We ride in a Greyhound bus towards our future, will it be better than the past? We hadn’t eaten all day, and it was a long bus ride from the hills of West Virginia to Tennessee. The bus made one of its pitstops and we walked up a long hill to a little convenience store to try to find some food. We walked over to the food prep area, and I can’t recall the particular items that we chose but it was something that had to be cooked in the microwave, so Mom heated it up. She said that I could get some Twinkies or Little Debbie cakes, and we grabbed some soda. We were so excited to finally get to eat something.
See when she finally left Ben, we tried living on our own for a little while, but she didn’t make enough money waitressing and bartending in a small town that had little work available, so we had government assistance. This wasn’t even enough to keep us afloat, and Ben was always around as well, so Mom decided to move us to Tennessee where my grandparents had moved. We were going to stay with them until we got on our feet.
Government assistance was very common in the little backwater town we lived in in West Virginia, so I suppose Mom didn’t think anything about the fact that she only had food stamps to buy our food with…when our “meals” were ready we walked up to the counter to pay, and she took out her food stamps. The clerk looked at us like we were nothing but trash, he looked down his nose at us and said we don’t take those here. Embarrassed and with no other way to pay, Mom just said okay, and we proceeded to put everything back except the heated food of course. I remember feeling so sorry for her, trying to get out of a bad situation and being treated like dirt for it. As we walked away, the clerk disgustingly threw our heated-up food in the trash can shaking his head.
And we walked back down the long hill to our bus stop, still starving.
Mom was truly trying to make our situation better, and I still can’t understand why that clerk was so heartless and would rather throw our food in the trashcan than take mercy on us…even if he couldn’t giveaway food, he did not have to treat us the way that he did.
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