Friday, May 25, 2007
Give a person a fish, they'll eat for a day.
The determinist offers the first line of this story...
Give a person a fish, they'll eat for a day. Give a person a wallet full of money, they'll have an AMAZING party. And that's exactly what I did when Bad Harry handed me a worn leather wallet containing five crinkled 100-dollar bills. I didn't ask questions - I don't have a job and my allowance is stuff all.
I can't remember the last time I had that much money in my hands. There was that time I stole Mrs Chang's jade earrings from the jewellery box she hides under her bed, and sold them to an English tourist for 250 bucks. She never did come after me about those earrings, although sometimes when she came to visit my mother for tea and black bean cakes, I'd catch her giving me a questioning look and pursing her lips.
"Aiya", she would exclaim in high-volume Cantonese, "What are you doing about getting your daughter a husband?"
And then I would roll my eyes and find an excuse to leave the room. If I was lucky, they wouldn't notice me leaving the house.
You can have a lot of fun with 500 bucks. A whole gang of us kids went down to McDonalds and bought tons of Happy Meals to eat and totally took over the playground there. We muscled the little kids out of the way and scared of their mums and dads. It was great. Then Elias said we should gatecrash this party he knew about in Wainui, so we went to the liquor shop and that's the last I saw of the money.
I wasn't expecting to see Bad Harry outside our front door. I usually see him down at Vic's, where he goes for pie and chips when his taxi shift finishes. I had to run to get the door before my mother, who was outside hanging out the washing, heard his knocking. He was here about the money. Apparently I was only supposed to be looking after it for him.
Shit, I didn't know. Someone gives you money, what the hell are you supposed to think but that it's yours?
So anyway, that's why I'm working at his mum's takeaway for the next few weeks.