Cents-Less

Rushing around in the predawn hours before yet another day at school, such a daunting number of tasks demand attention that it would seem as though I would have no choice but to clone myself in order to be everywhere at once. Even after my first cup of coffee sends caffeine surging through my veins, the manic race to get out the door and beat my train into the station feels like an impossible triathlon. Having never been an athlete of any sort, the odds are clearly stacked against me from the get-go. Throwing various books, skeins of yarn, and lunch items into my bag with abandon, it’s easy for the minute details to get lost in the fray. Many a day do I arrive at school and instantly remember that report that was left on the kitchen table, or those notes that were painstakingly written out and thoughtfully placed beside my computer, where they all still remain. Worst of all is when my wallet is the item du’jour that has been temporarily forgotten – Something that happens embarrassingly often.

Tactlessly trying to avoiding train conductors looking to collect the ticket that is now miles behind me, this first inconvenience is only the beginning. The real trouble is when lunch comes, and those cruel vending machines selfishly refuse to cough up just one measly bottle of water for me. Hands scraping along empty pockets, my throat feels dry enough to rival any dusty desert. Cursing the consumerist society that puts a price on a necessity as basic as water, there’s usually little choice but to accept my thirst and manage it for the remaining hours of the school day, until a bountiful faucet is at my disposal once more.

This time, however, a fellow classmate saw me looking anguished in front of these uncompromising drink dispensers and inquired as to the source of my distress. Looking quite blue himself, I hardly felt that I had any right to complain about my own malaise, especially when it was all caused by my scatter-brained oversight. Quite the trooper, he swore up and down that he was honestly better than it seemed, beaming with a bright smile that made it hard to doubt his assertion.

Without a moment’s hesitation, he generously offered to spare me the pain of thirst and confidently thrust the requisite number of coins into my hands. Feeling guilty to have evoked such pity, I attempted to convince this kind samaritan that I really would be fine. Although I normally find it very difficult to accept money, even after working a job or completing a commission, it didn’t take him long thwart my arguments and wear me down. After all, what’s a few cents between friends?

As much as I hate relying on the kindness of others, this strapping young fellow was quite the god-send. I wish it were as easy for me to remember some simple spare change as it is for him; It seems like no matter what happens, he always has extra coins tucked away somehow!