A busker we passed was playing a jolly tune on an old guitar. His style of playing had a beat, a rhythm that made it sound like he had a bass backing him up. It was some good stuff, folksy but in the best sort of way. It was an odd contrast to the gray sky that seemed to hover ten feet off the deck, and the general gloom of the other pedestrians that passed by the musician.
She wanted to stop and listen so we dropped a bill in his hat and I dipped off to the store on the corner to buy us two beers to sip on while the busker strummed out more tunes. He smiled and nodded as the sound of our cans opening lined up with the down beat of his new song, this one equally as happy as the last.
“Strange,” she said leaning over to me. “He’s playing an odd soundtrack for a day like today. You think he knows?”
“Not everyone is as hooked on the news as you, but if he doesn’t I’m sure he will soon. I just hope it isn’t when he’s counting his earnings only to find they are worth less.”
“Less? Not just less, much less, way less. And that’s not the half of it.”
“I know, I know. I read the same story you read, but let’s be honest most people will feel that piece of news most acutely in their pocket books and on their store receipts. Fuck I noticed the store was already changing prices on everything. Luckily for us they hadn’t made it to the beer cooler yet.”
“It must be such a mind fuck for most people, the curriency has never floated, never ever, right?”
“It’s been pegged to the dollar for as long as I’ve been checking and that’s a better part of a decade and it had been pegged for at least a few decades before that, so yeah, sure, 40, 50 years maybe. Long fucking time.”
“Yeah long fucking time. This is going to be huge. Fuck all this shit is all worthless now. How the fuck is it even going to work.”
“Well technically it isn’t worthless yet. It quickly will be worthless, though. But after the shock where normal goods are insanely expensive, rents are super low, but salaries are too, everything will adjust, there will be newer, higher value bills and things will be back to normalish. Shit still has value, just the numbers we associate with it are going to change, perhaps drastically. It’s gonna be weird and hard on a lot of people.”
“It’s going to be chaos and you know it. You make it sound like this process is going to be a hard week or two and by month’s end we’ll be sipping beers with new crisp bills in our pockets and everything will be hunky dory. Shit its gonna be serious and fuck maybe even violent.”
I nodded, she was right, but I guess I was trying to play it down to combat her, and my, rising anxiety.
“I guess today is the last day, or,”
“The calm before the storm.”
She looked up at the darkening sky, pregnant with rain and possibilities. “Literally.”