The reason fathers don’t have their children and the mother does is simple. Mother’s without children are bigger liabilities for law enforcement than men without children.
Women lose their minds when they lose their children. To the point that medical attention is required.
A father handles this pain much easier. After all, no one spent 9 months in his belly to be ripped away before they could be raised.
I’ve seen it all too much.
My ex girlfriend? Had 4 children before we started dating. They don’t trust her with them. She has felony kidnapping in her past. Charged. She now tries to find her way through a maze of homelessness and disregard as a mother.
One of my sisters? Had 3 children before she broke up with the father. He left her. Just took the kids and relocated. I don’t now all the details of their breakup. But now she’s holding on to a delusional, exaggerated sense of power. She lives in a homeless shelter as of just a few days ago.
My ex would attract police presence while she had my son, enough to make them pull the child away from her and open the dependency/neglect case that cost me my parental rights ultimately.
My sister would call the police on her own brothers and sisters while we tried to get her out of the house, then another time while my brother was riding with her in another sister’s car she happened to be driving. Luckily she dropped him off before any law was scrutinized in the matter. According to him, he was just headed to a college campus and needed a lift. They must have argued along the way.
Nevertheless, as heartbroken as I am about it, I’m not about to make matters worse and forget that the law could make a full mockery of me in court because I (still) don’t know it well enough.
My brother I cannot speak for, but he doesn’t give the police any problems either. We both seem to have learned not to tango with the law unless we have the evidence (or chutzpah) to succeed.
The law may or may not be skewed compassionately towards women’s plight in legal arenas, or it may be as I’ve explained: women who have lost their children are bigger problems to the legal authorities.
I may be off-base here, or perhaps I am completely wrong. But the evidence around me backs me up on this.
It isn’t a conspiracy theory. Quite the opposite. I’m attempting to disprove a conspiracy; namely that law enforcement has conspired to work against men with records who have become fathers.
And I don’t have the blog space to tackle that. Huge. Anthill.
Is it any wonder I need cigarettes, coffee, and a beer every now and then?
With God’s help, I don’t suffer from an addiction beyond those three. That’s a past life.
Am I sick? Yes.
Am I getting better? Yes.
Will I heal? Not completely. There is still no cure for either diagnosis, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
But it could be worse. Usually when you’re sick, your body reacts to infection. Instead of infection, my brain is, for lack of a better term; out of order. And no one knows how it got that way. What threw the switch? When did the brain stop functioning in an organized fashion and begin to jump, stall, involuntarily invent, stay alert at night, and panic?
Therein lies the true illness.
As for causes, it could have been the lengthy heartache or it could possibly be the very first lengthy homelessness. It could have been the time I was homeless and took strange DMT and ended up curled up, in the fetal position and in an empty underground parking lot in the middle of the night, hallucinating and trying unsuccessfully to get to sleep.
So if there are screws loose in my head, there are clear markers on the roadmap of my life that have more or less “drilled” the screws nearly out.
Some of this information is for myself and my medical support only, but more than that, I’d like to speak to any scientist studying either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. As a well-treated patient, I have a lot to share with Science.
I want to go in depth about a problem below the belt. No, I’m not turning into a woman, chimpanzee, or bat. Not that I know of. Anyway, I’ve had an issue with it for long enough and my doctor’s aren’t treating it like it is it’s own problem.
I’m being treated for a sexually transmitted disease. But the illness isn’t presenting like a typical STD. While sex is contraindicated for the duration of symptoms (kill me), that didn’t stop me from sleeping with one woman again and again.
We’ll talk about my obligation to speak to this woman about our mutual problem in a moment. For now, let’s get into the nitty gritty of what ails me…
Symptomatically, my right testicle is swollen for weeks at a time. It’s painful, affecting my right leg with radiating pain. X-Rays taken at two hospitals each determine it is Epididymitis, a condition that isn’t Chlamydia or Gonorrhea yet is treated with the same medications.
Possible causes are: STI’s (STinfections) like C or G above, Urinary Tract Infections, Urine flow into the Epididymis, Trauma to the area, or Tuberculosis.
Bring in the urologist, right? They’re impossible to schedule with. I haven’t successfully made an appointment yet.
