Hunger gripped my stomach. Food had become a luxury item I couldn’t afford. When I opened the cupboard this morning the shelves were bare except for the box of microwave popcorn and the remnants of Cornflakes strewn across the soiled contact paper.
I’m told that sex sells. Tell that to the cheap bastards who come to The Grind and gawk at the bikini baristas. While I froth their coffees and warm their cinnamon buns, they stare.
I dumped the jar that contained way more quarters than dollars on the table. The change clattered across the worn Formica and plopped onto the pleather bench of my favorite booth. It was here that I tallied my tip totals while the afternoon sunlight slanted in the window.
Today was a bear market day. Forty dollars would hardly pay my weekly transportation costs. How was I supposed to make my rent and eat?
Pride had kept me from asking for help, but I was going to have to call Jade. From the little I’d seen of her lately, she appeared to be weathering the economic downslope better than I. She’d have a plan, she always did. I dropped my head to the table with a thunk, closed my eyes, and silently asked the universe for a solution.
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