the global obscenity of your monthly $100 coffee habit [revised]

by Erica Hoskins Mullenix

Three dollars to last the rest of the month. My sixth grade teacher used to tell us all the time about how being poor is nowhere near the same as living in poverty. Hunger is not the same as starving even as Americans bathed in fluorescent coolant stand before full refrigerators to complain of starvation. That teacher, one of my favorites, wore the same exact faded black knit dress every single day the entire time I knew her from kindergarten until eighth. She covered rips and tears with cheap jewelry and light sweaters. Complemented this ensemble which she delightfully pronounced as ahn-sahm with frayed cotton socks and dingy blue Keds, matching my own. The dress smelled of teacher's lounge whiskey, and I hugged her tight, breathed deep and loved. My three dollars stretch and snap like an elastic band.