walking through greenwich village on a late winter wednesday. i weave through people, passing by the local ice cream parlor, the market square, and the opera house, and a Cadillac. i turn east on Bleecker and head to one of the few remaining well-kept secrets in new york: cvs. I walk inside, pick up a sparkling water and my birth control prescription, head to the counter and reach towards my purse. The cashier stops me! your currency wont work here, she says. we dont accept that form of payment.

and suddenly i know what she means and how i must pay. Youth. Youth is the only currency.