I am one, and perhaps you are too. We might not be ugly, but we are ugly to the perfect, pretty people. Our past is ugly. Our life is ugly. Our homes, our cars, and our kids are ugly. They are not good enough for the pretty people. We never will be.
The pretty people work to keep us down. We are the weird guy who walks around town. We are the girl who never fit in. We are the silent one, they all ignore. They have their teams, and their cliques. They have their clubs, and private places we will never fit.
We serve their tables, and clean their floors. We cook their food, and watch over them when they are sick. We are in their prisons, and die in their wars. We mow their grass, and deliver their goods. They tip us. We smile and lick their boots, and love their charity.
We never cared in school. We didn’t fit in. They were everywhere, and always on top. They walk in daddy’s footsteps, and drive his car. Their name will replace his, on the city council, and the beauty will continue. The ugly continues too.
We are ugly, so we drink too much. We smoke too much. We are too addicted, and we don’t care enough. We don’t care about the things they tell us matters. We jump 20 feet up, and we are still only halfway to the bottom rung of that ladder they climb. We screw too much, and make too many kids they hate. Kids who are treated the same way in school, by their kids.
Even when we reach the top; we are never one of them. We are never one of the perfect people. We cannot hide our work ravaged face, and our stress lines. We cannot hide our work hands. Why would we want to?
The ugly people are my people and me. We fight, and sing. We struggle, and pray. We scrape and get by. We are mean, but we love. We don’t really want to fit in. That was burned out of us when we were children, and you made sure we knew we would never belong. But, we have honor. We have our people. And we are proudly ugly. Too ugly for you.
(Photograph is of an old paint strip test road in Southern Illinois. )