November 10, 2009

A Penny Saved

I was standing waiting for the bus the other night. It was raining lightly and the streets were slick, and glowing with the reflections of lit buildings. I was waiting for the Number 10 Granville bus, which runs on its own time, not the schedule's, when I saw an imp on the other side of the street. I strained to see what it was. It saw me looking and started to cross over. As it neared I realized it was a tiny woman in really big clothes; a huge hoodie covered with an even bigger plaid jacket. Her pants and boots, while they seemed to fit her, were also enormous. Her crazy hair poked out from under the hoodie, and an enormous bag was slung over her shoulder. She looked like an Elf gone bad. She walked right up to me, looked up into my eyes and said --

You look so beautiful today.

WTF?

She was obviously homeless, but she didn't ask me for any money. Her bag was full of cans and bottles -- a good day collecting. I asked if she lived around there and she looked at me like I was insane.

I'm homeless.

She had a squeaky voice that was just the right size for her tiny frame. I couldn't resist her. I reached into my purse, pulled out my wallet and started looking for coins.

I'll take it all.

Oh my god, I thought, I'm being mugged.

Just kidding.

WTF? She was playing with my mind. I had a fair bit of change on me; some toonies, some loonies, quarter, dimes, and nickels. I passed it down to her outstretched palm.

She turned and walked over to the curb. She had her back to me so I couldn't see what she was doing but I assumed she was counting the money. She had put her bag down and was using both hands to sort the change.

Mutter-fuck, mutter-shit, mutter-damn, mutter-cheap bitch.

Next thing I saw was a cascade of pennies flying through the air.

Don't need your fucking pennies.

I guess a penny only goes as far as it's flung these days.

6 comments:

Shine a Little Light said...

Oh wow.

LENORENEVERMORE said...

goodness gracious...have you seen the price of copper lately?!
My...

Sharon McPherson: AUTHOR / ARTIST said...

Brilliant! That is the best story I have heard in ages. lol

Hillarious. That's a short story for a book!

Lianne, you have just made my day xx

Kristin said...

Wow. I guess by taking it all she was thinking more along the lines of all your paper money. ah ha ha

Elizabeth said...

Oh man. And this is why I do not go up to the thousands of homeless people begging on the streets in Boston.

I almost did once. I was having lunch in this window and there was a clean looking fellow on the street in front of me. I decided I would give him some of my dollar coins when I left, but by the time I finished lunch I noticed he had his little games too. It's too bad.

The way you told this story was priceless, by the way. I laughed :)

Summer (BisforBrown) said...

wow...

wow...

poor pennies.