Jane: “Soooooo tired… Why can’t I sleep through the night??”
Morning dawned bright and far too early on my second day. Though I had a “bed” to sleep on, it was hardly comfortably to sleep through the night. I took a series of short naps, but couldn’t make myself stay in that horrid house much past 4 am.
Although this put me in quite a foul mood, I tried to keep my chin up. I couldn’t rest well-yet-but at least I could put some effort into eating well. With that in mind, I tried to think of where I could acquire some food without having to pay for it. Although “finding” free food at the bar the night before had been effective, it gave a desperate sort of edge to my situation. (I was desperate-but I didn’t want to be confronted with the fact so blatantly).
So I headed to the neighborhood park in Newcrest. This early in the morning, I was confident I could scrounge something up in the way of strawberries or fresh fish.
I started at the pond. I didn’t have a lot of experience with fishing, but one of my foster fathers had been really into it. I fashioned a rod and reel from a tree branch and some thread, and did my best to remember what I had been taught.
Jane: “This isn’t so bad. Quiet… peaceful… I’ll have some fresh fish in no time!”
Jane: “I got this, guys! Look at me!”
Jane: “Wait, it’s 4 in the morning. Why are YOU here?”
Jane: “Does the entirety of Newcrest fish at 4 in the bleeping morning???”
But I decided quite quickly that fishing was not my forte. They say that fishing is meant to be quiet… let me tell you, my neighbors were not quiet fishermen. Blah blah blah, did you hear about so and so? Oh, yeahhh, I knoww, what a scandal, right? Her poor husband. Ugh. You’re scaring all the fish away, idiots. I lasted long enough to catch a 5 oz goldfish, which I would later pawn off for two simoleons. Not worth it.
But the selling of the fish gave me an idea… Why was I trying to find food, when I could be trying to find money? Of course, I would shortly be getting royalties from Good Morning, Sun, which I was sure would be immense and solve all my problems. But, in the meantime…
Jane: “Hey, what’s this shiny thing?”
Jane: “By the Creator, this is hard work.”
Jane: “There had better be something expensive buried here…”
Jane: “You can sell frogs for money, right?”
Jane: “This has got to be at least 100 simoleons. Not great, but it’s better than 7!”
I sold everything I found that day. Except for the frog. Isn’t he adorable! Yes, Janie, this is the same frog that’s in my bedroom. This is the day I found Jimmy! He’s an Eggplant-something frog of some kind, I think.
By mid-morning, I had accumulated a good amount of money for myself. And good thing, too! My royalties from Good Morning, Sun had come in, and they were not what I had anticipated. A meager 2 simoleons. What can you even buy with two simoleons?? A piece of paper? Worthless.
But, with the money from my collections, I felt comfortable going to the grills at the park (after all, I had no stove in my hovel of a home) and grilled up some hot dogs.
Jane: “I’m not the best chef, but I can cook up some hot dogs!”
Jane: “As long as I don’t set anything on fire… Can you set one of these things on fire??”
Jane: “Mmmmmmmm! Delicious! So much better than chips and half of someone else’s drink!”
I was in heaven. I had a hot meal in my belly that I had purchased and cooked for myself, with my own money. I was on top of the world. Though I wasn’t doing exactly what I wanted to be doing (writing, of course), I was making my way in that direction. In the meantime, I could survive.
Now, you might be asking at this point, “Mother, why didn’t you just get a job if you needed money? Wouldn’t that be better than digging stuff up out of the dirt?” Well, if you must know, I was an… idealistic sort of young adult. Naive, really. And very… against the “machine,” one could say. I didn’t want to be a corporate cog. I wanted to be a writer. A writer that lived above a coffee shop. Not a chef or a journalist or a…. shiver… businesswoman. I was struggling, but I was bound and determined not to earn money like some corporate sell-out.
Don’t laugh at your mother, Janie. Like I said, I was young! …Hey, look, it’s a person! Pay attention to the person in the story!
Deandre: “Hey there! You want a burger?”
Jane: “Hell yes!”
By this point in the day, the park was beginning to fill up. While usually this would rub my loner tendencies the wrong way, I was in a great mood. I had earned a good amount of money in the span of a few hours, had filled my stomach with good food, and now this (kind of handsome, not gonna lie) man was offering my free food! Public parks were a good thing.
Deandre: “Hey there, mind if I sit?”
Jane: “You know, for once I actually don’t!”
Deandre: “So where are you from? I haven’t seen you around before.”
Jane: “I’m new to the neighborhood, I live just down the street.”
Okay, parks were mostly a good thing. People like Deandre Dubois in public parks were a good thing. But Darion Fuchs?? I did not like Darion Fuchs.
Jane: “Did I say you could have one of my hot dogs? Give that back!”
Darion: “Lol no.”
But, there was even a silver lining to Darion Fuchs on that day. Deandre hated him as well! No surprises there, though. In a discussion of our mutual hatred of Darion, I discovered the most incredible thing-perhaps the reason I felt so comfortable with Deandre. He was a loner too!
Unfortunately, Darion was not the only one to rudely push his way into the conversation.
Jane: “When did you idiots get here?? I hate you all.”
Feeling tense despite Deandre’s calming presence (and, honestly, really needing to pee), I retreated home for a little R&R. Not that there was much to find there. But at least I could pee in peace, without risking Enrique or some other perv following me into the bathroom.
After a short nap on my uncomfortable wooden love seat, I made myself return to the library. Though I was loathe to face the crowds, I knew I needed to get more writing in (and hopefully write something that would generate some larger royalties).
Jane: “If I hide from everyone, will it make them go away??”
Jane: “Buss off, Rosemary! There are a billion other places to sit in this place, why’d you chose in front of me?”
Jane: “No, Jane, you cannot kill them all. Even if they are talking. In a library. About her indigestion.”
Jane: “I need to start coming here at night.”
Once I had finished a draft of my next book (Never Eat Your Pet Turtle-And probably don’t eat your pet frog either), I retreated from the library. It was such a shame, Janie. You can’t even imagine, a place that was meant to be my safe haven turned into somewhere that I only wanted to run away from.
Jane: “Good night, you horrible horrible people.”
Before I went the full way home, I dropped off Never Eat Your Pet Turtle at the post office, so it could be sent in for printing and distribution. And, as luck would have it, I found something that, even while digging stuff up in the park, I hadn’t been able to find all day.
Jane: “Hello there, gorgeous! I may be exhausted, but I definitely have time for you!”
It may have been just a potato plant, but it was something. I had started the day yesterday with 7 simoleons in my pocket, and now I had 100 simoleons, hot dogs in the fridge, and potatoes in my pocket. And a pet frog!
Jane: “This should be good! My treasure map led me here, so I bet it’ll be really valuable!”
Jane: “…What the??”
And, apparently, a voodoo doll??? What on earth would I do with a voodoo doll! That was some high level mischievous nonsense right there-I wanted nothing to do with it. And surely a limp little rag doll like that wasn’t worth much.
I didn’t bother thinking about it, beyond the vague disappointment that my treasure map hadn’t led to something greater. Now dirty from the digging and even more thoroughly exhausted, I headed to bed. Maybe, being this tired, I would be able to sleep through the night?
Or maybe that was just wishful thinking.
Jane: “Snooooooore, snooooooore, snooooooore.”