"[...] beneath the glitter and glitz, the diamonds and black velvet, deep below, the Metropolis' heart beats; down in the sewers and gutters, where its dearest families live." -- Paul Theroux; Memories of New York City-- She had come to hate it -- Hope. The word. The sound. The concept. The unabashed cruelty of it all. That's all anyone ever gave her -- Hope. Wrapped in short change. A few were bills. But a buck is a buck -- paper or metal. A dollar's worth of Hope -- that's all she ever could get for one. And there were many -- a dollar at a time. A dollar a day. Always. A dollar's worth of Hope. Hope was a lie. Hope was a beautiful fairytale. Hope was a ploy; an excuse. Hope was diversion. Hope was perpetuation. Hope was no solution; nor was a direction. Hope. Was a compass without a magnet. Hope was her; sunken eyes, ruffled hair. She sat under that park bench; still savoring yesterday's meal. As she thirsts for tomorrow's rain.