pirate

I needed to make
money. 

Reliable,
measurable, 
real money. 

Money 
that my parents
did not 
have to give me. 

I still asked for it.

Instead my dad 
gifted me 
20 minutes 
of taxation training.

He toured me 
through
deductions and credits.

Explained revenue minutiae
typeset 
on pastel 
pink, yellow, and blue
newsprint paper.

Capped and
uncapped and
circled then underlined
sections and tables
with his 
red, green, and
black markers.

Pointed to what 
he owed.

We owed.

Made it relative-
this could buy
groceries for 
two weeks,
so...

And never
actually 
said-
no.

Message received
though.

I wanted a new bike.
I needed my own money.

Money that was greater
than my weekly paper deliveries. 

Money made from each hour of labour, 
not from chores or favours. 

Money that motivated me to wake 
and commute and regret 
and complain.

Money for happiness, independence,
freedom.

Money that answered to me.

A local pancake house
took me in, 
my best friend too.

I stewed
in the dish pit
while my buddy
bussed tables and
poured coffee
refills.

My shoes rotted
from the inside out,
my feet 
were rank
and wrinkled 
from standing water.

Mike could meet
up with friends
after hours in his
white collar and
dress pants.

After 
two showers
sometimes
my hair no longer
smelled of sausage
and grease trap.

But by then 
the meet ups 
were
finished.

By then I was
moving
out of adolescence.

By then I was
beginning 
to see that 
making money
could mean
not getting
what I 
wanted.

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