Sunday, September 18, 2011

Animal Dreams

Animal Dreams written by Barbara Kingsolver was not exactly about animal's dreams, although pondering what animals dream about is mentioned in the story. It is also not about homelessness.

Early in the tale a woman describes says of her sister: "...she cries about bag ladies..." & "She gives them quarters and then wishes she'd given them a dollar." Much later the same woman tells her father: "Basically I'm a bag lady with an education." She thinks people viewing her resume would assume she is a schizophrenic, due to the number of jobs she held, that basically require little more than a high school diploma, such as a 7/11 clerk.

Prior to my homelessness, I figured out that I had the same number of jobs as my age at that time. I included "Mother's Helper" from when I was a young teen, and two stints delivering newspapers, despite one of those routes being my daughter's. She was a year shy of the legit age to get a route, so it had to be in my name; I did help her deliver the papers each morning.

There have been times when I held two or three jobs simultaneously, and some jobs that lasted little more than a day. I did temp work, such as one or two days doing inventory work for retail establishments. I went from waitressing to real estate sales to pick/pack in factory. Perhaps the resume of a schizophrenic or a person with some type of personality disorder. It is insulting, however, to assume that a person is a bag lady because she is uneducated.

Story background:

The Stitch & Bitch Club took a bus to Tuscon meeting up with two ladies who drove a pick up truck filled with pinatas the club members had handcrafted. When a police officer asked to see a sales license, they said they were not trying to sell the pinatas, just using them to get attention about their plight, but accepted donations. Their goal was to raise funds to afford costs associated with fighting a mining company that had polluted the river, poisoning the fruit and nut trees that was their livelihood.

"A small crowd of homeless people had gathered on the other side of the street from where our truck was parked."  Two members of the Stitch & Bitch Club "...enlisted a bag lady named Jessie, who owned her own shopping cart." They said Jessie volunteered to fill her cart with pinatas as soon as she heard the townspeople would be losing their homes.

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