I heard you hit the floor in the BMV. The sound you made turned everyone’s head. The woman who dropped you gave you a glance over her shoulder as she walked away. Apparently you weren’t worth her time.
I won’t lie; I pitied you.
You’re smaller than a penny, but worth more. Yet no one collects you.
You don’t buy squat – not balls of gum or ones that bounce or even a sticker.
You used to have stores named after you, but now it takes ten others like you to be worth a store’s name. Heck, it takes five of you to be worthy of a rapper’s name.
So, there you were, wobbling to a stop.
I picked you up, but you weren’t mine.
“Maybe she’ll get you on her way out,” I thought, as I sat you on the half-wall near the entrance.
And there you sat in silence, while I presented my license, social security card, passport, and water bill. “If they ask for another photo id,” I thought, “I could run out to my car and get my book. My picture is on the flap.” I wondered if “books authored” was on their list.
What were the chances that you would fall out of her pocket on the same day I was trading in my Ohio license for an Indiana license?
“Wait,” the BMV lady said, “your water bill doesn’t have your full address. I can’t accept that. You’ll have to come back.”
As I left, I felt you looking at me.
Hours later I returned. The line wasn’t moving. The foolish woman in front of me didn’t bring one of the fifty items of id required to get her license.
It makes me sad to tell you this, but, by this time, I had forgotten all about you, just like the woman who dropped you.
A young couple walked by. The man was running his hand on the half wall and knocked you off. Again, you fell. Again, you wobbled. Again you stopped. Again you weren’t worth anyone’s time to pickup.
The young couple didn’t even have the decency to turn around. They just kept walking.
I remembered you and smiled. I wasn’t too proud to pick you up. “Maybe you’ll be my lucky dime,” I thought. I know that people don’t have lucky dimes, but who’s to say I couldn’t?
I put you in my pocket – my lucky dime.
What makes something lucky? I’m not sure. But with you in my pocket I successfully produced all of the proper documents at the DMV. I passed my eye exam. I walked without tripping.
Our relationship was off to a good start.
The woman taking my photo told me that I wasn’t allowed to show my teeth when I smiled, but she didn’t tell me when she was taking the photo. I put my hands in my pocket and felt you. I was practicing my closed mouth smile when I realized something was terribly wrong.
At that moment the flash flashed.
There’s really only one way to describe how I look in the photo: I look as if I was trying to quench my munchies with a peanut butter sandwich and I had Wonder Bread stuck to the roof of my mouth, and while simultaneously trying to remove the bread with my tongue, I realized that my zipper was down.
Because, you see, it was down. And not just a little down, but all the way down. And not just unzipped and unrevealing, but unzipped and wide open.
Sure, no one can tell in the photo that my zipper was down. But I’ll always know. And I’ll always think about you when I see the photo.
This wasn’t good luck that you brought me. It was bad luck.
As I walked away, I thought about this, and realized I didn’t really want to be walking around with bad luck in my pocket on the very day that I granted the State of Indiana the right to harvest all of my organs.
I pulled you out of my pocket, let you fall to the floor, and I didn’t look back.