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One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
— Albert Camus
The meaning of life is thirty-two—that’s the number
of hours per week I’m allowed to work lest I get over-
time or full-time benefits. Chips and a soda for lunch
are all I can afford; the sugar and caffeine keep me going
on my feet checking Chinese knockoff goods that will fall
apart in a few weeks. But they’re cheap. Four hundred
dollars every two weeks is a stretch to pay rent plus food
plus gas; when my stomach gave out, I had to take a week
off, pay thirty, sixty, or more per day in copays to find out
I had colon cancer. That week plus the doctors’ bills landed
me out of my house. I’m sleeping on my son’s floor. But
I should be grateful. There’s nowhere else to work
in Mountain View except fast food because Wal Mart
pushed all the small business owners out. It’s my own
fault for buying twenty-dollar shoes and then replacing them
when they fell apart in a couple months. I just never had
a hundred to buy the ones that last.
copyright 2015 CL Bledsoe. First appeared in The Tipton Poetry Review.
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