March 4, 2013
Dollar Bill Prompt
I awake smashed and flat. The space is warm. I was slipped into someone’s pocket, I guess. I’d most likely been forgotten, as there were no other green friends tucked beside me. It had happened countless times before. I’m used to being forgotten about.
I am a dollar bill. I don’t have a name. I am a simple green copy just like so many others, with a face printed onto my stomach and soiled fingers groping my surface everyday. I am dirty and abused and growing old. The edges of my paper thin being are growing thin and worn and more grey than green. I have a red marker stain on my backside, a love mark bestowed upon me by one of my previous owners. It’s even in the shape of a tiny heart. I am nothing. I am only worth one measly dollar; one hundred pennies. I am a dollar bill.
Today, I am suddenly, by some twist of fate, remembered! Greasy fingers tear me out of their back jean pocket. I breathe in sour cigarette smoke and gasp for air as the owner inspects me carefully, squinting with bad eyesight.
“A whole dollar!” The truck driver bellows as if he has struck gold. “Would you look at that? Just enough for a new pack of cigs.”
A moment later he tosses me onto something cold and hard: a counter. I slide across the surface, relieved. Five green friends accompany me on the journey. They bid me hello and soon we are inserted into the dark, black space: the register. We wait until it snaps closed to get up and brush ourselves off. We are all so dirty, but there are so many friends gathered in the space that it doesn’t matter. We are all alike. Music blasts from a stereo system in the corner near the quarter and dime slots. The Twenties and Tens are hitting the dance floor, along with a few bold five dollar bills. The Ones hang near the bar, talking and laughing. Each cash register is the same old party with new green friends. Sometimes I run into old-timers, too- bills who have been through a lot. Although we’re all feeling pretty worthless in the One area, we all have stories. We’ve all been to crazy places.
Since I was placed on top, I am taken out just as quickly as I was tossed in. I wave goodbye to the party and go back to being a good little bill. I am soon pressed into the sticky hand of a small girl. She stares at me with big green eyes and giggles. I do nothing, because, well, I can’t. She carries me home on her lap, picking me up and squinting just like the truck driver did.
“Real money,” I hear her whisper. “I can buy anything.”
And in that moment, green eyes set on me, I think I felt something. Something like worth. I have the possibility of buying this sweet baby girl some happiness. The feeling was wonderful.
Soon the girl slips me into her bright pink, sparkling piggy-bank. There I meet several others, who already have the party started. It will go on until she cracks open the plastic bottom, which could be several years away. Let the party begin!