The 5 Cent Coin

I was coming from the doctors, at the end of a long working day. Flu, coughs, etc.  It was 6pm, already dark here in Sydney. I was on my way to the train station at the upper end of Martin Place. Just at the top of the stairs, I noticed a 5 cent coin on the pavement. First, I intended to walk past. Then, I remembered what grandma said - I don't deserve any big money, if I don't pick up a small coin. So, I leaned down and picked up the 5 cents. For a second, I held it high between my fingers.

Then, I noticed a homeless man, standing a few steps away, at the other side of the balustrade. He wasn't mentally disturbed, looked relatively organized, even had a small piece of luggage on wheels. But he was clearly homeless, most likely waiting for the free meal from the soup kitchen, just in front of the Reserve Bank (of Australia). 

He must have seen me picking up the coin, and he smiled and nodded approvingly. I smiled back, and we locked eyes for a moment. I briefly thought about offering him the $0.05.  But homeless people have their own dignity. The coin was in the middle of wide steps, in a  place where it wasn't intended as a handout for a beggar. Instead, someone must have dropped it accidentally, while pulling out the train ticket from their purse. The homeless man nodded again, as if sharing in my brief joy - the coin was mine to keep.

It's here on my desk, as I write this. I hope my 5 cents will bring me luck. It's 9:30pm now, it is getting cold, and I shall turn on the heater, then I'll get into my warm bed. It's good to remember that not everyone is so lucky.

AgeingThinker AgeingThinker
61-65, M
1 Response May 12, 2012

What a nice story.<br />
I once talked to a homeless man I know by sight for over an hour, till I had to go because my sons came back from school.<br />
He told me about his little shelter he had built with some planks and that a vile person had burned down and about a woman who brews a thermos bottle of coffee for him every morning.