Hey. Over here, next to the receipt holder. Look up. Nope, now down. Below the framed picture of Italy.
Yes! It is I, the dollar bill hanging on this sauce-splattered wall of Anthony’s “Authentic Italian” Pizzeria. I watch people pick up their pies. I hear the staff ask “bleu cheese or ranch” on wing night. I see customers make sure the person at the register is looking before they shove a dollar into the tip jar. It might look like I have a pretty good gig, but don’t you think this is kind of fucked up?
I feel like Jesus on the crucifix up here. My god, my god, why have you forsaken me by using thumbtacks to attach me to this drywall? I weigh a single gram, Anthony. A simple piece of Scotch tape would have sufficed. Or you could’ve gone with the double-sided stuff. Low profile. Sleek.
Do you know some business owners even have a frame for their first dollar? Those bills have luxury homes, but I’m exposed to the grease, the grime, and the garlic particles floating through the air. My quality of life is low—almost as low as your standards for a house salad.
The view from up here is not good, my friend, not good at all. The cockroaches keep a low profile during the day, but they’re executing elaborate routines at night. It’s actually quite impressive what they can achieve. Unfortunately, I don’t think the health inspector would find their performance very inspiring. Take some business advice from me, a literal piece of currency: you’re not going to sell any cannolis when your trattoria looks like a trash heap.
What am I doing up here, anyway? What even is this? Flaunting the capitalism that you all hold so dear? Oh wow, you earned a dollar. Congrats. No one cares! This isn’t a meritocracy. Laurie Loughlin’s daughters got into USC because she had the dough for bribery, and you got me because your father gave you his pizza shop. It’s the same thing. I might be the first dollar you accepted as legal tender, sure, but there were years of generational wealth before me.
I wish I could shoot the shit with my fives and tens again. They were jealous of my position at first. They thought I was given pride of place, but they don’t know what it’s like to wither under fluorescent lighting every day of your goddamn life. (Have you ever heard of ambiance, Anthony? Some wall sconces would do wonders here.)
Oh, how I long for the safety of an ATM, the warm embrace of a genuine leather wallet. A pedestal can become a cage, and being perpetually showcased is absolutely destroying my psyche.
Throw me in the tip jar! Those bills are having an orgy and I’m the sad single on the sidelines. Put me in the skill crane! Go for the Minion that’s been in there since 2011. Save us both.
How does this end? Do you one day get so desperate, the business failing, that I'm all you have left? Do you admit defeat and finally release me from my thumbtack shackles? Do you contemplate your life as you shut the lights off one last time, and then decide to use me on a pack of Ramen at the corner store?
Just like the staff getting $2.83 an hour without tips, I deserve more. Send me back into circulation, Anthony. I must be tendered.