“A Quick Accounting* Lesson”


*(By an acknowledged No-Counter)

*(June 20, 2019)

do your debts pile past

all shakespearean writ cant?

answer: poverty*

*(If thou’d not a borrower be then follow the rules of proper pauperhood. Hold out a hand palm up only to cup water or food. Even given money costs. And poverty by choice yields room for alternatives. Working as a sign-holder at a handy interstate entry or exit ramp may pay well – some such workers say $150 a day is poor return…with a leashed small but friendly appearing dog double the output; better yet, do your begging mobile in front of offices where young lions graze in glass-fronted dark towers. Look up, smile, engage, and follow the dog’s lead. Money flows from guilt. Then you can find out all the reasons not to go that route on your own. My informant did his best begging along and near “K” Street in Washington, D.C., but lived miles away at a highway overpass with a running stream for a quick washup underneath, and relatively peaceful neighbors. But no place to garden, no place to get a library book, no place to feel safe at night. Is $300 a day – and for what? dope, brew, whatever really worth it? And poverty carries one positive benefit you haven’t yet realized: it provides the impetus to quit smoking cancer. If you like high so much why do you threaten the end of the run by cramming ciggy smoke down your lungs all day?

This came about as I was walking out of my nearby supermarket with a library cloth bag of groceries. I was separating quarters from nickles-dimes-pennies, each to a separate pocket. Do you have a light, the young man with the small black-n-white puppy on a shoulder-halter-style harness rig asked. “Nope. Don’t smoke.” Do you have a lighter? I quirked and shrugged a negative. Then, do you have any small change your can spare, he came to brass tacks. “Nope,” ever the economizer of negatives I repeated. “These are all counted-for.”

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