Lengthwise four times

Yesterday afternoon, I received the following email from a colleague. He was sitting just over there, and I was sitting right here.

Dear Team,

Our colleague Anthony has lost his mother this past weekend. We would like to show our concern and care by sending a flower arrangement to the funeral home. If you would like to contribute please see Greg.

I had $44 in my wallet. I subtracted a $20 bill, and folded it lengthwise four times. I looked for an envelope in my desk drawer, but didn’t find one. I remembered that since I started working in this office two months ago, I’d never gone to the supply closet to find envelopes to put in my drawer.

I folded the $20 bill one more time in half, trying to make it taught and hard like bamboo. When I tried to make it stand up on my desk like a tent, it couldn’t rest on its own. Its pose kept slipping.

I picked it up and folded it again, this time four more times along the width. I held it tight between my fingers, then released it. It sprang out and hit the cubicle wall.

I closed my eyes and kept them closed. I do not know how long I sat there at my desk with my eyes closed. When I opened them again, I looked down at the $20 bill. It rested there in motion on my desk. It rested on my desk in motion, resembling a snake.

I unfolded the $20 bill as I walked over to Greg, who was sitting just over there.

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