I’m sorry that you hate me.
It’s not that you’d admit you hate me, but you do.
You scowl at me when I serve your coffee a moment too late because your time is more important than mine. Or don’t pump your gas fast enough, or clean the table, or somehow don’t perform up to your standards.
The work I do is important to someone, but just not to you.
You grumble while you stand in the grocery store when you’re behind me and I have to fish into my pocketbook to find the change to pay for my purchases because I don’t have any more dollars. I’m sorry it slows you down but if I put that box of cereal back, my little boy won’t have breakfast tomorrow.
It’s the loss of time that seems to bother you the most, those seconds waiting for me to walk faster, drive faster, not be so indecisive; to make up my mind, to get out of your way.
And I guess I don’t understand why you seem so concerned about me, about what I want or don’t have, what I need, as if my obtaining those things somehow means you would have less.
I don’t want what you have, but you seem to want what I have, because somehow my having it diminishes you.
Then you decide what I have is too much, as if the things of the world are finite and no one will make anymore and somehow you will lose out.
You have more than I have, I accept that. I just don’t understand why you begrudge me the things I have.
Would your world be better, safer, happier, less stressful, less troublesome if I had less?
My dreams are no different than yours, but I‘m not concerned that you have them, while you seem to believe that I have no right to dream because I am not like you.
So if it helps you, I’ll apologize for my shortcomings. I’m sorry I’m not a scientist, or a doctor, or a Wall Street wizard. I’m sorry I didn’t understand high school math and didn’t get into the college that you attended. I’m sorry I shop at the thrift store and my little boy doesn’t have the same beautiful new coat that yours wears and that my three-year old jacket makes you turn away when we meet in the supermarket because it is not fashionable enough..
I’m sorry I make less money than you do, and sometimes need help to make ends meet, but I work hard, save what I can, care for my son, and treat people well, and that is worth something, except to you. And it makes me wonder what exactly you expect of me and others who are not you.
I’m sorry that my existence bothers you so much, and makes you think that if I just went away, your world would be that much better, because I’m not the only one.
I’m sorry you compare yourself to me.
I’m sorry I’m poor, or old, or walk or talk differently. I’m sorry I’m black, or foreign, a woman, a teen-aged boy, a lesbian, white, a janitor, a waiter; work in a nursing home, a fast food joint, pump gas, dropped out of high school, married too young, got drunk, then sober, ran away from home, got sick, lost my mind.
I’m sorry that all my choices or the accidents of my life somehow get in your way.
I’m sorry that sometimes the world gets away from me and I sit up at night alone and worry how life will treat my son; I’m sorry that I worry that I let him down and that he will need and want and never be happy.
But then he smiles at me in the morning, eats his cereal and doesn’t know that people out there like you are concerned that something is wrong in society because he could need help to grow up and that somehow his struggle will damage your perfect world.
And I guess in a way I feel sorry for you because all that you have came far too easy and you feel so entitled to it you forget that many others came before to make that path easier for you.
The walls you build for protection create distrust, confusion, suspicious and hate.
I know this because I see it.
I’m sorry that you are so important, and sorry that you don’t feel that I am.