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Find A Penny...

the curse of losing relevance

By Brin J.Published 4 months ago • 2 min read
*Unsplash* adam-nir

There once was an old saying: find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you'll have good luck.

So then, when did I become so unlucky?

I've been on this grimy pavement for years now, left to rust and decay. Seasons change, people come and go, and I'm still here, waiting to be seen.

It's not right. I don't belong on the street. I belong in a warm pocket, a wallet, or a piggy bank. Heck, I'd even take under the couch cushion, so long as it gets me off the street. Anywhere but this damp place.

I know I've lost my shine, but that doesn't mean I've lost my worth. Yet people pass me by like I'm just a piece of trash and not currency. It's cruel. What happened to the world? When did I become considered litter?

At one point in time, I used to be treasured. Back in 1974, I'd help people get into movie theaters, won prizes at carnivals, and kept them fed. For half a century, I traveled all over the country, from New York to California, contributing to getting my person to their destination. The last trip I made was on a dingy subway before being abandoned to this fate.

Did I lose my value? Did I become unprofitable?

Even if I did, don't people remember that pennies are more than just a cent?

I'm not just a copper disk. I have more significance than that. Or have they forgotten that engraved in my frame are the words of our national motto? Forgotten that I carry the face of a legend on my surface? The face of a man who sacrificed his life to make a difference in the world. I'm a piece of history, not waste!

But if I were to be left somewhere cold and melancholy, why not on a headstone of a fallen soldier? I'd be honored to pass the message that their deaths weren't in vain, and they haven't been forgotten, unlike me. I'm deeply grieved that I can't even be that for someone. Maybe people outgrew the tradition of leaving coins for their deceased.

Yet what about other traditions?

There was a time when people used to throw pennies into fountains and such to make a wish in hopes they'd come true. I felt so important then, like I could make a difference in someone's future. People looked at me with optimism. But they don't do that anymore.

Was it because I failed them? Did none of their wishes come true? Was it my fault that they didn't get everything they desired? Or do people just not wish for things anymore?

I know I do.

If I could have one wish and it'd come true, I'd wish to have a purpose again, and a find a new meaning in this world. But I won't put my faith in that ever coming true.

So, here I lie, watching feet push past me.

I guess having no place is the curse of being an imperishable object once it loses its relevance.

Short Story

About the Creator

Brin J.

I have a few stories and poems inside me that I want to share. Maybe, if I'm lucky, they'll reach people who'll enjoy them. 📖

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Comments (15)

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  • Angie the Archivist 📚🪶29 days ago

    Great take on the poor little penny!🥺

  • Cathy holmes30 days ago

    This is great. I feel sorry for the penny, and all the lost souls who feel their worth is probably no more than than coin. Wonderful story.

  • Rachel Deeming30 days ago

    I feel really sorry for that penny. I'd pick you up, penny! I liked this very much, Brin!

  • Hannah Moore30 days ago

    Yet it's pennies we put in the change boxes on counters for charities. Irrelevance to some can add up to something for others.

  • Thavien Yliasterabout a month ago

    I can't believe You hurt me with one of my most treasured joys in life. Like, when I grow old, I'm going to miss having the ability to be able to easily pick up a penny off the floor due to aches and quakes along my musculoskeletal system. Whenever I find pennies, especially off the ground I always pick them up and then wash them afterwards. If they need to shine I place them in a bowl of vinegar and add some extra dashes of salt to get them shiny again. However, they'll become green again without polishing. So, rinse them off afterwards after bathing them in soap and water again, then I do a quick dry and add some olive oil or spray them with a bit of PAM. Gotta protect that metal. If I don't take them to a bank to deposit them, I'll take them and use them to make small purchases. Think about it. Money that You pick up off the ground isn't ever discovered by Uncle Sam. If You put too much in Your bank account it might become taxable income. So, why pay tax twice when You could only pay it once for purchasing something that You enjoy? Find something You enjoy, and pay it off with that extra bit of cha-ching! Treat that money on what it likes to be treated for. A store of value. Worst case scenario, You could always use it to buy rare coins or precious metals. Gold Bureaus will gladly exchange Your rusty, moldy, pennies for some shiny copper and silver.

  • ThatWriterWoman4 months ago

    I am going to treasure my pennies from this day forward!

  • Rene Volpi 4 months ago

    A pleasure to read. The penny can't complain, not really. If it was brought to be melted, that'd be much worse. 😋

  • I remember John Green's fervent opposition to pennies; how dare you make me feel bad for cheering that on back in 2014, I- (Good work!)

  • M. Lee4 months ago

    Oh wow, I loved this! You did an excellent job conveying the emotions of an object, well done!

  • Caroline Jane4 months ago

    That last line is wonderful! 🥰

  • Awww, I wish I can pick that penny up, get him all clean and then give him a big hug!

  • I continue to pick up pennies on the street or sidewalk, even when they're face down (which our son always told us was bad luck). Those pennies find their way into our noisy offerings at church where they become meals at Wednesday school, stocking caps, coats & mittens for school kids, supplies for teachers, & so much more. It's not that you're irrelevant. It's that the right eyes haven't found you yet. And yes, I'm talking to the penny. I certainly hope that the penny does not serve as a metaphor for how you have ever felt. May you, my friend, never be irrelevant.

  • Babs Iverson4 months ago

    Brilliant storytelling!!! Loved it!!!

  • Heather Hubler4 months ago

    Awww!! I loved this. Poor sweet penny!! And I was born in 74…that made me feel so old lol. Amazing storytelling :)

  • D. J. Reddall4 months ago

    It takes considerable talent to evoke pity for a penny! Once again, the power of your anthropomorphizing imagination is confirmed!

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