Also, I can’t remember having these symptoms before I started seeing the aforementioned woman. Up until this point I haven’t outright blamed her for this. But when we first laid together (just before the pandemic hit) she had her own problem down there; it was a terrible stench that she had the next time we slept together too, aside from those two times, she has smelled better, but she has problems keeping up with her domestic duties. The trash. It sits around the inside of her apartment and the mosquito infestation is…
It could have been a mosquito that bit my testicle (Yeah, that’s it!). But that would mean tuberculosis. Let’s goddamn hope not.
I wish I could point at other sources for this problem but at this point she and I aren’t on talking grounds. She doesn’t know about Myra.
My right nut.
She doesn’t know because I haven’t told her. And for a while, I thought it was blue balls so I would just schedule time to have sex with her at her place and then leave immediately. Only for it to hurt still.
Now that I’m experiencing more prolonged pain, and my epididymis feels like it’s about to swallow my hole testicle, and my leg can hardly take it, I’m headed back to the doctor tomorrow.
What worries me the most about her story, is that she has her tubes tied. Is it possible the other men she may have been with have left me a painful gift? Is she a flimsy floozy, or is it all because her hormones ain’t right? I don’t understand women on that level. I’m no gynecologist.
To top it all off, I was unprotected each time. No jimmy, no rubber, no training wheels, no hand rails, no – you get the point.
So guess what the moral of this story is, kids!
“Take out the trash!”
“Get a tube tie!”
“Bros before Ho’s!”
That all sounds strangely logical, but it’s very simple: Wear protective equipment when you go to have sex. A condom can be found at your nearest gas station or convenience store.
I don’t know how long I will have this problem, but I know I’ll do the best I can to keep myself healthy for as long as possible.
… and by extension, work/career must come first. What else is duty?
It is important to discuss what we are reaching for.
Lend me your imagination here:
It is as if a man and a woman danced together formally. In such an instance, the man leads.
If there were crowns involved, and the woman were to to take the man’s crown as he wore it and knelt facing away from her, that is, behind his back, she would put it on, he would rise and behold her as she faced away and donned the crown on her own head with much personal satisfaction. She has taken power. If for an instant.
In another dance involving a crown, the woman would kneel before the man and he would bestow it upon her, giving her power instead of her taking it.
In yet another, the man/woman dances alone with their crown.
Better yet, they both wear their own crowns and once again the man leads.
The point is: a man’s duty to lead goes beyond his obligations to power, a woman’s duty just the same. But without love…
Perhaps a better example is required.
One’s power is their ability to carry out their duty.
Duty to self and duty to another.
Duty to the world.
Duty to home and duty to neighbor.
Duty during battle and duty at labor.
Love itself is not a duty. It is a feeling, however strong, that has never matched ambition, intention, or devotion. Especially when that devotion is to a country.
It is noble to choose one’s duty over one’s heart. This is how you attain things that one cannot truly live without.
But one should not chase love through their duty or through their power. For surely love will bring you weakness and downfall should it never arrive, or worse; leave you.
Love is fleeting, complicated, and with a well known shelf life if commitments are made to the wrong individual or circumstances deteriorate.
Duty outlasts love. This alone gives it all the power that duty, or you, will ever need.
There once was a girl named Sonya. I loved her. From the moment I first saw her at recess in 2nd grade, until high school when I finally struck up the nerve to actually speak to girls about my romantic intentions toward them.
There were times, like in fourth grade, when some of us would put glue on our palms and wait for it to dry so we could stick them together and as they pulled apart it would look like webs from a spider. The fun part was peeling all the dry glue off of your hands piece by piece. The larger the peels the better. Sometimes Sonya would join in and we’d all have fun. Even if some of our hearts were pounding harder than the others at her closeness.
Well, she had long brown hair. Unfinished, lightly brown skin. The most adorable face with crooked teeth. She also flirted and was always trying to be close to this other boy I knew. It hurt. This boy was always dominant at recess. He played soccer, he played basketball– he was good too. Better than I was. That hurt, too.
I dreamt of Sonya. Boyish dreams I don’t remember the details of. Being nowhere near puberty at the time I don’t have many jokes from the dreams. I remember my feelings being of quite a serious nature. So much so that I kept them a secret and felt that if anyone knew they would either worry about me or force me to confront the lovely gal.
But I positively burst with the desire to do so. There was a period in middle school, which was a different building but with most of the same students from elementary years, where I became obsessed with writing her a letter that might describe my feelings for her. But my fear of rejection had been heightened back in 5th grade.
