Once upon a time, I lived in the ghetto on welfare. Prior to that, I worked as a secretary in a small law firm in down town Chicago. I made $2.000 dollars a month.
Then one dark dismal day when you can easily get depressed, my boss summoned me into his office. He closed the door.
He looked at me straight in the eye and said," Lonnie, I'm afraid I am going to have to let you go. There are not enough clients right now. I will give you a note for unemployment." "Don't bother." I said, in a cold tone of voice. "I can get a job with a snap of a finger." So I cleaned out my desk and felt betrayed. I liked my boss.
Job hunting was much harder than I thought it would be. It seemed that nobody wanted to hire me. The economy was dense and I was running amply out of money. Oh why couldn't I have accepted un employment?
I had no choice but to go on welfare.
So one snowy day, I walked into the welfare office. An ugly nasty looking beast sat down at the table in across from me and asked me a bunch of questions such as, "Do you have any cash on hand?" "No." I said. She asked me more questions such as," Do you have any assets?" "No." I replied. "Do you have any stocks or bonds?" "No." I said. When was this going to end? Then, the beast said, "You will get your first check today. Just sit over there, and your name will be called."
I waited and waited. When will my name be called? I thought. I was anxious. Finally, my name was called. I went up to the front window and my check was handed to me. $340 dollars. How was I going to live?
I had to find an apartment that met my means. So I got this hot little dinger in my mind to find an apartment agency and have them find me an apartment for $200.00,
So I found an apartment finding agency in the phone book and I walked into the agency. A handsome man with tanned skin and swimming color blue eyes and curly black hair looked up at me and smiled. "What can I do for you young lady?"
"I'm looking for an apartment for $200.00." I said. "That will be hard to find, but we can work at it." He said, smoothly.
So he drove me around and together, we checked out apartments. But none of them were in my price range. Finally, we went to a run down neighbor hood. The apartment buildings looked derelict. There was a street brawl of men on the corner. Crack heads were smoking crack on the sidewalks. . Gang members were every where. I could hear shootings not to far from me. The streets looked old and dirty. It was the ghetto. And it was utterly disgusting. "Can't you find anything else?" I panicky asked the apartment finding clerk. "This is the only apartment for $200.00." He said, matter of factly............
And from there I suffered. I noticed how the neighborhood looked even more. Broken glass was every where. I saw a man get arrested. Then, he got hand cuffed and got put into a squad car. I saw an abandoned building and people were on the window sill, laughing, cussing and shouting.
Little boys would beat up on me for my money. I got mugged three times at gun point. Was I shocked and scared? You betcha. I kept on hearing store alarm bells. They all had broken glass, Obviously, they were broken into. Street lamps would be knocked over. Shootings would happen every day and night. Winos would sit on the side walks drinking booze out of paper bags. They would always give me cat calls and whistles. This happened every time I walked by them.
Not only was the neighborhood trash, but my seedy apartment building was just as bad.
There were a lot of bad tenants living there. People would smoke crack and crystal meth in the hallway. Men would bang on my door at two in the morning asking for money and smokes. Men and women would run up and down the hallway screaming completely stoned on drugs. Women would get beat up inside and out on the streets. I was one of them. My apartment was infested with roaches. Even though I fogged the apartment often, my uninvited critters would come back and have a party! And I kept my apartment clean and spotless. Why me? The water pressure was bad. I couldn't get the shampoo out of my hair properly. I had a bad hair day every day.
I finally found a job as a secretary. I moved to a nice neighborhood. I lived in a nice apartment. My ghetto days were gone. Thank God!
- cathy's write
- Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Hi! I'm cathy Markus. I have a husband and two kitties. I love to creative write, I like to socialize, compose music for my flute, write music for the piano, eat asian food and eat my husbands home cooking(He's a Chef,) read and sing and dance. I'd love to have some friends here.