Updated: Aug 2, 2021
“ The phone does not ring. The small amount of money from my father’s life is gone, footing the bill for this place."
I wake up on the cracked futon and look up at the ceiling molding that is old, ornate and chipping with cheap paint. I am in this tiny pied-a-terre that will soon function as my home, Rick and I coming to an inevitable end. It has been awhile since I have worked. Last year, I buried my father. I thought having this place would be the conduit to employment, the city renewing my energy and placing me back into the game. But the economy has crashed. The phone does not ring. The small amount of money from my father’s life is gone, footing the bill for this place. Last night I went to the bar on the corner but just stood there, silent, neither single nor partnered. I’m not sure who I am, or what I do. I walk out of the bathroom, pull on shorts and a t-shirt, and slide into my favorite beaten blue converse. I open the kitchen drawer and lift out the bowl of change. I count it into my palm: 25, 50, 75, One, 125, 150 then ten, twenty, thirty more cents. I put the $1.80 in my pocket and open the door, walk down the narrow hallway and out the front to 4th Street. Next door, I hand my change to the same kind girl I see each morning and she hands back a coffee with cream. This is my ritual, and I have enough for two more weeks in the change bowl. After that, if I don’t get work, I will file for bankruptcy. I make a promise to remember the bowl, the coins in it that I worked so hard for, the small moments of happiness that they bring me, and that I will never, ever take them for granted again.