I opened my eyes to the world in a cold and dark safe. With large numbers they had written 100 on me.  There were hundreds  and even thousands of them just like me.


Yes I am a banknote. When I was born I was fresh and crisp. I lived together with my  friends in batches in the safe of a  bank. Then one day a hand took me out of that cold safe. They abruptly took me out of the batch I was in. That was the first time I had seen daylight. It was beautiful. Then they put me in a leather wallet together with my counterparts. That was the first time I was owned. My first owner was very thrifty but he loved me very much. He would caress me in his hands and then put me back in the dark and cold safe of his home. I lived for a long time in that safe.


Then one day someone else opened the safe and yanked me out from where I was staying. What had happened was my elderly owner had died and I was inherited by his rambunctious and extravagant son. My companionship with my new owner lasted for a short while. One night for a few minutes of pleasure he threw me into the bosom of a whore.


My owner was now a woman. But this companionship did not last long either. She surrendered me to a drug trafficker for a packet of heroin. They again put me into a cold and dark safe. I was together with a million friends just like me. I felt myself contaminated. I lived for a long time in that safe. Then one day I was sold for a luxurious villa. My new owner was a contractor. He was overweight and wealthy. I was put again into the safe of a bank.


In those days I was called black money and I was told I would be laundered in a way I could not understand. What had happened is that I had become contaminated. Whereas, it was not I but my owners who had become contaminated. And they, actually, wanted to launder themselves.


Then one day I saw daylight again. According to what they said I was now laundered. They put me in the tellerís box of a tax office for a taxation penalty. . a penalty for a crime I had not committed.


I was no longer crisp and fresh. I was worn and  depreciated. Numerous dirty hands had held and touched me. They were saying I had been laundered whereas I felt I was  becoming more and more contaminated.


Then, at the first of the month they counted me into the hands of an employee as his salary. My new owner had an average income. But our companionship did not last very long. The following day I was given to my new owner as rent. The next day I was given into the hands of the butcher for  half a kilo of ground meat. The butcher with his meat smelling hands took me and handled me. I smelled like meat all over. Thankfully, our companionship  lasted for a short time. Two days later I was again in the safe of  a bank. The teller straightened out the wrinkles I had and put me together with my friends in a batch.


Then again at the first of the month they counted me into the hands of a charming old  man as his pension. I was now in that old manís pocket. There were five or six other friends like me inside that pocket. The friends who looked like me were constantly decreasing. I guess I had become old like my new owner. My friends around me had constantly decreased.


The following day the old man went to the market and sold me to the fishermen for half a kilo of mackerel. The fisherman wadded me in his palm and pocketed me. I not only smelled bad, I was also wet.


I thought to myself had I ever been dirtier before than I am now.

Yes I was wet and I smelled bad but for whatever reason I felt cleaner. Because I was in good hands.


I was now worn out and old. I no longer frequented luxurious banks but instead was exchanged  from one hand to the other. I had been devalued. I think they call it inflation, I had undergone that. I used to be counted for a good number of things whereas now I go from hand to hand for petty things. One day when I was sold for a loaf of break this dawned on me.


I was sold to a bakery. The baker was a good man but he had a problem. His wife was ill. According to what he said his wife had cancer and for her treatment he needed a lot of banknotes like me. What I could not understand is that although he was in great need of me, he gave me to his neighbor for free who  was very poor and  very needy.. This was goodwill but I still do not understand. Because this was the first time I was given to someone as a donation.


Yes I am a banknote. I have had thousands of owners.  Most of them are not alive anymore. And I am going to soon be destroyed because I will no longer be in circulation. These are my last words at the central bank.


I have had many owners.  I have had good people as well as bad. Lots of people worshipped me. It cost numerous people  their humanity to own me while numerous people earned  a place in heaven by donating me.


People have become happy with me. But I have not been very happy with what I have seen.


I used to be a banknote.





(Akżn ÷rsmen 11.13.2010)