pixietastic: (Default)
The penny died off up here some years back, the Canadian mint declared it cost more to make a penny than one was worth. I'm not sure what the exact logic was when they went from $1 bills to coins as that was before my awareness of money, and when the $2's became coins, well that was just a giant joke all around, but that's what we tend to be with our funny, muticolored, maple syrup smelling, plastic Canadian money; a joke.

Fortunately for me, when I was at my poorest pennies were still accepted currency. I was every bad cliche single mom story for awhile there. I spent a year in my early 20's after my divorce on social assistance, to supplement my pittifully small maternity leave payments. I had an ex who, for that first year, didn't pay any child support. I fell into mass amounts of debt that I simply couldn't crawl out of.

As it turned out, starting over with nothing and two kids in tow was more expensive than any lifetime movie had ever lead me to believe. There was no mansion with a crazy aunt or mother or grandmother to live with, for me. There was no stable decent paying job either, I guess that's what happens when you split up in 2008. I worked a series of secretarial and call center positions, for a dollar above minimum wage, and with bill collectors and creditors and debts from the ongoing divorce... Well, lets just say the ladies at the food bank were always very nice.

The thing about constantly being behind is you cut corners, you buy bus tickets instead of bus passes because you don't have $80 up front to fork out at the beginning of the month, $15 is easier to come up with, even though you know they wont last you till payday and you'll be scraping the change out of the bottom of your purse again trying to make it be enough to get you home from work. You learn things like the fact that they can't, by law, shut your heat off between October and April so you pay that bill last and only when you have a little "extra" whatever that looks like. And when they cut your phone off? Well it's almost a blessing because the creditors stop their relentless calling. Eventually I signed off on a debt management program, but even with that I couldn't get blood from a stone, and the payments there fell behind as well.

There was one day in Mach, I remember it because it was shortly before I started working in the bar and life got immensely better, I woke up to my last shift of the week. As always I was broke, and scrambling for change, I turned every inch of the house inside out that morning, sifting through the couch looking for quarters, nickles and dimes but came up about $0.80 short. In fact, all I'd been able to find were pennies and a couple of dimes. At the time I was living with an artist who had a collection of paints taking up most of the basement of the house we shared, she must have had paint in every color from cerulean blue, to burnt sienna, heck even golds, coppers, and silver... A penny and a dime are very similar in size, though obviously not in value... But with a little silver paint in the early morning light...

As I climbed onto the number 95 bus just as I had every morning that year, the digital display glaring it's sharp glow of 5:45 am, I shivered. I've never been good at being dishonest, but missing work... Missing work when the world is already falling down around you, when you already don't have enough... Missing work is even less of an option.

As I put my mitten full of painted pennies into the coin catcher watching them tumble in the dull incandescent glow of the early morning bus lights I looked down and mumbled to the always cheerful driver, "I'm sorry for all the change."

He smiled back at me, and handed me a transfer, not even inspecting the fare before pressing the button that dumped it into the out-of-sight bank, "change is good" he replied.




LJ Idol - Friends and Rivals topic 4 "The death of the 1ยข coin / penny and the $1 bill"
pixietastic: (Default)
TW: sexual assault, domestic violence.

Read more... )
pixietastic: (Default)
Our story begins with our heroine bravely stocking the shelves at the local Valu-Mart, on the midnight till 8am shift. Her neon purple and black dreadlocks pulled back into a bun that somewhat resembles a moldy blueberry bagel, her septum piercing wiggles as she sighs dramatically hoisting package after package of Valu-brand toilet paper over her shoulders, trying desperately not to catch her 00 gauge neon orange silicone plugs as she goes along. The distant patter of a cold March rain echoes through the mostly empty store.

"Becca," Kurt, the night shift supervisor calls from aisle two, "I can hear your frowny face from here, remember, turn that frown upside down and keep a hap-hap-happy face on in front of our loyal Valu-Mart customers."

"Got it," she replies, plastering crimson lips into a distorted grin, intentionally pale skin contrasting her jet-black eyeliner and long fake lashes obscuring eyes that glimmer an excellent tone of aquamarine.

"I mean it Becca, there's no "I" in team, and we need to make sure we're all on the same page!" Kurt carries on his usual stream of cliches, hurrying over to her aisle. "Presentation is important here Becca, we don't just stack the packages, we display them."

Our heroine rolls her eyes, sighing deeply, "I know Kurt, you can scurry along back to the office now, I can handle stocking the TP."

"Bathroom tissue, sweetie, and don't forget I'm assigning you a brand new buddy today, Ms. Lilly will be here shortly, make sure you get her in the spirit of the Valu-Mart team and remember--"

"I know, make sure she doesn't get lost on the north stairs up to the break room," Becca finishes for him.

"Right, because we all know how that works, such high turn over in this place!" Kurt says, pushing his square framed black plastic glasses back up to where they should have been sitting on his face, his hair immaculately spiked with it's frosted tips glistening under the glow of the fluorescent lights. He flutters away, returning moments later with a small blonde girl in ratty sneakers, "now you two play nice, Becca, why don't you take her to the break room and find her a nice little uniform ok? Ok then."

"Hi, I'm Lilly!" Squeaks the blonde.

"Great," Becca replies replicating her best fake smile, "this is going to be peachy keen. Come on lets get you up to the second floor."

The pair walk silently towards the forbidden north stairs, "you'll have to watch your step back here, one of the stairs isn't safe to step on, in fact it's kind of, not there, well not exactly missing so much as, well there's a kraken, it's the third one from the top, so just step over it ok? I'm not supposed to take newbies up here but the only other staircase is out the front door on the side of the building and there's no way I'm going out there in this rain," Becca states rather flatly as she climbs the stairs.

"A crack? In the stairs? Like one's missing? Or like there's a crack in one of the steps or what?" Lilly asks confused.

Becca turns around, "no, like a kraken, a giant cephalopod, that lives in another dimension who's only access point to our reality is under this missing step in this staircase and if you stand on it the sea monster will raise one terrifying tentacle drag you down into the depths of its watery dimension and sell your soul to Cthulhu, God do I have to explain everything?"

Lilly, blinks a few times, then starts laughing, "look I get it, I'm new, I'm blond what-ever, but I'm not stupid ok," she pushes past Becca in one brisk movement, jogging straight up the creaking old staircase, "so where's this crack? Cause I don't see anyth--" and like something out of a bad science fiction story, an enormous glowing tentacle wraps itself around her leg dragging her down in a shower of spurting green water. The poor girl hasn't even a chance to utter one last horrified scream.

Becca sighs, "Kurt," she yells, "we've lost another one. I swear to god I warned her but she just wouldn't listen. Do you want me to claim she didn't show up? God we've gotta do something about that thing, this one didn't even get into uniform. I'm getting sick of all this paper work."

Kurt pokes his head around the corner "Becca, I've told you, there's no "I" in team, now I'll get to the paper work if you handle mopping up the floors, darn thing brought half his ocean with him this time! Gosh golly, what a mess!"

Becca rolls her eyes again heading for the broom closet for the standard mop and pail, "whatever, Kurt, I'm taking tomorrow off, I have like, stuff I wanna do, like reading or something, you still need to hire someone else, like I can't be here all the time just cause you have trouble finding decent staff."

"Oh alrighty then," Kurt replies sounding somewhat defeated, "it's just good help is hard to find."


This was my feverdream of an entry for week 2 of The Real LJ Idol, topic: The Missing Stair. Voting this way. Thanks for reading.

Profile

pixietastic: (Default)
pixietastic

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23 242526272829
30      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 20th, 2017 12:31 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios