Wants verses Needs on a tight budget. -- Knitnan
Plunt was not as lucky as others. Ze knew this. If there was some anti-luck where the cracks in any system for help neatly fit the description of Plunt, then ze definitely had it. Not poor enough for economic assistance. Not rich enough to shoulder emergencies with a shrug. Mentally disabled enough to make life difficult. Not mentally disabled enough to qualify for any kind of assistance. Able enough to pass for normal, but not able enough to be as completely able as everyone else.
Life, in essence, was a battle. Plunt was not losing it, per se. But ze did get just enough to keep on battling. Never enough to win or, for example, call for a medic to drag them off the metaphorical field for some respite.
And always, there were the impossible temptations laid in hir path. The better-quality clothing that cost Hours that Plunt did not have. The Nutri-food with thought put into presentation instead of the low-price goo baggies that were all ze could afford. The license to go picking fresh produce from the Station gardens.
But there was rent to pay, because Plunt could never raise enough to buy a domicile space. And clothing to buy, because the cheaply-made stuff wore out all the quicker and needed replacing. Water cost, even the recycled stuff that tasted vaguely of chemicals. But never the distilled stuff with bubbled-through oxygen and trace minerals that improved the flavour. Even the entertainments Plunt could plausibly enjoy were the free edutainment variety that lead to Plunt learning a lot, but never quite about the things that could earn hir anything extra.
As a direct result, ze was constantly on the look out for free things. Free samples. Free trial offers. A chance to win. A chance to have. Ze entered for anything without an admission fee. And all ze got out of it was advertising in hir in-box.
All ze wanted was a little help. All ze needed was somebody to care.
And in hir darker moments, ze thought ze was going to slip through the cracks there, as well.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / maroti]
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