Someone Must Pay

August 1, 2008
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Imagine. You are a garbage collector hired by the government. You wake up early, yet grudgingly. You walk or take a bus to your assigned location. You admire the rich neighborhood. Looking at an old lady pauper, you think of how fortunate you are. You are lost in your thoughts and aspirations that you do not feel the freezing weather invading your few pieces of clothing. You look at the many windows inhabited by more fortunate people, feeling proud to even work here. You begin to work enthusiastically, inspired by the environment and your eyes are iced open. Someone walks out of a building, throws a crumpled tissue two inches away from you. You feel so inferior you cannot look up. You watch him go, piercing his body with your self-pitiful eyes. You wonder why the world doesn't treat you fairly.
Imagine. You have just woken up, you are a 21-year-old citizen who had applied for a job and got accepted the day before. You wake up early on your first day to work enjoying a nice cup of your first coffee. Still in your pajamas, you walk to the window. It's too cold to open it, you look through the glass. Just as you're having your first sip, you see a garbage collector looking with despise at a passing-by citizen. The look on his young face is bitterer than your coffee. You feel indifferent. You've got a job.
Imagine. You are a 3-year-old; you are enjoying a nice morning with your grandpa in the balcony. Hiding under his arm, sharing a blanket with him, you hear your grandpa muttering words to himself. You watch his wrinkled face threatening to be torn with the angry expressions, wondering how a lip can stretch that wide. You are scared; suddenly his arm is not safe as it had felt earlier. You cannot understand what he is saying. Your mental picture of your grandpa is an angry grumpy old man, saying words that sound like "Government", "Low-class", "Envy", "Honored".
Imagine. You are a tourist. Going through your plan for the day, you arrive at a very wide street, with a big garden for the morning jog. You look around, trying to record every piece of memory about this strange foreign country. You are comforted by the sight of an old man and obviously his grandson in one balcony. Wishing for a nice hot cup of coffee, you notice a garbage collector. You admire the vigorous way he goes through his job, thinking how hardworking he must be. In the middle of your relatively positive thoughts, you notice how he is thrown at with rubbish. What an animal, you think. You are not so positive anymore.
Imagine. You are a 70-year-old lady pauper, begging off her daily supplies in neighborhoods that are generous. You sit on the edge of a sidewalk. Looking randomly up, you wish for the blanket that such an old man could easily afford. You look away and start cursing the poor man under your breath. A tourist comes jogging in front of you, she doesn't hear you when you ask for money. You are worried when the "Others" would come and collect the "Pauper tax" of the street. You follow her with your loathing though craving stares. Looking around, you see a young man through a piece of litter at the garbage collector. "That's what you get from having a job!" you think with satisfaction. "If he knows how much I make in a day...", you think as you try to make an unfortunate face at another passer-by. Imagine. You are a terrorist. You got captured. A youthful reporter approaches you as you are being herded to court. "What made you choose that terrifying inhumane lane of life?" he asks, he can't help remembering the scene he saw on the morning of his first day on the job. "Poor people only get poorer; I had to make someone else pay!





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This article has 12 comments. Post your own now!

Eden H. said...
Sept. 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm
woah. cool. interesting. woah.
 
Eden H. replied...
Sept. 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm
and woah again
 
TravelerInWaiting This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 9, 2010 at 7:45 pm
I really love the descriptions in your piece and how everything is interconnected. Great job!
 
sullenya replied...
Jul. 10, 2010 at 8:47 am
thank you ^^
 
mirette replied...
Jul. 10, 2010 at 8:48 am
Thanks, I'm glad I caught the air of it.
 
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm
Very good description of Egypt. That is exactly what I see when I went there.
 
amal f. said...
Sept. 1, 2008 at 4:00 pm
congratulations this article reveiles a talented auther
 
Adel G. said...
Aug. 21, 2008 at 12:40 am
Merrit, has certainly the eye of a sharp observer and the mind of a wise analyser. Disecting a group of synchronus, ordinary daily life scenes from the various human prespectives in a short sonata of harmonious everyday people thoughts. So down to earth, but exalted, simple but captivating. English is flawless, expressions are expansvie. Style not yet mature, but sure this will come with time. I am impressed with the young talent - it happens that I know the age of the young writer. Keep on and... (more »)
 
Emad Guirguis said...
Aug. 19, 2008 at 5:51 pm
This is very expressive, very eloquent and full of values. I can see a very talented future artist behind this article.
 
Marie S. said...
Aug. 16, 2008 at 4:25 pm
My comment ::: I couldn't say anything except that's very touchable story ,and evryone he has to think about it before ,he's complaining ,and I vote to the writer as she's very meanfull and touchable.....
 
Dad said...
Aug. 15, 2008 at 9:56 am
This is a very good article, full of depth and simplicity. It caught me in its air.
Indeed, someone must pay, but I believe we must all pay in a way, because our bad relationships and behaviours between people, even unintentionally, can create a disaster. That's the reason why we must pay even for the small mistakes.
 
old friend said...
Aug. 15, 2008 at 2:19 am
wild free imagination with a deep sense of social justice,strong ability to paint pictures with wards that are very simple yet it becomes so vivid in your mind. Mirette has strong family values and soft tender spirit that loved.well done Mirette
 
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