Can’t Phone Home


Poverty is watching everything of the little you have degrade, break down, and go away. It’s my mom’s birthday tomorrow and I don’t have a working phone to call her. My phone abruptly stopped working, after two years of steady decline, two months ago. I haven’t been able to call the food stamp office, the school district, my bank, or my mother in two months.

All I need is a sim card, a small expense daily absorbed by someone making enough. But for me, I’m wondering if I will ever have a phone again. If I can’t afford something within a month , usually that means I never will.

I haven’t had enough money to pay all my bills in the same month in I don’t know how long I never have enough. Having “extra” is too foreign  a concept to truly understand. I’ve always had to see money as an either/or. Either I can pay my rent, or I can medicate. Either I can pay the electric bill, or I can buy shoes for my child who has outgrown his only pair.

But now things are tighter than ever, and the only choice is which utility to pay this month, because I certainly can’t pay them all. I’m already dreading my son’s birthday in September, what should be a happy day, because I already know I won’t be able to afford to buy him something

At night when I try to go to bed, all the things I need and can’t afford plague me,  and I cry myself to sleep. At some point next month I need to buy my cat more cat food, but worse than that I have to travel to his vet’s office by Lyft to get it. Of course, I can’t use Lyft even if I could afford it, because I don’t have a working phone. 

It all wraps around to needing something I’m incapable of providing. And I feel like the worst mother in the world once again.


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2 thoughts on “Can’t Phone Home

  1. I’m sorry Angie. I guess words aren’t much good when you need money. I’m lucky I guess. Nobody is depending on me alone to support them. Like you though, I don’t have the most reliable source of income. It’s not that I don’t care. Part of me would like to commit to a living situation where people all around the world who sympathize with each others’ thoughts and feelings and didn’t have reliable income, were interdependent.


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