The Eighth Page

30 Days Without Spending Money

Hey, Alex Moss here, wanting to relay an anecdote. Well, actually, I’ll skip the gory details and get right to the point. It also turns out that I don’t know the value of a dollar. In the past few weeks, everything I thought I knew about money has been cast aside. Apparently, the money bush is not an incredibly rare plant indigenous to Hungary, it just doesn’t exist. People have jobs not because they want to sound important, but because a job actually serves a practical purpose. But most importantly, I learned that a dollar isn’t truly worth a dollar, it’s worth something else… but just what that was I couldn’t quite determine. That’s when I came up with a brilliant scheme. I would go 30 days without spending a single cent. The following are excerpts from my diary. It’s a couple months old, but I feel like the message is still intact to this day. October 3: ?So far, so good. Picked up the phone to order Kings Subs before remembering my pledge. There was still time to brave the freezing cold and take the 10 minute walk to the Boston Food Pantry for some good food, but I had a better alternative. While crying myself to sleep on a stomach full of Oreo’s, Tums and toothpaste, I couldn’t help but smile triumphantly. October 7: ?Things are starting to get a little hairy. Get it? Hairy? I can’t buy any new razors. I did poorly on a test yesterday, but instead of being able to pull out a crisp Lincoln to make the test grade go away, I just had to stomach it. Who knows what new unspeakable challenges I might have to face in the future? October 10: ?Unable to do laundry. I heard once that kids used nickels instead of quarters for the washing machines, so I went in a similar direction and just hit the machine violently until something happened. Nothing happened. Oh, except I bruised my wrist. It’s a funny thing about the wrist, you never really acknowledge its greatness until it’s gone. October 15: ?Today I went to register for the PSAT, only to discover that it costs money. I almost talked myself into it before I had a revelation. My future wasn’t for a long time, but the lesson I was learning paid off right now. October 19th: More bribe problems. Kid gave me a dirty look on the path today, so I went to PAPS to place a hit on him. Turns out, PAPS doesn’t do that kinda stuff pro bono. Whatever, I’ll just quietly spread the rumor that he went on last week’s loop trip without a current ID. If Student Activities has any say, he’ll get 20 to life. October 24: ?So it turns out that I rented Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron on October 2nd, and though it was due on October 5th, I didn’t get around to returning it till the 6th, and I wasn’t about to pay anybody a dollar. Now I owe like 20. This sucks. October 28: ?Now my supposed “friends” are just antagonizing me. One of them offered me half his pizza for a quarter. Sure, he said he was just trying to be generous, but I know him for the cruel vagabond he is. First of the month he’s gonna be receiving a not so friendly visit from a public safety officer, mark my words. October 31: ?It’s Halloween here, and it’s a good time for all. I hit rock bottom yesterday when my glasses broke and I couldn’t pay to repair them. I’m legally blind without glasses. I don’t even know who to exchange pleasantries with on the path anymore, and without that knowledge, I am nothing. My life is in shambles. Luckily, it’s 44 minutes to midnight, and I’ve learned something over the course of the last 30 days. You don’t measure the value of a dollar in cents but in the number of people you can have brutally beaten with it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have several Almond Joys to attend to.