Eric has reported that there are strange cults meeting in the graveyard out where he works. He wouldn't know, except the only employment that he could find is too far away from the homeless shelters for him to stay there are night, so he camps in the woods by the graveyard.
"What did they do when they saw you?"
"I didn't let them see me! I covered myself with leaves! Hell, I was scared!"
Because of his new leaf-covered bedroom, Eric has been able to keep his job, and just got paid. Eric hasn't had $400 in his pocket for a long time.
"It's messing with my head. I can't stand it. Anna, I can't carry this much money. I'll drink $100 of it, and by that time, I'll either lose the rest, or someone will steal it. Anna, you have to keep it for me."
We can't keep people's money here--we've talked about it frequently, because it is something that many people request when they recieve large sums of money. They trust us more than they trust themselves... or the banks.
"I can't keep it Eric."
"Then I'm screwed. What have I been working for these last two weeks?"
Eric has a locker here at Degage where he keeps his clothes and hygiene items. I made a deal with Eric. If he would trust me, I would hide his money in his locker, somewhere he couldn't find it, and get it for him when he asked me for it. There's another part of the deal: he has to be sober when he asks.
It was really hard to find a place to hide a large sum of money in someone's relatively organized rectangular locker. But I found a really good place. I'm not telling you where.
The next three times I saw Eric, he was completely wasted.
"Anna, only $20. Please."
Eric tore apart his locker for three days looking for his money, and couldn't find it (victorious!) He never cursed me, except to say "Damn, Anna, you sure know how to hide!"
He came back two days later, and passed my self-sacrificial breathalizer test. His breath was bad, but non-alcoholic. He was on his way out to dinner, and was taking a friend. He wanted $20. He waited in the bathroom while I got it from him.
After his dinner, Eric came in with a flower--a flower that looked like it was pulled up from the roots. It even had some dirt on it still.
"Thank you, Anna. I'm so glad I can trust you. I had 8 crab ragoons, and a whole baseball hat full of Lo Mein noodles. I would have never been able to have that without you."
And to whomever's garden was ransacked for the sake of Eric's thank you, I apologize. But I really appreciate that flower.