It was the year I had sat at a computer and wrote from memory the entire Disney’s Hercules film into a Microsoft Word document over the course of a few days with the free time portion of the day.
Two reasons I love to write are the letter to Sonya, and the discovery of Microsoft Word that year. Though, admittedly, the letter was to be handwritten. I didn’t own a printer and there was no way I would let anyone else read the contents.
That year, I wrote a different girl who I had a smaller but still significant crush on a very small question on a piece of folded paper and set it on her desk. There, with my name at the bottom, was the query: “Do you like me? Yes or no.”
I watched her open the paper and read it. I didn’t expect her to write something on it. I couldn’t wait to read what she wrote. But before I got to, she balled it up tightly and threw it in the trash can nearest to me.
Great vote of confidence.
I was devastated. So I never gave Sonya the letter. I never even wrote it. Constantly I would rewrite and edit it time and time again in my head. But never were these words shared. Never did I speak to her about my love for her for fear it would be unrequited.
Did I want her to love me back? Hardly was it a prerequisite, but if she would even grow to, I’m sure I would have had no need for heaven, church, or food, or a silly old QWERTY keyboard.
My hypothesis is that the constantly edited letter going through draft after draft in my head and then getting constantly suppressed by my fear of rejection, fueled by that intense love for that… damn girl, has been the source of what would later become the voices in my head.
The doctors speak of it as a “split”. The voices themselves sound typically like my desires. The problem with the voices is that what they say, need be said, yet doesn’t come out because once the sentence is formed, it’s echoed inside in a timbre that isn’t recognized as myself. So I react by listening as if someone else has read my mind and said it out loud. Which, by the way, is EXACTLY how it feels. Every time.
My assumption as to the cause of my auditory hallucinations is that once I distanced myself from the sound of my heart’s deepest desire – in this case: Sonya – by denying myself the love I obsessed over, and by the suppression of my inner voice (and all that beautiful poetry)for all those years, my mind has split into at least two parts. The suppressed voice and the expressed mind. This results in the third voice, the psychological shadow, the sound of the original mind, the unconscious… along with it’s frustrated tone.
It’s just a hypothesis, I don’t know for sure. The causes of schizophrenia are as unknown as the number of sand on the shore.
Maybe the idea she would ever go for me was my first delusion. Think of those implications. Granted, you don’t know someone’s preferences if you don’t ask or they are unwilling to tell. And 2nd grade is a difficult time to enter puberty. At any rate- that’s early. 3 years early by today’s data on when puberty starts and how old children are in that grade.
Love hurts. But unhealthy obsession is what leads to mental health issues. Since I never confronted the girl and told her how I felt, I’m sure it was an unhealthy obsession. I’m also sure I have other problems that stem from my life’s first prolonged heartbreak. But at least time has gone by and I’ve gotten over, more like “past” her. Just be careful out there, you could really mess yourself up if your self esteem is dependent on who you love and you must obsess over when you will finally win them over.
Sitting through a book or movie. Or writing either one.
These long works of art are not what I’m meant to write.
I find my talents are more suited for the essay. And no, it isn’t dead. If you think they’ve been replaced by those top 10 lists, then you’re on the hunt for clickbait and should suffer the consequences of trying to please everyone at the expense of prose.
I say Herculean because if you still have energy, you’re not wasting your time in front of a television. Sure, you’ve got a long ride and you’re a passenger in the 27th seat. That’s a reason to invest time in a movie, book, or binge sesh.
But if you’re going to live a full life and continue to ask “what’s next” and that’s your motto and you’re stickin’ to it, then what business do you have sitting down for longer than 30 minutes at a time?
Apparently that’s my attention span these days. After 30 minutes I require something new to spend my hard earned energy on.
Why don’t I just watch sitcoms? Well I do. Huge fan. But I’m trying to get out the door. I’m trying to shake off the sluggishness of having to quarantine.
Like: “Do you hear me, America? I’m trying to get back to business as usual with you, but I was on the bench so long I put my feet up.”
I’m trying to work up the courage to go to work today. And I am trying to figure out just why it’s so goddamn hard right now.
Through this wilderness
You find a cottage
Then you rest.
You don’t have to hunt
Or even travel very far.
You have a routine.
Then, you run out of
It turns out someone
Else owns the cottage,
But you can stay there
At a price:
Everything you have.
