You work, you pay your bills and taxes, you have an honest life, you are polite, and you respect your superiors at work, you drink moderately, you have no illegitimate children in the world. In short, a decent person. You just want to be that, you have no further ambition, of money, of career. You never liked studying, but you never refused a job and you always got around to get some work. But one day, the crisis, the economy, a pandemic, and you are over fifty. Suddenly nobody needs you. You pick from the pantry a can of cat food, for a cat who six months ago was as fat as a pig, while you were slender and toned. Six months later, the cat recovered his royal pace while your abdomen expanded proportionally, owning to the cheap fast food you crammed your stomach with. You open the can and from the goddammed lid the cat food spills and splashes all over the glass door of the fancy stove and the tiled floor. You clean the fucking stove and realise that it does not belong to you anymore. Nor the bed. Or any other furniture in the flat you loved so much. It all belongs to the landlord, who you would love to call greedy, but you cannot because he nicely accepted your furniture to offset the several thousand euros debt you have with him for not paying the rent in the last four months. But then you remember that you have three days to pack your shit and leave the flat and you do call your landlord names.
In the meantime, the royal feline rushes to lick what food is still on the tiles as you collapse on the cold floor crying. Your enlarged eyes match the shape of your mouth, open in a silent shout, the back of your hand stuck between your teeth. It’s a bad day. It’s the day you go under. What happens next is up to you. You either fight to catch your breath out of the water, or you succumb to the circumstances. But then you think it is not really up to you, is it? You did try to find a job.
You hear your father’s voice saying a grown-up man is never scared, but you are panic-stricken. Is there something worse than failing your father and being evicted from your flat with no money in the bank account and no job? Right, you forgot to add that you are over 50 and your only qualification is good will.
Good will. Yes. You think that circumstances are bad, but you are not bad. You have no job, but you are able to find a job, you only need to try harder. Maybe not in this city, but somewhere else. Maybe not what you would like to, but anything which gives you a paycheck. Assistant in a morgue. Janitor. Strawberry picker. You look at your black cat and decide that you are not alone. You get up and you feed the cat properly, the way the four-legged fur expects to. You decide you also deserve to eat properly, and you tell yourself that somehow, you will find your path to meat, fresh fruits, and vegetables again.