100 Dollars: The World Needs More Honesty


It was 6:15; in the dying scorch of the unusually Hell-like Seattle summer, I sluggishly slid on some loose lounge pants and straightened out my tank top to look somewhat presentable. My abdominal loaf cat, Bailey, hooked a gentle claw in my naked forearm as if to declare war on his ‘human woman thing’ for leaving our lazy summer snuggle session.

I scratched his head. He melted under my fingers and returned to his blissful nap.

“I’ll be back, Boo-Boo Cakes” I sighed. “I have to return a phone.”

Previously on ‘As JC Turns’, meaning yesterday, I took a brisk walk around my neighborhood and lo, in the middle of this suburban street, laid an iPhone 6. Thin. Naked. Waiting for death by tire. I picked it up, relieved it still received messages as a healthy technological hand bunion should…destroyed tech makes me sad.

I queried an adjacent house, a Filipino family in the midst of dinner, if this glamorous device was theirs. They gave a confused ‘no’ and rightfully so; I mean…how many dreadlocked chicks come calling? Their marble Buddha was pretty damn cool, though.

Upon going home, I Googled how to contact lost souls with locked phones. Yeah, I sound like a fledgling in mobile phone world, but I’m on a strict ‘No Apple’ diet.  Besides, I don’t believe in changing phones like I would undies. So here I sat, getting a crash course in Siri-ese, trying to call whomever to let them know their phone is safe and figure when will they pick it up.

I woke up a mysterious friend from this mysterious phone in a mysterious place called Puerto Rico; wait…doesn’t Ricky Martin live there?  The mysterious friend yawned, gave a slight exasperated chuckle and wrote an email to both myself and ‘Brian’, the mystery owner.


Twenty four hours later, I found myself getting corporate ‘Starbuckian’ swallow, waiting for ‘Brian’. Since we both lived in the same neighborhood, the Starbucks was public, easy to find, and, most importantly, air conditioned. He arrived confused, scanning for a match of the voice he heard earlier and our eyes met. He was large, very large and the purple button down gave him a semblance of a plum with legs, but his eyes were kind and his smile easy. I prefer good smiles; call me a sucker and old fashion.

After our greeting, I handed him his phone, only wanting the delight to see his relieved face. I know how much it sucks to lose a phone. When he informed me that the iPhone was $900.00 I nearly shat myself! Wait…what?!

I immediately thought what $900.00 could get me:

– 3 months of groceries at fancy pants Whole Paycheck, ahem, Foods.

– 4 months of utilities

– Nearly half of my mortgage for a month

– 2 months of savings

– Lunch everyday for 6 months (I like Pho; so sue me)

– A week off of work to do whatever I damn well felt like

1/10 of a index fund

A Steambox, 2 PS4s or 2 Xbox Ones

– A round trip ticket to Tokyo, where I can see my best friend and give her the hug she deserves and probably needs.

When I snap back to the conversation, our mystery man in plum, ‘Brian’ puts 100 dollars in my hand. I nearly drop my coffee from shock. I return the cash. He refuses.

“The world needs more honesty. I needed this for work and thank you so much for allowing me to work.”

We part ways. ‘Brian’ is in his very new Benz talking to, I assume, his very rich clients. I gave a modest salute while crossing the parking lot while fighting the ghetto kid urge to run with all this cash, afraid I may get jumped by some secret audience in the grocery store bushes.

I get home. I place the money down.

I did need it. Desperately.

‘Brian’ doesn’t know that he gave me enough to get supplies, and print out fliers, to busk this summer; raising awareness for foster kids here in Seattle under the Treehouse banner. ‘Brian’ probably didn’t know that his gift, along with my smART sponsors, will go toward my one person show in October.

‘Brian’ didn’t realize the ripple effect of his 100 dollars helped an artist do good things, but perhaps ‘JC’ didn’t realize that ‘Brian’ rarely sees honesty in his world and just to experience it, even for a second, replaced his faith in humanity.

Thank goodness for the good souls.

Starsailor – “Good Souls”