After a meh sort of meeting at school today, I stopped off for ice cream and beer, both of which were sorely lacking in my part of the fridge. I’m walking up my street, bag with ice cream in one hand, box of beer in the other, and as I was approaching a skinny woman probably in her 20s, she said “Hey, how’s it going?” I think that’s what she said. I wasn’t sure if she was talking to me. I glanced at her, and she was wearing big sunglasses and clothes that rode that thrift-store-hipster/actual-hobo line pretty well. She had been talking to me, and she eyed my box of beer.
“Hey, umm, would I be able to trade you a pack of smokes for one of your beers? ‘Cause I’m really hung-over and you’d just be saving my life,” she said. I stopped, and kind of made my “I don’t think so” face as I formulated the sentence about me not needing a pack of cigarettes.
“Please,” she continued. “I just need something to drink. I’m so hung over.”
That’s what convinced me. The fact that she felt that her being hung over was a reason that’d convince me to trade beer with her. It just seemed so illogical there was no way I could not reward it. This might seem to contradict completely my denial of Halloween candy to that kid for not having a costume last week, but he didn’t even try to convince me. His heart wasn’t in it. This woman really wanted a beer, and this was her form of legitimate reasoning. She was so convinced it would work, she said it twice. I had to respect that.
So I opened my box of beer and gave her a bottle. She was rummaging for smokes and I told her not to worry about it. She told me karma would smile on me and I told her to have a good afternoon.
And then when I got home I found, not five dollars, but my copies of Machine of Death waiting for me. I’ve only read a couple of stories so far, and I think I’m going to wait till December to really sink into it. I’ve got the electronic version ready to go on my reader so it’ll be good travelling material. If you want to buy a copy, now that the “Let’s Be an Amazon Bestseller for a Day!” push is over, I’d probably get it from Topatoco, where you can buy loads of other books/T-shirts/gewgaws made by other indie creators I’m proud to be, however tangentially, associated with.