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Thirteen Dollars...and Fifty-Eight Cents

Anthony J. Gillespie

Thirteen Dollars...and Fifty-Eight Cents

Thirteen dollars and fifty-eight cents is the sum of a month of involuntary labor, and unexplained restitution deductions. How the hell do I survive off this? “Three hots and a cot,” but bro ain’t never lied! Immediately my stomach growls at my now sweaty pits as the battle begins: hygiene versus food for the month. Then the growls become howls like a wounded dog in the middle of the night. My sweaty pits begin to drip like a leaky faucet. Then a bad combination of gas from dinner and must waiting to be showered tornado together…can my celly smell that? I’ve gone up and down this canteen list, written six different orders, and they all exceed my dollar amount. Damn near broke, you would think this is easy, but now my watery eyes tell me different. I give up and lay back and play a version of my own “duck-duck-goose” to choose my grocery list. This one it is, eight different items, ½-hygiene, ½-food, the war is over, thirteen dollars and fifty-eight cents well spent. See you next month, canteen order.

Painting by Gwynne Duncan 

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