Haggling For Peace

I was out for a walk yesterday when I crossed paths with a Buddhist monk.

While we passed one another he held out a card, smiled, and softly said “peace to you.”

I took it, thanked him and continued walking when I heard him call back.

I turned to see him opening a book and waving a pen towards me. The top of the book explained that he was Buddhist and relied on the generosity of others.

I awkwardly shrugged. “Peace” he clarified, pointing at the card, “$40.”

Taken aback, I said “I’m sorry, I don’t–”

“$20?” He negotiated.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t have any money.”

“Okay, okay. $10.”

I pulled my wallet from my pocket, opened it, showing all of the pockets were empty.

“No money?” He asked.

“No money.” I answered. “Or, well…” I smiled uncomfortably and fished a tonnie out of my pocket, offering it.

He took the coin without a word and walked away.

Peace is out of my price range, it seems.