Saturday. What is Saturday? Saturday is a living day, a day to be born. Saturday is a dying day, a day for mourning families and morgues. Saturday is a happy day, a day to hear your laughter echo out through the trees. Saturday is a sad day, a day to sob quietly in a dark room. Saturday is a day where you heart soars. Saturday is a day where your heart is ripped out of you, and flung carelessly on the ground. Saturday is a day to think about picking your heart up off the floor, or to leave it lie. Saturday is a different day for every person that lives it.
Saturday, July 2nd 1840- Virginia
I am a slave. Not by choice, but by Force. My Ma was a slave, my Pa was a slave. I am too. I work under the sun, er'y day, pickin' cotton. I done seen mo' cotton in my 17 years than you er' gonna' see in yo' life! I hate cotton. Lil' white tufts float 'round me, and get in my hair. They stick to th' sweat drippin' down my face, and hang there like lil' bugs. When I open my mouth, they done find their way in, and cover my tongue. The get stuck in my throat. My fingers are sore, raw even.
See, the thing about pickin' cotton isn't exactly that the cotton is evil. It's th' heat of the day, the screams of the other slaves being beaten, the sweat pouring down your brow an' into yo' eyes, the pull of the muscles in your back, and the gnats that try to force their way into your mouth. Sometimes, its too much. Too much!
T'other day, I done somethin' I ain't never done before. I sat down, in th' middle of the field and broke down cryin'. The heat was mighty powerful and the dust was in my eyes. I hadn't had none to eat since night before last, and I was just plain old done. At first, no tears came, just ragged sobs. The shook my body in a way that 'most scared me, and they seemed to come from somewhere deep inside me. Then, tears started to fall, tears from eyes that have seen too much. The dust choked me, the cotton was suffocating me. Then the overseer saw me.
His voice hit me before the whip did. Both were sharp, and stung. He hit me. Again, again, and again. The muscles in my back burned with an invisible sort of fire. It consumed every part of me, and wrapped its tendrils around my brain. My face contorted, and I cried out in hot anguish. I wanted him to stop, anything for him to stop!
Yes, I am a slave. It may as well be branded on my forehead, I am a slave. Every Saturday I've ever lived, and every Saturday I ever will live- I am a slave.
Saturday, February 2, 1980 - Ethiopia
Food. Mountains of food. Piles of food, so colossal that they block out the sun. Sweet breads, tender meats, soft, heavenly puddings, fruits of every shape. I grab handfuls of food, and shout with joy. My mouth is watering. I take the food and shovel it into my mouth, the very epitome of joy coursing through my veins.
Then I wake up. Ugh. I have dirt crammed in my mouth again. I hate those miserable dreams. I've nearly become accustomed to having my hopes dashed to little pieces every morning when I wake up. See, I have it all figured out. My day goes something like this- Sleep, dream about food, wake up, feel hunger pains, daydream about food, feel hunger pains, daydream about food, sleep, dream about food. It seems as if my entire existence is focusing on getting one tiny morsel of food, and the sad thing is, I'd do anything to get it.
I hear the village crier shouting "Saturday, Saturday, Three Dead!" and my stomach (or whats left of it) sinks. Most likely another family starved to death. With the horrible droughts, denying our country of crops, animals, (and over all, life)many a child goes hungry. Why, I've been hungry since...forever? That's what it seems like. I can no longer remember a time before hunger, nor can I remember the taste of food, except in my dreams. My wrists have grown thin and weak. My bones protrude every which way from my papery skin. And I am only 16. Things should not be this way! I've heard of places where food is as abundant as the sand in our lonely desert. I've heard of kids who have so much food, they throw it away. I envy these people, and despise them, with a primitive rage. And so I sit, waiting for death, hoping for water, dreaming of food, all alone, in a quiet hut, in the middle of an Ethiopian hades.
Saturday, August, 14, 2009 - Texas
I am lying in bed. Of course I am! I am always lying in bed! I don't have top go to school, take tests, or deal with mean teachers. Some kids love to lie in bed, but I do not. I find it interesting, that once something becomes mandatory, it is a lot less fun. I've lain in bed since I was nine. I was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia that has broken both my arms and legs. The height of my day includes getting a new saline drip, and lets not even TALK about the worst part. See, the thing is, I still kind of enjoy life. That is, when I don't have a needle poked into my tender skin, or a doctor prodding at me, or some young child staring at me and pointing, yeah, life is pretty good. See, life is like a small tuft of steam, puffing out from a large tea-kettle. The little puff of steam hangs in the air for a second, a fleeting second. And then it's gone. So, I try to enjoy life as best I can. Once, I met a guy, his name was Andy, and we went on a date. Yeah, kids with cancer go on dates too! Only problem? I can't walk. But that was O.K, he couldn't either. He had Lymphoma.
Anyways, we met in the hospital, and he asked me out. Long story short, the nurses wheeled us to the cafeteria, where a small table was set up in the corner of the room. It was so sweet! The nurses had put a tablecloth and candles on the table, along with mashed potatoes and prunes, the only food I could eat at the time. Any other kid would have labeled it "The Most Awkward Date Ever" but not me. Because I knew it was probably the only date I would ever go out on. And I was right. Soon after that, I got even worse, and so did Andy. He died.
Yesterday, the doctors grimly informed me that I only have about one week to live. Its not like I didn't expect it. So, I'm sitting here, in the hospital, listening to the re-assuring bleep of the heart monitor and hoping for a miracle, as I watch the vapor of my life pass away. Yep, just another Saturday, for me.
Saturday, Next Week - Where Ever YOU Are
It's Saturday. You own this day, its all yours. A blank slate, a fresh page, a new morning. When you wake up, what will you do with this day? Waste it, like so many less-fortunate people have never been able to do? Or use it to lighten another's load, to put a smile on someones' face? Will you recognize what you have been given, the wonderful gift of 24 hours, a short vapor of time, quickly passing? This is your time, and it is limited! Use it wisely.