I am headed to Manhattan today to look for an apartment. Searching for one online has me stressed to the point of distress. How on earth can people afford to live in the city?!? I found one place close to the church that is just more than 500 square feet and costs only $60,000 a year to rent. My bedroom, closet, and bathroom in Atlanta are about 500 square feet, and my home is paid for.
I, of course, haven’t found any place with parking, so this will be the first time since I was 15 that I haven’t had a car. I finally have worked up the will to sell Bill’s Volkswagen. He loved that car, though it is nine years old and has only 26,000 miles. He looked so cute puttering around town with the top down while wearing his Carolina Tar Heels baseball cap. I will miss the car, but I guess it is time for it to go.
Moving is always stressful, but it is time for a new adventure. Bill always wanted to live in Manhattan. We often joked that we were the couple right out of the TV show “Green Acres.” He loved the city, and I loved the country. Perhaps this move is for him as much as for me. As hard as it will be to leave behind the church that Bill and I loved, my prayer is that I will find new joy, or at least distraction from my constantly aching heart.
I am fortunate that Bill managed our money well, so I can afford to take this adventure. What on earth do people without a Bill do, though? For years, I have been reading how expensive places like NYC, and Washington D.C., and San Francisco have gotten. Frankly, I hadn’t given it too much thought until now, now that it will impact my lifestyle and the choices I can make.
That is an indictment about me. It is probably a parable about life for us all, too. We don’t seem to have the energy to care about things that don’t impact us directly. The injustice first must get extreme, but, even when people of color continue to get shot down in the street, we can’t seem to get impassioned enough to join them in the street. As long as we have health insurance, the politics in Washington don’t stir us to make calls or write emails. Unless we have children who are having a hard time breathing, it is too much work to express our outrage that the current administration is dismantling environmental protections.
Oh, we can’t be passionate about every injustice, but we are as narcissistic as the current occupant of the White House if the things we are passionate about are injustices that impact ONLY us.
Rev. Michael Piazza