Sometimes you have to take a break, get outside, and appreciate, if not be disturbed by life’s ironies. It’s after 11:00 am in the West End. I’m walking to the Wendy’s across from the West Hunter Street Baptist Church on Ralph Abernathy Street. The church’s rear parking lot is being used for a monthly food distribution conducted by a local community food bank.
The line is long as usual. A white male, bearded and probably in his late forties or early fifties, drives by in an Audi, double glancing at the line as if he had never seen this type of event before. I couldn’t process his double take. This is life here everyday.
Maybe it’s something about the silos we live in. The driver was in the cocoon of not only his vehicle but his apparent relative wealth or at least access to good credit. Some of the drivers in the Wendy’s drive-through shared his apparent access to good credit as well.
I say access to good credit because there is a facade that has to be maintained; that things are going well when they probably aren’t. I’ve had a few clients who on the outside appeared to be doing well based on where they lived and what they drove, but having done bankruptcies for clients right after the end of the last bubble, I’m no longer impressed by a BMW or Mercedes. All it tells me is that someone underwrote a loan for the driver.
In many ways the poor are braver. They have no where to hide. No Audis, BMWs, or Mercedes Benzes for these folks. A blue MARTA Breeze card and a bus and/or train ride will have to suffice, or at least the ability to walk.