“Money and I”

Anna Lesiczka
8th December 2022

“Money and I”

I have a friend who used to tell me about his dream house. He had a detailed plan of how he wanted to build it. I had problems understanding why listening to the story made me sad. Now I know that it was a matter of money. He chose the path of life that would rather more than less guarantee him fulfilling the dream. My dream house has been always hidden deep. I’ve never really believed that I would get a piece of it. I chose a path that doesn't give me any certainty of having a decent life. Three years ago I doubted my decision and wanted to change this direction but since that moment I haven’t experienced another doubt that I am where I want to be. 

I left school earlier to manage to be on time in the alcohol store that closes at 7. I wanted to buy red wine. For many reasons (money is one of them) I barely drink alcohol here and I eat meat only on special occasions. But lately, I got very weak and tired so I decided to support my body with a solid meat meal. I chose spaghetti bolognese because I am sentimental about this dish as well. Although as a child I never ate the original version, I always make it for myself. Choosing a bottle of wine I was looking at one with a drawing of a map, but when I took it from the shelf I realized that it was made from plastic “Eghhhh plastic…” - was my thought, so I quickly put it back to its place. I bought a different wine in a proper glass bottle. Later on, I went to buy ingredients for my spaghetti in a grocery store just across the street. I was packing things up, and an unfortunate move broke the glass bottle.

Immediately my shoes, my pants, and my bag were red. A very gentle middle-aged man who was working as an assistant in self-service checkouts ran to me with paper towels and wet wipes. The situation happened during rush hour in the centre of the city. There were many people staring at me. I started to wipe the floor but the kind assistant told me to take care of my clothes first and they would clean the rest. I apologized while leaving the store, but he said he was very sorry for my bottle. Yes, my bottle… I already paid for all the dinner ingredients but was suddenly missing the wine. I had to go back to the alcohol store and buy another one. I immediately took the previously rejected plastic one.

I was so emotional about the story that I immediately called my mom to tell her everything. She summed up “So in the end it is a very expensive spaghetti, isn’t it?”

I added only around 20% of the wine to my dish so the rest was left to drink. I didn’t enjoy it. Every time I was picking up the bottle to pour it into my glass the weight wasn’t right.

I am conscious that the subject of money can be sensitive. I was never either rich or poor. I know money troubles only from the perspective of a child from a middle-class family who has never had to financially support themselves. Therefore there are many things that limit my imagination.

I remember stating it in my bachelor's thesis. It was about compulsive diary writing in history as well as my own compulsive diary writing. I used to write like this for fifteen years from the time when I was nine until I was twenty-four. Working on my thesis I had time to reflect on my motives and hopes coming from that action. But in the end, I haven’t figured it out. Anyways all I could ever offer was a story of a white female person growing up in the middle of Europe in times of peace. So far it’s still all I can offer.

From time to time my friend says that she has to be rich because she doesn’t know how to be poor. Every time I hear it, I become angry. Maybe it’s the anger coming from a conviction that many of us would rather be suitable for being rich rather than poor, but it’s not something that’s easy to choose. Maybe it is coming from the place where I decided to be ready for everything.

As a child, I used to walk barefoot on hard rocks or hot cement to prepare myself for the time when I won’t have shoes and I’ll have to run away from danger. I remember women from my family telling me that I should do something with my feet because they look disgusting.  But I was proud of their hard bottom. It felt safe when the part of my body holding me on the ground was solid. Now as an adult I use a foot mask to make them smooth. Back then I was planning a long escape to northern Scandinavia where I thought the war is the least possible to happen. Although I am not as scared as I used to be, somehow I am still moving closer and closer to the point when I was planning to hide. I don’t walk barefoot on anything but sand but still, I think that I have to practice the difficulties. I get angry when she says that she has to be rich. I am afraid - when we don’t have any shoes, she won’t be able to survive.

I also would like to have a house in the future. It’s warm and nothing is white. I have an atrium with a real tree in the middle. I plant my own vegetables and flowers. There is an orchard at the back. I make my own wine and cook food from the products I harvest.