In the evening her man friend goes off to do something with someone. Do what. With whom. Is it another lover. Is it an illegal activity. She doesn’t know, the man friend has his own agenda, he doesn’t bother keeping her in the loop. She has the apartment to herself, she sits on the bathroom floor and pries up a certain plank in the corner. The plank is slippery and mildewed. From the space underneath she removes a rusty coffee can. Tonight another handful of coins is added to the contents of the can. Tonight a few metallic clinks, last night a few, tomorrow night a few. Few and few and few and eventually the can filled to the brim and magnificently heavy in her hand. These are bits of copper and silver scoured from street gutters or taken from pockets of drunks in the bar where she works. The man friend has no idea about the plank or the can, otherwise the coins would go away and the saving would start again. The man friend is more or less without scruples. He tends to his needs first and hers a distant second. It is what it is. The can is the can. The money inside is the money. When she has enough it will be possible to buy a bus ticket to somewhere other than this city where there is no man friend and no one like him. The ticket will be printed on paper. The paper is the paper. Slowly she adds today’s coins. Today is twelve clinks, which isn’t thirteen or twenty or fifty, but also isn’t six or three or zero.
A pretty good night after all.