Five Dollars


I bought my first wig today. Actually, I bought two wigs. I love them both and decided I needed them both. Also got some fake Chanel studs. I remember when I was about to drop a few hundred for a pair in Paris but I couldn't bring myself to it because I lose earrings way too much to invest in them. So I'm content with a five dollar pair. Look the same to me, honey. 

Decided to ride my bike over to Zella's. Had my mind on some wings. Garlic. And a little of that good garlic bread they have. It's too cold to stay and read, Manchild in the Promise Land, like I planed. So I put the rest of my wings in a box. Just now, I fixed my scarf and headphones to leave but was stopped by two little white children. A girl and boy. They were running around the restaurant like their parents owned it. 

"So what can we get for $5?" The boy dug into the menu with his wide brown eyes. His hair was unkept and his sneakers were tattered beyond the sole. 

"Well, I can get you a pizza." The young white waiter began. "I will be able to get it at a discounted price for you." 

Folk music played over wood paneled floors, adding a calm to the ambient string lights.

The little girl was standing right between them but her rosy face was fixated on the bar. Finally, she said, "Jimmy! That man! That man over there said he gon' pay for our food!" Her words were rushed. The sense of urgency that one carries when they know how fast good opportunities may present themselves, disappear, and never come again. 

"So that mean we ca' get pizza and the wangs!!!" Jimmy's arms shot up with a thunderous green glow. 

"Well, I'll still take the five." The waiter was probably being mindful of the pockets of the "guy over there." He wasn't a big shot buying up the bar. He was just another young waiter. "I'll let you get your pizza with the five and he can pay for your wings." 

"Yay! We gettin' HOT WANGS!!!"

Jimmy danced off to a corner where I could no longer see him and his sister, but I could still feel their relief. Their gratitude. Their joy. 

They weren't the owner's kids. They were someone else's kids, who gave them or left them to find a few balled-up dollars to eat. 

No older than ten or eleven. Jimmy had the keenness of a wild child of the sun. And his sister, bore the observant eye of a mother. But where was their mother? 




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