Wednesday 31st August 2011
A walk in the dark and the thing called Money
CRAB, Lion, Maiden, Scales. Although I found some comfort in the names given to groups of stars, a yearning to behold the moons Rheta often left me feeling sorrowful.
I determined, therefore, to learn the patterns of the night sky and asked Jenny if it would be safe for me to venture outside after darkness fell.
“As long as Tom goes with you. A sin gull woman has to be honour guard.”
I wore a large coat over dungarees and a pair of Jenny’s boots. Cloud hid the stars, but I hid my disappointment and bade Tom lead me to a nearby meadow where I could walk on something other than concrete.
“The Wreck then.”
We entered a wide pen, which clearly earned its name from the activities undertaken by local residents, for here people would go to break glass bottles and throw food wrappers. Most of the grass had been churned into mud. We did not stay long.
Park Avenue was a long row of identical cells, three of which had signs in front of them. Tom explained that the occupants wished to live elsewhere and the buildings would eventually be purchased by others.
“Are people giving Money to people for the houses?”
“Yep, but they cost a four tune.”
I could not understand the thing called Money. Jenny had explained that everything – food, plates, clothes, soap, newspapers – had a ‘price’, a value on the Money scale. The shop gave Money to Tom for his delivering the newspapers. Jenny also received Money called Benefit from Guvver Munt, but Benefit Money did not buy many things.
Different amounts of Money were given to people in return for work: a doctor more than a nurse, a builder more than a cook, an engineer more than a cleaner. Just as things were placed at differing points on the Money scale, so were people. I considered this very strange, for how could one person be more valuable than another?
Tom and I returned to find Jenny making everything ready for a special moment.
The following day Emily came back from hospital, with her crab.