You love the cottage,
And everything before
Now you must decide
How you will eat
If you will stay
The food is theirs
It isn’t yours anymore
Society is distant,
Hunger is iminent,
It is time to face
But you have gained
Weight staying at the cottage.
It’s difficult to hunt now.
Wouldn’t it be nice
If someone else hunted?
Yes. But it’s. Just. You.
So you hunt.
You let the hunting
Change your attitude
Let it change
Let it change
As you dine on
A hunters diet
The domesticated one
…Until the next resting point.
That poem is my path. If it resonates with you, then…
Forget the past. This is the time: Now. The present.
I rely on social security benefits. I have the unpleasant psychotic, disabling disorder of schizophrenia. With equal parts of bipolar disorder to accompany it.
I’m supposed to rely on social security benefits.
I’m used to relying on the government when I don’t have the presence of mind to hold a job. Then the pandemic hit me. I had a panic attack on the floor of my package handling job when the pace of packages started to outweigh how much I could focus on their destinations one at a time. Never mind the next step of this position, the sorting into different state codes.
On a usual day, it’s easy shit. I made $200-$300 a week on a part time basis. Now I’m sitting in the basement in my sisters house, barely able to afford food and cigarettes for the week. All my social security (apparently I receive the maximum benefit amount) has to go to rent. I’m screwed.
How did this happen?
I told you, I’m used to relying on the government when I’m going mental. I tried going back to work. I tried 3 times to get back in the swing of work. I completed two weeks at a bakery, then quit because everyone thought they were better at my job than I was. I got no slack for being new on the prep line. I then worked up the courage to go back to the local airport with a different company. Turned out they worked for the same contractor as a former employer and there was no way I was going to work in the same terminal hall as the company I willfully walked away from. My third attempt was thwarted by finance regulations when the potential employer, a finance agency, found out I owe on college loans I haven’t been able to afford paying on in years. I should have seen that one coming.
That’s 3 attempts to get back on the workhorse. It’s 3 strikes right? Right now, I’m out of motivation to return to work.
My resume says I’d be great in a warehouse as long as I don’t have to operate a forklift seeing as I still don’t drive. On that tangent, I’ve been trying to visit the local motor vehicle office to find out if my public transit record of riding without a ticket is still holding back my very first license. But if I can’t handle packages without panicking, how in the world am I going to handle traffic, acceleration dynamics, interstates, and god damned pop-up stop signs?
Sometimes I feel like I’ve turned into a scared little boy. Like the world has become more than I have been preparing for it to be. Like me and my girlfriend, the world, have been drifting apart lately. She thinks I’m a twerp and I think she’s actually gotten too fucking heavy.
Right now, I could afford breakfast for this week. Which, sure as you’re born, I’m gonna eat for dinner too. As for cigarettes, it’s a dirty expense.
Right now, I can claim unemployment benefits on what I earned two jobs ago. I can collect Social Security every first of the month. But maybe cases like mine are the reason jobs haven’t been pounced on once pandemic additions expired. We do want jobs. But I don’t think my mind will let me back on the floor of a warehouse, or on a food prep line, or back at the airport any time soon. I have experience in nothing else. And don’t tell me I can write my way into the middle income class, because I’m going to give you a stiff finger.
My best scenario includes low debt from transit tickets so I can (finally) grab my driver’s license and start driving for the myriad delivery services and cab alternatives that are all the rage right now.
Or, you know, OR, the progressive opinion in Washington D.C. prevails concerning universal monetary safety nets (or whatever they’re called in congress). Who knows, maybe I’m not the only one heavily reliant on government assistance programs.
But if it is that I’m just a scared little boy, and I haven’t got the mojo to stand when the world sends waves to my surfboard, then I’m going to need some training in courage under fire before my walk echoes some sort of bravado the way it did when I was in school.
Harry Potter is a scrawny boy with glasses and untidy hair. He’s from England. As a matter of fact it all takes place in England with one rare scene in America and a photograph from Egypt.
In the beginning he is forced to live in a “cupboard under the stairs” and left out of the magical world. A world which he discovers he is wonderfully a part of at the age of eleven. An age at which he seems to have no skill or talent other than letting snakes loose at the zoo. Which in the end was a feat of magical skill.
His aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon are a questionable folk. They put on airs of high class and society but treat their nephew like trash. Their son, Dudley, bullies and teases Harry nearly every chance he gets. But that’s where Harry was dropped off when he was around one year old and has been living there ever since.
