Each morning, James would make juice for himself. After hearing an ad for the device during a podcast, he decided to buy it on a whim. He liked waking up and seeing its polished aluminium body waiting on the kitchen countertop. The device resembled an artillery shell or an oversized bullet.
First, James would cut up apples and beets into quarters, dumping them into the juicer. Then he added chard, carrots, kale, ginger and lemon. Finally, he added celery. When he first started juicing, he used more apples to make the drink sweeter, but he eventually came to prefer the earthy taste of the vegetables. It cost him about $40 a week at the Reading Terminal to buy enough vegetables to make two juices a day for a whole week.
James woke up every day at 7 A.M. without using an alarm. He would make his juice, then head out to work. Most mornings, he stopped at Wawa on Aramingo Avenue for coffee. This morning, he was surprised to see KL, an old friend of his, waiting in the same line.
“Since when did they start selling hippie juice at Wawa?” KL asked with a smart ass grin, looking at the plastic bottle full of juice shoved into the side pocket of James’ backpack.
“Yeah right,” James replied. “I make this myself at home.”
“Whaaat?? So you’re living with someone then? You got a girl?”
“No, I live alone on Agate street.”
“Really? Damn dog, you live alone. Baller status,” KL laughed.
“It’s nice living alone. You can walk around in your underwear and no one can tell you any different.”
“True, true, but how do you afford it?”
“I work as a rental agent and property manager for these people in New York that own a bunch of places down here. They bought like 50 spots all around Kensington in the 80’s and 90’s when Philly was a real shithole”
“And you ain’t doing nothing on the side?”
“Haha/ Nah, man.”
“You ain’t got no work on the street? Nothing? For real?” KL replied, incredulous.
“Nah man, I just go to work every day,” James said.
This is an excerpt from my book Good For One Fare. Send me an email if you are interested in a copy.