S2: Episode 2 - Joesette

Episode Information

[Intro Music]

Narrator:  Welcome to Hunger and Resilience, narrative histories about the complexity and experiences of hunger. A traveling exhibition and weekly podcast edited and hosted by Michael Nye, supported by the San Antonio Food Bank, Eric Cooper, executive director. We are grateful for the honesty and eloquence of every voice. Episode two, Joesette.

Joesette:  My parents tend to think that I daydream a lot, but I’m not daydreaming. You know, I am kind of like lost in my imagination. I am lost like thinking about ways of helping my parents and I, I’d rather just keep it to myself and I’ll think of my ways. I’m a 14 year old girl. I have four brothers and four sisters. I think skies are beautiful when they change colors. Sometimes they look orange, they look pink. When you wake up in the morning and you smell the earth, smell the grass. That’s beautiful. I think trash is beautiful when the trash is all cluttered up together, the way it looks and you see all those different colors. I admire that my mom is so responsible. She’s my best friend. I understand. like my mom’s face, when she gets upset or mad, one of her eyebrows goes up and I know what she’s thinking and I know how she’s feeling. My parents are so willing to give when we don’t have much to give, I learn from them. I learn by what they do. I watch what they do. And you know, I, I take notes in my head.

In the projects where I live, I know it’s dangerous. When my little sister was hanging out clothes, um, my younger brother was playing in the yard and some man just came and tried to take him and, you know, um, my sister was doing cartwheels out in the grass and she got a needle stuck on her side of her thigh from where, um, maybe they were shooting up drugs and they just leave their needles thrown. And you know, in the projects, there is always shootings. There has been times where we have to sleep on the floor because we’re afraid that we’re gonna get shot. Nobody knows their future. You have to be on guard every day and every night.

Well, what goes through my mind when, when, you know, when I go to bed hungry, I usually don’t sleep. I’ll just stay up or read a book or just, you know, just think and I start getting upset. I’m upset because I know that my brothers and sisters don’t have enough food in their stomachs either, and they’re littler than me. And when we don’t have enough, you know, it just, it hurts. And you just wanna like punch holes in the walls. You, you, you wanna take your anger out on anything or anyone you can, but you can’t.

What I don’t understand is how cruel people can be sometimes. You know, people are all alike no matter what they say, how rich or poor you are, everybody’s alike. The public don’t understand that you’re, you’re struggling. They, they see you as somebody who can’t take care of yourself or your children. They see you lazy. They see us as poor and ghetto and trashy people. And I just think they’re, they’re so confused. They don’t understand hunger. They don’t understand what we’re going through. Last month when my mom was in the hospital, um, there wasn’t any food. And it was around dinner time. Nobody really talked. And I just remember I broke down and I started crying because it was crazy and it was hard. And I, I blamed myself. I blamed my dad. I blamed my brothers and sisters for being born because I thought that it was their fault too. And, you know, it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating.

Hunger is a pain that you feel inside of your gut. And when we pass through grocery stores or you know, when we’re passing through places where there’s food, you know, you want that so badly, but you know, you can’t have it. It’s just a, a mixed emotion of, of want and sadness. I am a hard worker when I do things, I want them done right. I am that type of girl that will study when debuts are going on. And if you really think about it, sitting down and doing your homework, that’s what’s gonna get you to go to college. And that’s what’s gonna get you to get your job, your dream job. You know, almost everybody has an enemy or somebody they don’t like or somebody that doesn’t like them. But I don’t wanna have enemies. I I wanna be everybody’s friend. I, I think I’m different.

[Outro Music]

Host:  This is season two, a weekly podcast, narrative histories about the experience of hunger and resilience and of understanding. I’m Michael Nye. Thank you so much for listening. We are grateful for Joesette’s honesty, her eloquence and presence. May something in her story stay with you. Every person, every place is a map to somewhere else.