Stories we tell our kids (excerpt from draft #1)

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September 18, 2013 by Wayne.

She couldn’t bear to look at them.

To look was to acknowledge their existence, and their existence mocked her mini-speeches about equality – the ones she often gave at her dinner parties. Poverty had swelled their lips and sunken their cheeks into the most grotesque of all things: a living personification of manual labour, and she couldn’t help but hate how ugly they were.

She thought of their possible dreams, how they grew up and played with wooden dolls with straw hair and woke while the sun still lingered on the other side of the world to help their parents prepare large vats of rice, how they too loved and wanted to be loved in the few moments of reprieve granted to even the most menial of workers, but she still hated them.

In the day, they breathed in gusts of sand through sweat-wrapped noses. At night, she would sometimes see small beams of light catching on their grimey clothes while they walked on beams 30 feet in the air. Once a week, a van of groceries would pull up with yellowing vegetables and dried meat. They would clump out in their mud-yellow workboots and dead eyes and hands clutching crumpled notes. She hated them so badly.

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