Let’s discuss who left him there and why.
Albus Dumbledore is the Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Minerva McGonagall is the deputy headmistress and professor of Transfiguration at the school.
An evil wizard by the name of Voldemort had just killed Harry’s parents in the name of a prophecy he had heard and truly meant to kill Harry. But the killing curse must not have been uttered properly. For instead of killing Harry, it split off a piece of Voldemort’s soul into Harry, who has been living with it all his life, unbeknownst to him (Harry).
These secrets aren’t revealed until much later in the story, and you may wonder why I tell them so soon. Well I assume you’ve heard the story!
Anyway, a boy with a dark connection, like holding on to the soul of a dark wizard in the shape of a lightning bolt on the forehead, can get very far it turns out in the world of magic.
I ought to mention that it is my view that throughout the series of books and movies, our protagonist Harry Potter has a fight brewing within himself and it is between his parent’s blood, and his connection to the Dark Lord.
The way it mathematically or not turns out is that Harry gets everything that makes him… him… from his father, his eyes from his mother, but his very viscera belong to the darkness within. The nightmares that begin in his fifth year, the anger he’s had since he could remember, and his skill at curses, talking with snakes, nearly everything except quidditch comes from the split soul of Voldemort. Quidditch is a sport played on broomsticks. That’s enough about quidditch!
Harry Potter is a complicated hero. And he is a hero because of something Dumbledore reminds him of in the very last book:
“It is not how you are alike, it is how you are different.”
The difference is that Harry’s life was full of fond memories of friends, goodness, and honesty. While Voldemort’s life was full of deceit, cruel social withdrawal, theft, murder, and bigotry. Truth be told, Harry had plenty of opportunities to make a darker decision, and it didn’t take a large complicated dilemma to point it out.
Harry Potter led people, just like Voldemort led people. It took more prodding on Harry’s part. Voldemort needed a following so he could purge the magical world of non magical blood, which he saw as “impure” and to defeat those who would stop him from murdering Harry finally.
What I think JK Rowling was intending with Harry was a simple unlikely hero type. He isn’t prepared for any challenge he faces until he has to prepare for his toughest challenge of all; the defeat of Voldemort- by death. Imagine having to kill 7 parts of a man’s soul before you get to kill him and free your world of his serial killer legacy thereby bringing peace to that world, oh and by the way, that world is the world of charms, curses, spells, and incantations, potions, and magical creatures. Imagine not knowing you were a magician by bloodline and that magic is real and that there are magicians who want you dead and it is your duty to kill them first.
I imagine you would want to learn as much magic as you could so that you could be prepared for the many challenges and battles ahead of you. Is that what Harry wants? Let’s examine the boy’s motives shall we?
Harry Potter’s motives change over the years of the story told of him. In the first year, we know he just wants his secondary family off his back. Especially Dudley. But his chances at normality pass him up at every opportunity. Harry Potter doesn’t get normality. At best he gets events of conscious euphoria: riding the back of a hippogriff, flying on his broomstick, realizing he has a godfather who cares for him, drinking potions of luck, winning school competitions, and the like.
But Harry’s normal is usually filled with a moodiness he doesn’t understand, or that he, at times, attributes to his current circumstances. Harry is a dark hero. He is atypical and marked by a dark curse that no one fully understands until the author reveals her secrets. Revelations on a schedule that leaves the reader completely amazed and excited to turn, if not pages, chapters in order to get to the jelly in the middle of the doughnut. The beauty is, there are so many doughnuts you could read for ages.
It is a marvelous feat of Rowling’s to have created such a marvel. Such a treat. I don’t mean that simply as a boy with a connection to uncommon magic, I mean that as a boy with a connection to dark, destructive skill. I also could have chosen my dark side. I know what I was born into, I could have faded away in to gangs, murder, grand theft, and drug abuse.
As the sorting hat said when it placed Harry in his first year:
“You could be great, you know. It’s all here…no…?”
We could all be great big assholes. But it is not how we are like assholes, but how we are different that matters. That makes us heroes of our own world of magic.
We are addicted to summing up things. Topics. Subjects. Objects. Songs. Movies. All fair game for our minds that want to be able to tell someone else about the work of art, yet once they sit down to create art of their own, what do they do?
