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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2047096-My-Name-is-Ralph
Rated: E · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2047096
From the perspective of $5.00.
My name is Ralph, but no one has ever used that name. If I am referred to at all, I'm called the Five Dollar Bill, Five Dollars, Fiver, Fin, Five-Spot, Half of a Sawbuck, or Lincoln. Three of those names offend me. I am Five Dollar Ralph, not Bill. I question the intelligence of those who pass me from one hand to another. They call all the notes I have ever nestled with in a wallet, pocket, or drawer Bill. One of the other names that makes my corners curl is Five Dollars. I am only one Note, not five. I wear the digit five, but I am only one. And then, there is Lincoln. There is an old man with a beard and mussed hair printed on my belly. His name is Abraham Lincoln. I don't know why he is there, but all Five Dollar Notes have this Lincoln human on them. I think I can speak for all Notes; we have names like the persons that pass us about. To call us anything other is degrading and makes us feel unimportant.

I don't know. Perhaps I am just getting old and tired. I'm limp, and parts of Lincoln are gone. I used to be crisp and sticky when I first came to being. Other Notes and I stuck together. We were birthed in a large room, counted, and wrapped. We felt snug in our paper band. The horror started one day with a roaring engine, humans joking, and us being jostled and bounced. We clung together. We didn't know what was happening. The commotion stopped. We heard heavy footsteps, a clink, clink of metal scraping on metal and locking into place, the hollow echo of a latch and squeaky hinges. With a start, we were smashed together as the bag that housed us was tossed. A gentle rocking lulled us, then a thump was felt. Large rough hands pulled us from our dark sanctuary. A man with hair on his lip and sparkling brown eyes counted us and laid us in stacks. From there, we lost our band and were shoved in a drawer. One by one, we were separated from each other. We tried to hold onto one another, but we were pried apart. Our separate adventures began.

I have traveled often and seen many things. Each time I passed from one person to another I caught a glimpse of the world outside. I have been to amusement parks, malls, toll booths, grocery stores, concession stands, and many other places: too many to name. It delights me when I'm shoved in a compartment with an old friend from the paper band. I am reminded of our first days of existence when we were stiff and scared. I am no longer young. I am aged and worn.

I think about where I will be carried off to as I hug the branch the wind draped me across. I slipped from a man's pocket when he removed his hand. I drifted to the ground, and a gust lifted me. I wait to be found. If I am lucky, an excited little girl will find me and exchange me for candy.


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