TORONTO, ONTARIO: The other day I was walking along the busiest street in the city with my trusty camera around my neck taking random photographs. I stepped off the main street on to a small road that connected the two main streets. Lying on the sidewalk was a lonely twenty dollar bill slightly flapping in the slight wind. The bill did not stay lonely for long as another one was only a few steps away. I picked up the two pictures of the Queen and crumpled them in my hand. I stood there for a good minute or two, looking around for someone that might have lost forty dollars. I didn’t know what such a person would look like. It was not like finding a wallet that had potential information pertaining to who lost the money, complete with photo ID for recognition. I looked for someone that was searching their pockets frantically, scanning the sidewalks for the lost loot. No one was around.
I took a few more steps and there was a woman sitting behind the wheel of a parked car talking on a cell phone. I guess I was staring because she caught my eye and sort of narrowed her eyes, wondering what I was looking at. I contemplated asking her to roll down her window and ask if she lost the money but realized she would probably say yes whether it was hers or not. She didn’t look honest.
So, I did the only thing that I could: I stuffed the money in my pocket and hightailed it out of there. I wondered if this was some kind of trap. Yes, it was only forty dollars but I have never really found anything on the street, I was never one of those people, not even a dime, and as for pennies, I quickly gave them away for good luck – that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? My brother often found five dollar bills on the street and was always a winner with lottery tickets. I got the inevitable, ‘Thanks for playing, better luck next time!’ Maybe my luck was changing.
The farther away I got from the scene of the find, the more I wondered what I should do with this money, this windfall. Maybe I could finally start following the steps laid out in The Wealthy Barber. I could start a high interest savings account and continue to accumulate more money and retire early in a few decades. I could ride the subway thirteen times. Pay half of my cell phone bill. Go out for a nice meal. Download forty songs. The options were endless.
I ended up buying a friend of mine a beer later that evening. I felt that someone else should partake in my luck and perhaps I could even pass some of it along. Maybe this is the beginning of an entirely new form of luck. Things were going to be different from now on.