Podcast Season 2: Hunger & Resilience

S2: Episode 10 - Nathan

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 10, Nathan.

Nathan: This story I thought up mostly in my head is my tranalong stories. They’re based off of a humanoid, species of dinosaur. They’re very steeped in magic and the way of a warrior. They have technologies which allows ’em to travel through artificially made wormholes. It’s also about my core beliefs. I believe in chivalry, you know, opening doors for women, overall being nice to everybody. You know, say you walk up to somebody and say, hello, how you doing? If you’re hungry or tired, you can come over to my place for a while. Treat them the way you would want them to treat you.

When I was in elementary school, I had an experience, one of many experiences in which I could not afford lunch. Mom and dad could not afford groceries or even money for school. I can just remember sitting there watching as everyone else ate, and I couldn’t do anything. I just felt really hungry and alone. Almost felt like I was getting thinner as I watched. I live with my mother, my father, my sister, and my brother. It’s a small one room apartment, and it’s just really, really cluttered and tight in there with five people sleeping in one room.

In our house. We are renting to own a refrigerator that we hope we can pay off, so we can own it for real. The water pressure was so bad at sometimes it was like a trickle. I mean, it just came down like raindrops slowly and not enough. When we were in high school, one or many of the students in the school started complaining about me, my brother and my sister smelling. We were asked to go to the counselor’s office. She informed us that every morning she would escort us down to the shower rooms where we would then take our clothes off and take a shower there, and they would give us clothes to wear. That is embarrassing. I can remember walking down the hallways and every time I passed, a large group of people that just turned away from me didn’t even look at me. That was one of the main reasons why I could not continue to go to school.

One of my biggest influences has been my mother and father. I love them dearly, and I just wish I could live up to their expectations and finally get a job that I can hold and start making money so I can pay them back for all the kindness they showed me when I was a child. To be able to walk up to them one day and tell them that I’ll pay for their food, I’ll pay for their living. Things are very hard right now. Uh, dad has to pay the manager a hundred dollars out of each of his two checks since he works two part-time jobs, so that doesn’t leave any money left for food, and you’ll get so tired and so hungry. Have you ever had that feeling before? The feeling that you couldn’t get any lower than this? If you could live the life I lived, be who I am, then you would understand this world is a cruel world hard to live in, hard to experience life in. The best way I can explain it is we’re just in between that line, teetering in between poverty and hunger all the time.

[Outro Music]

Host:  This is a weekly podcast season two, narrative histories and stories about the experience of hunger closeup. It’s also about resilience in understanding. We are thankful for Nathan’s openness, his responsible nature, his voice and presence. May something in Nathan’s story stay with you. I’m Michael Nye. You may go to my website, michaelnye.org/podcast for photographs and transcripts. Every person, every place is a map to somewhere else.