11:20 am. I'm waiting for the tram, thinking about how I'm going to pay my phone bill, which is frighteningly large due to excessive non-porn related surfing.
Cash strapped again. More broke than the Brady family vase.
I curse the peanuts I make with my Great Books background, and curse the cufflinks pulling down executioner masks full of bullion for trading British Pounds or coffee beans or Zyklon B. It has always been so. These are the thoughts pestering me as I get on the standing room only tram.11:40 am. It is precisely now that I realize instead of heading toward Žižkov, I'm in fricking Braník. I get on the wrong tram about once a month, but I always catch it before this. Now is also the instant when the tram police badge appears, stuck at me by the familiar claw. One second of panicked thought. Then, relief. I smirk. I've got a month pass, pane.
I pull out my wallet and show it to the b*stard.
Only this: that morning at GTS Travel I had removed the picture to put on my Youth discount travel card, thus leaving my tram pass empty and looking very stolen. Instead of writing me a ticket, spying my last 200 crowner sticking out of the corner of the wallet, T.J. Hooker all but grabs it, leaving me steaming, pathetic, and flat earth broke.
12:30 pm. Finally back home. Going through the knee level cupboards hoping to find something to base a meal around: noodles, rice, a potato. I find a cup of old brown rice and start to heat the water. With some curry and a brown apple garnish, it just might pass.
I open up my last packet of Tang and pour it into the empty Dobra Voda bottle, then add some water. For this is how you make Tang.
1:30 pm. Lunch over, and a quarter liter of room temperature Tang sits on the table besides my bed. I'm listening to the British Broadcasting Corporation and trying to decide whether or not to masturbate. There is a special program about corruption and match fixing in South African cricket. If I masturbate, then I will have to get up and find the towel. That tram cop is probably in the pub right now, washing back his goulash with his fifth Pilsner. A cold beer would be nice. The Tang has grinds in it, so I shake it again and take a warm swig. I get up and go find the towel.
4:00 pm. I awake to the sound of the news in Czech. I am sweaty and if the phone rings I will answer it with the kind of rudeness only possible upon waking up from a long and wasteful nap on a hot and womanless afternoon. To come back to life I will need a cold shower and a cup of good coffee. And some money. And something to do. Only having the shower, I grab the crusty towel from the floor and flatfoot to the tub.
4:30 pm. The shower washes away the dust and the sweat and the slime, refreshing my body but leaving me grumpy and tired. Fully naked, I am tempted to masturbate again. No. Better to roll on some deodorant and dirty underwear and dump out the coin jar.
4:36 pm. I am looking at four neat mounds of small coins, totaling fifty-three crowns. The two koruna coin pile is smaller than I thought it would be. I have difficulty thinking of life with coins.
5:30 pm. The day has cooled somewhat. I walk toward the tram stop with a reconstructed pass and a pocket full of coins. If the barman refuses to accept them, I am determined to make a scene. Let them scowl, I will have my cup of coffee.
5:43 pm. The woman at the bar knows me and accepts the coins with an inaudible sigh of resignation. The coffee sucks, but I feel alive again. In thirty minutes I will be ringing P.'s buzzer. He should be home at this time on this day. Hopefully we can find some trouble and give some purpose to another day in Prague. I grab a toothpick from the bar and walk out into the early evening. It is bright, and almost feels like morning again.