Sunday, February 04, 2007

Patricia, the Grifter

Earlier today, I took a copy of The Grifters from C.'s bookshelf to flip through. Inside the book was a pink, sealed envelope. On the envelope was written "Jan. 2000 / Patricia K. / Clothing allowance receipts so far / Counselor: Ethel"

After ascertaining that the envelope didn't belong to C. -- she had bought the book used -- I opened it. Inside, there was a pink notecard -- matching stationery! -- and a handful of receipts. The note read:

January 5 /00

Ethel and Guy,

These are my receipts towards the next clothing allowance.

As for the last clothing allowance I handed in about 60.00 to Guy on Dec. 23 1999. Guy said something about getting that about amount I could in Jan, because I was late.

Patricia K.

There are five receipts dated between Dec. 24-27 from a Duane Reade and ABC on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, as well as the Linen Depot on Jay Street. Each has a dollar amount circled and is annotated. Annotations include "hair assorries, scarf $6.59," "women's long underwear GOOD SALE," "gloves," "socks," and "women's undergarments (pink and blue) GOOD SALE."

I'm curious about several things. Why did Patricia have a clothing allowance? Why did she spend it on long underwear? Given that the receipts and note ended up inside a copy of The Grifters, was she ever reimbursed? More interesting, however, is this:

One of the receipts -- the one for the hair accessories and scarf -- is actually an itemized receipt for three items: a box of Kool menthol cigarettes, four Hershey bars, and a bottle of Mistic orange carrot juice drink. The total does equal $6.59 as circled, but hair accessories and a scarf?

Seems like Patricia K. had a little grift of her own going on.

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