Privileges and perks

Today, I spent the majority of my day at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park for an all-day client meeting. Between endless meetings and presentations, I got to enjoy the perks that Facebook employees and guests get to relish during their visits to the Facebook campus: endless varied food options, from cold pressed, fresh squeezed juices to on-campus smoked BBQ, even crispy bacon vs. soft bacon as options (it’s *that* specific and catered to individual tastes here); a free for all ice cream and desserts shop; fully covered washed and folded laundry; even a poster printing workshop where you can create posters with images and messages to your heart’s content. The conference rooms have fun names like “Chips and Salsa,” and around every corner, there is a snack bar full of Mighty Leaf tea bags, an espresso maker, and at least 15 different types of energy and granola bars. The Facebook Fifteen is a true reality for most new employees.

I got to the meeting via Uber, went to see my cousin and his wife via another Uber ride, and finally came back into the city via my third Uber ride for the day. During my ride back into the city, I thought about how spoiled a life I lead, even if it is only during a work trip — I get to enjoy Uber rides whenever I want them, free tasty food at a renowned campus of the mega well known Facebook, and four- and five-star hotel stays paid by my company. These are all the things I never get to tell Ed about or that he can experience. He never got to enjoy the thrill of owning a smart phone and summoning a car ride at his finger tips. He never got to visit me at the Westin St. Francis to see what my hotel room and view were like. I can’t tell him what the Facebook cafeterias look like and tell him that he can actually choose crispy bacon over soft bacon, or vice versa. I’m sure he would have been excited to learn about these little food bits there. In fact, I don’t even know if he really had a preference. The Warriors won the championship tonight, and all of Union Square was cheering and screaming. Ed would have enjoyed watching the game and would have been excited since he always enjoyed basketball, but he’s not here for that either. And it feels terrible, as spoiled and self-loathing as it sounds, to be in a San Francisco hotel room by myself late at night, thinking about my dead brother and all the privileges I get to have that he never even had a tiny taste of. Why do I get to have all these things, and he had none of them? Why do I get to live a happy life and he had the total opposite?

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