Money Pillow Lady

August 5, 2009

The high and hot sun kept goading my pores into coughing up sweat on that blistering Monday. The mercury hit record-breaking highs, but I was masochistic enough to venture out into the broiling discomfort with nary a fear (or a drop of sunscreen).

I’d been out in the open for awhile, and the novelty of cooking like a creme brulee ‘neath a blowtorch wore its way out. I cut down Thomas Street, due west. A shinily-impersonal eyesore of an office building offered my scarlet-hued brow some relief.

Money Pillow Lady walked towards me. She’d emerged quietly from around the building’s opposite end and moved with the single-minded speed of an Amtrak, despite being well into her seventh decade on this planet. A bright red t-shirt hung droopily atop her scrawny frame, and wrinkles spider-webbed over her exposed arms like cracks in a dried-out riverbed. Two light blue–almost white-blue–eyes stared out from deeply-inset sockets. Those two giant icy marbles bulged from her face, seemingly in reaction to her tightly-clenched jaw. Her pale lips were stretched taut, exposing her symmetrical, gleaming, and slightly-oversized dentures.

A blue Seattle Mariners cap was wedged on her skull, and a tumbleweed of gray Brillo-pad hair exploded from either side of her headwear.  Best of all, she clutched two small pillows-each shaped like a hundred-dollar bill–so tightly to her chest that the knuckles of her bony fingers whitened from the intense pressure.

“I came here for vacation to get away from the fucking heat,” she grumbled as she shambled past me.


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