Cutting in line for corn in a pandemic and economic free fall
“Really, I would never cut.”
It was after a week of hard work, which consists of collaborating with community stakeholders in seven New Mexico counties—focused on developing new systems to ensure that all families have timely access to vital services for surviving.
I would now face my biggest challenge: The Saturday Santa Fe Farmers’ Market. Here one encounters what we affectionately call the “sea of grey hairs,” the privileged elders who seek sweet corn, chilled wine, fresh-baked bread and cruelty-free eggs.
Attracted by a large banner with the words FRESHEST SWEET CORN, I saw a truck parked just beyond the regular row of venders. I strolled over to take a look. With the six foot distancing rule, it can be tough to recognize a formal line. What I saw as a few random humans floating aimlessly through space was instead a line for corn. A line not to be crossed.
The public shaming started with a loud yell, “There’s a line here!”
I’m startled and respond, “Ok, yes. I’m actually not cutting in line. I’m just looking at the corn on the truck. I wouldn’t cut. Really.”
A glare is returned from the line up. Their contempt is palpable.
In a pandemic and economic free fall, we watch sickness, joblessness, fear, hunger and trauma growing. The wealthy, who are barely inconvenienced by the mounting chaos, are doing their part to keep order in a world of colliding crises. Rest assured, there will be no cutting in line for corn. Ever.
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Please excuse any typos as I construct an article at 3am on only one cup of Joe. These stories are mine and mine alone. I do not represent any organization here. If one of my illustrations looks like a real human, corn vender or three-headed hydra, that’s total coincidence. Words and images ©Dominic Cappello but share with everyone you know. Questions? The Plan Forward awaits you here: www.tenvitalservices.org