When I was a child, I had a recurring dream where I would see coins on the ground. After picking one up, more would appear a few feet away. Quarters pennies, dimes, and nickels covered the side walk and street. I would begin to feel amazement at my luck and the weight in my hands. Whenever I see money on the ground, I am reminded of those dreams, but reality is never quite so impressive.
Today, I was walking through my neighborhood and came to an intersection on a divided street. As I waited for traffic to pass, a copper shine caught my eye. As I reached for the penny, another one was just a few inches away. I quickly looked up to check for cars before pocketing the second one. Then there were three more, farther into the street, and I wanted those too. The more pennies I saw, the less careful I became. I realized that my behavior was foolish, and that I needed to stop, but it was just like my dreams. I imagined the headline, “Woman killed on Oak Street, pennies in hand”, and counted twelve of them. There were still a few more, but I managed to stop myself. As I walked on, I realized how easy it was for me to risk myself and my goal (a trip to see some art, downtown) for some change that I didn’t need to survive.