by Jessica Delfino
As I've mentioned before on this blog and elsewhere, I have an amazing, I'd even dare say "spiritual" knack of finding money on the ground. Sometimes in the dark.
Again today, the free money gods blessed me. But this is quite magical - they didn't just bless me once. They blessed me TWICE in the SAME BIKE RIDE!!!
So, I'm cruising down the street on my Schwinn K-Mart special which has fallen apart so badly with such frequency, I was actually pedaling down the street in midtown once when the ROUND METAL GEAR SHIFTER/CHANGER THINGY FLEW OFF and started ROLLING DOWN THE ROAD. I had just dropped off an ass load of heavy transcripts to my convict boyfriend's lawyer. I took the long scenic way home, as it was such a beautiful day, and accidentally wound up right over yonder near the Tombs, where he is being held. I looked over in angst at the pinkish-grey building and exhaled sadly.
Silver lining, I thought. I noticed I was right near Division Street, so I took it. Riding along the fish-gut odor infested pavement, I saw that old familiar crinkled up trash-resembling wad and damn if I didn't nearly run it over before I leaned over and picked up a TEN DOLLAR BILL! That is quite unusual. Generally, it is ones or fives. Not very often do I find a ten or twenty. That might have even been my first ten, though I have found twenties before.
Eureka! I screamed in my head. I tucked the bill into my pocket and continued on, thanking fate for sending me on the path I happened to take. It was good timing, because I am literally down to zero dollars. I have money in the bank, but not much.
I sometimes wonder why I even bother to have a bank account at all.
Besides, who has the time to go to the bank?
I turned left and started up Allen, thinking, GOD DAMN I am lucky when it comes to finding money on the street. I have always been very lucky with finding money. I find money on the street ALL THE TIME. Not daily, not even weekly. But maybe five or six times a year, and when you are as poor as I am, that is all the time.
There's some kind of trashy little shit hole on Allen where dregs always seem to be hanging around. They sit on the ground, staring into tvs that aren't plugged in, dressed in clothes which have been rolled into mud and perhaps feces. I often wonder what the place is and feel sympathy for the sad looking people I see lingering around the joint. Is it an off track betting place? Is it a food stamp office? I can't tell. But as I rolled by, I thought, "Those poor people. They should try looking for money on the ground." As I finished thinking that thought, I saw that old familiar crumpled wad AGAIN and had what was practically a knot of disbelief in my stomach. I thought, "I can't even believe it - more free money?" I bent over and picked up a $5 bill that, to the untrained eye, looked exactly like a piece of garbage.
"Holy shit", I actually said aloud this time.
I rode my bike home very carefully, because I had had too much good luck for one day and expected to meet with a terrible accident as mother nature's way to restore the balance of what has to happen in order for NYC to be NYC.
I later spoke to a friend who rattled off about seven instances in a matter of seconds of times he'd found bloated balls of $20s lumped together, wallets full of hundreds and briefcases loaded of unmarked yen. I felt like a huge money finding amateur / jackass for having found my measly $15. It was as if I'd had a cruel trick played on me. "Here ya go!" said yahweh, or whoever'd put that money there. "Take a fiver for your trouble. Now, go buy yerself something nice!" It was like I'd been tipped a penny by a rich dude on a $300,000 pizza. But I was still pretty glad to have it. Fifteen dollars might as well be a million, if you need money. Unless you get to choose. Then, I guess I'd pick a million.