“The True Meaning of Pain and Sorrow”

Within each of us, there burns a light of over a billions and billions of souls screaming in agony, of all the pains we hold inside of us

All the hard and tough times we go through, each and everydays of our lives, we try to hang on to our humanilty, our dreams, our destiny, our faith, our hope, and ourselves, and we must never giving up and never surrender.

Trying to save those for whom we care and love, including ourselves, and no matter how hard we try, we always get hurt most of all. It is these hard times we call Life.

Anthony Roman,

Anthony is looking for work at four more fast food outlets after being fired from a McDonalds franchise for lateness. “I’ll work seven days. I’ll do whatever it takes.” He is making time to write and to draw graphic illustrations; he and graphic artist Chris McCamic of Rochester, NY, recently learned that the “Unionizer” figure first appeared publicly in 1911.

An in-progress Unionizer graphic by Anthony Roman

An in-progress Unionizer graphic by Anthony Roman

Anthony Roman, 39

unionizer

(Unionizer character drawn by Anthony Roman)

I grew up in the Puerto Rican projects on the Lower East Side, and I have lived my whole life within three blocks. None of it has been easy, but it is where I live, and how I relate to the world.

My mom is there, and I must help her, my girlfriend is there. We just had four babies. She is a hospital nurse. She is staying with her mother in the Bronx, and I’m staying with my mother in the lower east side, and spend a couple nights a week in the Bronx. I have a brother who is just out of jail, and another younger brother who can’t really help. I’m behind in the rent, behind in paying for my phone, which I need to get another job, the kids have been sick. It’s tough.

I was working in three McDonalds, usually getting the job to clean up and close up. They give me multiple jobs at once, which is not fair, but I get them all done. Now I work in one McDonalds, with a new manager who is cutting everyone’s hours. A bunch of people there are just walking away from the job because they are unhappy with the manager. This last week, I was totally alone in the kitchen with a line of customers that went out the door. I want to work as much as possible, but they just don’t want it.

Really, I see myself as an artist. I can draw, I can work with signers and rappers, I can help others. I’ve drawn the Unionizer, our mystery superhero figure who can help fast food workers make things better… he has no face, just a cowl, so no gender or anything to limit who the Unionizer is.

We all grew up with Happy Meals, we understood that they meant goodness and happy times, and we were drawn to want to work at McDonalds to be the people who gave other customers Happy Meals. Somehow, it has not quite worked out that way. The bosses are unfair, the pay is not good, you can’t live on it. The managers do not respect us, the workers. That’s actually the biggest thing, the lack of respect. Dignity. It doesn’t cost anything to be nice to workers. The same people mopping shouldn’t be serving the customers too.

I hope to get a job at the hospital where my girlfriend works, and in a bar at night hauling boxes. I will work seven days if I have to just to pay all the bills. I would like to become the first person in my family to go to college.