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Lucky penny

October 1, 2014

It is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad morning. I awake having been feasted on by a mosquito. Or two. Or 60. Thousand. Even catchng one of the buggers with a reassuring squish was not sufficiently satisfying and I couldn’t find my bra and my pants shrunk (at least I think it was my pants). It’s deeply cloudy but not yet raining. I’m running late and I don’t get to walk to the corner with AJ. In short, I am feeling very, very sorry for myself.

On the stoop, I reflexively bend to pick up the paper and, as I do every morning, toss it inside before it gets rained on or stolen or peed on by my the poodle downstairs. I notice a penny, Lincoln-side up. It’s been on the top step for weeks. It used to be shiny, but now it’s dull and tarnished, camouflaged with the brownstone steps. I look at it and make a decision to change my morning.

I pick it up.

I walk along the park where next to me two dogs on one leash meet a dog with two collars and then move on in opposite directions, the one dog turning as he walks, around and around, to stare at the departing tails of his recent acquaintances as if he didn’t know until this moment that there were other dogs in this world. Children carrying unnecessary umbrellas are stomping in invisible puddles with ladybug boots.

On the train, I get a seat next to a woman saying the rosary, her whispered prayers and the click-click of her beads lulling meinto calm. She kisses the beads and puts them in her bag and pulls out a small Bible covered in black velvet. She kisses that too and turns to her bookmarked page, and begins to read.

In my headphones, I hear Edith Frost singing about homesickness.

“There’s too many cars around here…There’s too many parties.”


I turn the penny over in my pocket, feeling the grit of its patina edging into the whorls of my fingers. My rosary. It doesn’t make everything perfect, but everything’s a little better. It’s enough.


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