The Heart Weeps…

Brian Cook

…and the mind reels at this: Twice a week, Kathleen Kielbasa drives her 1997 Jeep Cherokee from Algonquin to Des Plaines to visit her elderly mother, helping her with shopping and other chores. Now, as gas prices have reached $3 a gallon in some parts of Chicago, Kielbasa will cut her visits to once a week. "My 85-year-old mother will not be happy, but I just can't afford it," she said as she loaded her SUV with items bought for her mom at a Rolling Meadows Wal-Mart. Pull out the smallest violins you have, kids, and play a slow, sorrowful dirge for the woes of Kathleen Kielbasa.

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Brian Cook was an editor at In These Times from 2003 to 2009. He now works on the editorial staff of Playboy magazine.
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