A fictitious character based on two or three actual girls on my flight to GUA.

Lyric is 20 years old and just dropped out of college because her “old soul” felt crushed under the weight of adult expectations.  Her major in photography was a disappointment to her parents, and a care-free Lyric didn’t really care.  She registered for $3,000 courses with the click of a mouse, and with a charge to Daddy’s credit card.  That was last semester, though.

The phone conversation with her parents, informing rather than warning them, about her rash decision to drop-out was short.  She hung up before they could react.  She knew that they would forget all about another added disappointment from their daughter after their tennis match at the club.  Lyric secretly misses the club.

Lyric’s aesthetic says it all.  Worn sandals, chipped toe-nail polish, $120 black leggings and a big, pastel T-shirt, flaunts her desire for a gypsy life, while always reminding those surrounding her that she still comes from money.  How else could she afford a trip to Guatemala, being an unemployed drop-out?

The camera strapped around her neck will soon be filled with pictures of indigenous children, their dark skin contrasting her slightly sunburned nose and otherwise pasty skin.  Her time volunteering will end up amounting to approximately 373 likes on Instagram and a week’s worth of gratitude, mainly resulting in phrases like:

“The families in Guatemala have nothing, yet they were so happy,”


“I am truly blessed.”

Later, once she’s returned back home, a highlighted sense of empathy will make her feel like she truly knows the definition of struggle.  She’ll explain that she saw poverty, and traveled to Central America thus she knows what it’s really like.

Lyric has a travel photography blog.  One she hopes will become a source of income one day.  In the meantime, she decides to work as a barista and buys oversized clear-framed glasses and pairs it with a colorful floral blouse she bought in Guatemala to match the part.  “The coffee in Guatemala is so much better than it is here… No one appreciated the art of coffee,” she’ll tell her co-workers.

Eventually, Lyric will start a GoFundMe page to sponsor another trip to Guatemala, where I will see her yet again, and where posing for pictures will do nothing to help any family or kids, yet again.



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