47 cents

Can you spare 47 cents?

I smiled and dropped 2 quarters into grimy hands/

Hey young man, here’s 3 pennies.  47 cents.  A bum who gives change.   What a day.  You want to grab a coffee?

It’s been years since I’ve been with a man.

You might be a little old for me, and I’m still not sure you’re quite my type of girl. I’ll buy though, we’ll fuck with the squares, and it’ll be fun.  Persuading a bum to share a cup, my mother’d be proud.

He looked at me hard, and smiled a 3 dollar smile.

I took him to Stumptown.   The art gallery confused about her identity.  It’s a scene, that much is for sure, unaware that a 47 cent boohoo bum and I were about to explode onto it.

Two coffees black. And a shot across the bow.  Challenge them on their own turf, and let them know in very certain terms that you are not to be fucked with.  Tonight we are mayhem.  The multi-brow pierced journalist in the corner eyed us with suspicion, she knew her slice of peace was about to be shattered.

And so did I.  But I was feeling wiggy and the night was young.

Things began to get weird when my new bum friend eyed his coffee with the suspicion of a man who’d been burned in life and began talking about poison and the CIA.  No matter though, we’ve all got to go sometime.  This line of reasoning worked for a bit, at least for the first sip.  After that, he was committed. And so was I.

I smiled, because he was on my side, and I knew that I could never be held responsible, not criminally anyway, for what might transpire. No officer, I’d never met him before in my life.  He just sputtered up to me on the street, garbled Portuguese maybe, mumbling about 47 cents.  He’s probably criminally insane Officer, or at least socialist.  You’ve got a real freak on your hands, I’d use the Taser.

40,000 volts will loosen his tongue.  Help us get to the root of his madness. We are after all trained professionals; I’m a law man myself, with a background in criminal insanity. I know about these things, you understand, this sort of weird behavior is my specialty.  And I’ve got absolutely no time for coddling.

Lost in the daydream, I’d lost track of situation.  I’d lost my friend, and the café had lost her overhead music.  The boohoo was in some sort of vicious Greco-roman struggle with the barista/bartender/scenester over what to play next.  Jabbering like a true believer about the merits of CCR versus MGMT.

That is a fight that cannot be won.  Like any reasonable person, I eased out of the situation to refill my mug.  Two worlds that cannot be reconciled, though I’d had good intentions.  The journalist raised a metallic eye brow in my direction, I shrugged and adjusted my skinny jeans.

With the baristatenders distracted, I went behind the counter and helped myself to a Guinness.  The way things were turning out, I felt beer the more appropriate choice than coffee.  Sometimes you’ve just got to go with your gut, do what’s right, what you feel.



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