A quarter

I had a very long day. Working until 3 am last night, working 8 hours at my full time job today, 5-hour long meeting from 5pm to 10pm, and I'm still up at 3 am eating coco puffs with the side of Bulleit -- the whiskey kind, not firearm related. I'm not suicidal ;D

It's been like this for over a year now, just non-stop working around the clock. Sometimes I get panic attacks thinking of all the responsibilities I have, and I feel like just dropping everything to go live in some mountains with unicorns and rainbows, but today, for some reason, I had a flashback of my childhood.

I always played soccer after school. I would play for hours. When I was done, I would wash myself up at the water fountain and drink as much water as I could until I was full, then I would get on a bus, drop a quarter (which was all I had) in the fare box, and sit in my wet, muddy clothes for a couple of hours until the bus dropped me off in my neighborhood, where I would still have to walk for another 30 min to get home.

But one day I had a thought, "what if I get a soda?" Since all I had was a quarter, and the soda was a quarter, it was pretty obvious what would follow the brief moment of sparkling sweet tingly feelings in my throat.

I thought about how long it would take to walk home. I really thought long and hard about it, and I came to a conclusion it wasn't worth it... as I was crushing empty soda can in my hand.

Oh well.

That day I walked 6 hours to get home, kicking that crushed soda can along the way, until I accidentally kicked it off the overpass onto a highway below. I probably ruined someone's nice paint job.

No matter how hard my work gets, I'm always reminded of one thing I know for certain – I will not be poor again. I will not put myself or my family through a situation where they will have to choose between having food on the table and paying for rent, between celebrating birthdays and getting their medication, and between buying a fucking can of soda and taking a bus home.

I'll die at my desk of caffein induced heart attack before I let that shit ever happen again.