One night, many years ago, one rollicking, crazy drunken insane night shared with friends, I told a story from my boyhood.
I recalled for them the morning I left the house for school, kicking leaves and stones into the gutter. As I glanced down I saw a long line of coins strewn, haphazardly and seemingly carelessly, in the street. With the excitement of a nine-year-old boy who finds unexpected treasure I scooped up each coin. Quarters, dimes and nickles filled my hands. I couldn't recall the exact amount but it was, to my childish mind, a literal fortune.
At the end of the telling I jumped to my feet. "Change!" I said. "Give me all your change!" We all emptied our pockets and came up with about three dollars in quarters, dimes and nickles. Laughing and giddy with high spirits and drink, I led the party down to the street. I tossed the coins into the gutter, recreating the line of treasure from my boyhood. "Now another kid can share my past fortunes." I said. We all trooped back to the apartment and the party continued 'till the wee hours.
A few days after that I was visiting my friend who had hosted the party. He told me that his downstairs neighbor's twelve-year-old daughter had found the money the morning after the party. She had run back to her mother in high excitement, showing her the coins that spilled from her palm. We both smiled, absurdly pleased at the result of our shenanigans.
Ten years later, shortly prior to my move to Ohio, I was in a bar having farewell drinks with friends. I glanced at a young woman across the room who looked strangely familiar to me. She caught my eye and waved. After a short conversation I realized it was the girl, now twenty-two, who had found the coins. I told her the story of that night. She was transfixed. "I remember that so clearly." she said. "I thought I was rich!" I laughingly told her, "It's your turn now, you know. Keep it going." She gave me a very somber look. "I will. It should go on."
I never heard from this woman again. She'd be in her forties now. I hope she found time to strew some coins. I really hope she kept it going.