Still not knowing anything about him, except that he was apparently a friend of Joy’s, he laid out some bills. I have never seen such crumpled , dirty and stained bills. I licked my lips wishing that I could get my tea from the other side of the room.
“So, let’s see.” He gathered some coins from the pile and handed them to me. “Put the coinshe in number order. ” I placed the large ones first and proceeded down to the smallest. He smiled and jotted down a note in a notebook. ” Place the coinshe in a set of similars. ”
I fingered the small, silver coins and then the different coins. I didn’t seem to have any pennies. There seemed to be nickels, dimes, half dollars and dollars coins. I fingered the edges of the coins, I didn’t see any names or numbers on the coins. I put the coins in groups by size and the large coins with the bills. Joy’s friend , Mr. test administrator, was looking across the room at the hallway entrance. ” This shouldn’t take too long.? I want enough coinage to buy coffee and a pie.” He looked down at my medium coins and the bill I had put out. I didn’t have pennies or quarters, unsure of my choice, I pulled the bill back.
I looked at the money on the table. I picked up 2 large coins, remembering that Marie had given the food truck vendor two such coins. I put two out and then withdrew one, just like she had done. It didn’t seem right. I have no more idea how much the price was for coffee and pie than I had for lunch. I put out 3 coins and 7 smaller ones. He seemed puzzled and he picked up the two large coins from the pile and placed them on a blank card. In a teacher’s voice as smooth as silk and cold as ice, he asked . “Lunch is 37 coinshe . How much are you going to give me? ”
How to do 37? when I have no pennies. I puzzled and my hand scratched the back of my neck,, I stretched my neck and caught sight of the pillow in the desk chair.propped up against the drawers. The inner math voice said’ No use stalling, I was just guessing anyway.’ I measured out three of the rough edged medium ones and a large one ( hoping that I had put out 3 dimes, a nickel) It was the best I could do. I sat up, from the slump and knew as soon as he looked down, I was wrong. He spread the money out in rows and boxes.
I stared at the notes, he had laid down.
” Marie’s girl doesn’t know number identification, having difficulty with basic coinshe joining and subtracting. Don’t know how intelligent she is.
Education is minimal, like all education in the outer areas. What does Marie expect? ” I looked up at him, in his gray suit and purple scarf. He met my gaze. ” I don’t know where you lived or what is acceptable for your area, but you have a lot of work to learn if you are going to do anything here!” He glanced at his watch and then at the door. I cocked my eyebrow( involuntarily response) , my teeth locked together.
” What are you talking about? What is this? You certainly are not tutoring me.” I poked at the paper and mixed up his boxes .” I have never claimed to be great at Arithmetic , but I do quite well out on my own.” I stood up and met his dark face. His sharp creases in his jacket and pants, the folded down cuffs on his pale blue sleeves, he reeked of upper class snobbery . My eyebrows closed together and my voice was just cold and crisp.
” You may think that you and your kind are the smartest, well dressed, most endowed and entitled Blue bloods in the world.” I shook my hand, ” My part of the world is just as smart, kinder and just as good as any of you. We have ideals and we know what is important and how EVERYONE deserves chances to be equal to ANYONE else. ” I drew in a deep breath, what my friends call getting my irish temper up.
” We don’t believe that the notion of superiority is breed into us, like you blue blood high society snobs!” I drew another breathe, standing squared off for the blowback . His eyes were wide open and his eyebrows were lifted, he drew back and his lips were so tight that you could see his teeth grinding. Marie and Joy walked in behind him. Marie picked up the paper on the table. Joy’s expression was pure anger and boiling . Glaring at me, she put her arm around her friend and squeezed him. He looked down at Joy, his voice scared sounding. ” She called me a – a Blue Blood! What right has she to say that!” ” I know, you were trying to help her. I don’t know !” Joy tilted her head at Marie and tears filled her eyes. Marie picked up the coins and put them in stacks before moving them to one side of the table. She looked exhausted and sad.
Picking up my hand and slipping her arm around my waist. ” Why would you say ? What happened ? ”