to the man who peed his pants. He passes out and falls on me, I watch my change fall from his hands … What does it matter anyway, thirteen cents or all I own? How can I ever save the world on cup-o-soup and student loans? I want to try and save the world, but it never goes that way. God I don’t know what to do,” (“Where the Zero Meets the Fifteen” from Upbeats and Beatdowns by Five Iron Frenzy).

That’s how I feel so many days. I wince at the dirty man, wondering how and if it’s my lot to show him something more. I avoid eye contact, walk slower, faster, whatever. There’s not much I can do anyway, too busy, too preoccupied.

But it goes beyond the huddled masses, it covers the consumer masses, those jetting about in their financed cars and name brand clothes. I feel it even in my own heart, the need, the longing, the yearning to have something more, to at least have the magazine hair and catch nods and stolen glances from other hipsters trying to be someone they’re not. I lose myself trying to save myself.

This lonely planet needs so much help–and who am I? Another drifter lost and weary, afraid of commitment and drowning in a sea of joblessness. Can I just get paid to read and write? A holy stipend, something dependable but with no real commitment? Just put me on the heavenly payroll, and I’ll do your will. Can it work like that? You pay the mortgage and I’ll write that book I’m always talking about. Deal?

It’s not easy and it’s not supposed to be.

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