You tell me you never want to make a lot of money. It changes people. You say. Makes them look at the world differently. I agree but mention the stress of not paying rent on time and the dreamy thought of buying a little house somewhere in the woods. You've got something though. Well, don't worry, I tell you, that's probably what you'll get. I don't think school teachers make very much. And if you're still working in a restaurant, we probably won't be climbing any social ladders. But compared to now, we will be able to go to the farmers market every Saturday and fill the trunk with lettuce, tomatoes, berries and zucchini. We've never been big spenders. Rent, gas for the car and produce, that's where our money goes. And to your pizza slices and bean burritos. It's true, researchers say --like we heard on the radio-- that those with less money are more likely to give to others in need. We are more compassionate, they say. Able to relate and connect with others. The rich folk might think they've worked very hard to be where they are, to have what they have and that those who have not are lazy. Well, I just want a little house and a job. Nothing much. School work has kept me from writing the story about cutting off the tip of my finger with a mandolin slicer. Kept me from writing about how it wouldn't stop bleeding and so you looked up what to do. Cayenne Pepper is what you found and so we poured some into a glass bowl and I pressed my wound deep into the soft red grains. The pepper stuck to the sore like sand on wet feet. I stopped bleeding, but oh how I cried and cringed, swearing to keep myself from screaming. You didn't tell me it would hurt like hell. You didn't know and I didn't think to ask. I just wanted the blood to stop and pressure hadn't prevented those bluish red drops from dripping. I didn't want to go to the hospital. In the morning you bought me bandages and yourself chocolate and a lint roller from the pharmacy, while Penny and I waited outside in the wicked wind. Then we walked to the cafe and you bought a $3. cup of black coffee. I don't drink coffee. I consider myself a recovered addict in a world of junkies. At least you don't use very heavily. After the start of this year, I returned to my diet of eating only raw fruit and vegetables. I had slipped into porcelain casserole dishes of roasted squash, baked potatoes and chunky tomato soup. I feel happy again. And happy that I'm an artist. Not embarrassed anymore. I wish everyone was an artist. Not the starving kind. The artist who is also a (fill-in-the-blank) job. Because the arts are emotion and emotion is life and life is what we all have. It is what connects us to one another and to this ailing planet we call home. So yeah, we won't have much money, honey, and that's fine with me.