What we usually do is summarize our idea. Adding up all the pieces too soon so we have a name for the art. This was almost called “The Case for the Working Title”. That’s a lie. A lie with just cause that can be ignored easily for simplicity’s sake.
Further to my point actually. And the point is: summary brings the sum of the parts and since minds who aren’t known for mathematical prowess often settle for addition in their logic than what is truly necessary for art: subtraction, division, and patience.
True works of art are those that have been given the effort required to make the typical piece a masterpiece. Often that work requires the subtraction necessary to cut out the unnecessary, the division to create sections within the work and the patience to work on each section individually.
But to sum up the art in your own mind without leaving it vast in its presentation to your awareness is masterpiecide. Masterpiecide is not a word, but if you divide the words involved and subtract them from the main word in order to examine their necessity- that is, their purpose- within the word, you will understand the definition of big words like “masterpiecide” (murder of a masterpiece).
An idea comes to you in pieces. And sure, you’ll need to refer to it and describe it to others, but what I want you to do is not give these titles and limits to the art before it is finished. Name it at the end perhaps. Maybe the name is the whole reason you have an idea, that’s fine too. But if you can’t see past your title or summary into the work itself, then you have a problem that requires the order of operations (aka P.E.M.D.A.S.).
An idea can be very complicated or very simple based on how much of the elements of PEMDAS are contained in the very conception of it. You may not find parentheses or exponents in typical artistic idea conception, but if you want to create a larger project, you need Multiple sections which comes from Dividing the idea into Additional parts and Subtracting that which isn’t logically part of the idea as a subject.
Chimpanzees have nothing to do with Volcanoes unless you connect the subjects or include the world both of them occupy.
As an idea, even chimpanzees divide into male and female, young and old, is it raining in their habitat or is a volcano erupting soon and no one has relocated them because they’re wild chimpanzees who are left to die under these tragic circumstances as by local law- which may be tribal and the chief’s son may be training the chimpanzee to perform human like activities, behaviors, and just when an emotional connection is getting stronger with the chimp, ash begins to fill the air.
The Chimp Story above could be a hand painting, a computer graphic image, a written work of fiction, a screenplay, a comic book, part of me sees a children’s game there where candy erupts out of the volcano instead of “liquid hot magma” (technically: lava) as the children pretend to be chimpanzees.
You could even build the volcano with the children out of couch pillows, papier-mache, or cardboard, and have them draw chimp faces on paper, cut out the faces and eyes, stick a hole punch in two sides, attach yarn and you’ve got chimps and a volcano. All you need is candy, a timer, and someone’s willing to throw candy out of a pile of pillows.
All that from using the order of operations on an idea and leaving the idea vast enough to not stick a name on it. Just a working title. “The Chimp Story” isn’t a real name, it’s a working title used to refer to the idea after it’s been… operated on.
So don’t sum up the idea too soon. Let it breathe. Let it come to you in pieces. Relax, some people don’t even have ideas. Be grateful. You may want to file the pieces all under a name, but that’s how you know you have an idea. All I’m saying is, you might have many, even if it comes to you as one.
The night is a dark place to be. But for three individuals, it was just what they needed, or so it seemed…
Lexi was a beautiful blonde who went by the nickname Sonya Blade. Tonight she had a bit of a problem. A man tried to steal her purse. A man she knew somehow. She figured she must have dated him at some point, he was rugged and a bit too focused on the purse.
He would have gotten away with it. He won the purse in the struggle. After which Lexi ran into the bookstore to phone someone, and the man began searching the purse by streetlight.
That was when a traveler who had seen the struggle stopped his vehicle and started a fight with the thief. But the traveler was also losing the struggle. Looking up from the ground, he saw the thief get distracted by something in the window. The thief blushed and an evil smile flashed over his face.
The traveler seized his chance and gave the thief the upper cut of the century. Then he turned to see what had distracted the man, and saw Lexi buttoning back up the navy blue striped white cardigan hoodie under her jean vest.
Wishing he had seen the distraction himself, he gathered up the things in her purse still lying in disarray on the ground. Lexi came out to help him. He handed her the half full purse. That was when the brown paper bag fell out.
Stacks of bills in rubber bands were just visible as the bag landed like a cat between the two.
“Did you…?” The traveler said.
“Did I what?” Lexi said. Picking up the paper bag and putting it back where it was. Then she paused and reached into it. “Here’s fifty bucks. Thank you.”