Last week after work I found a twenty on the ground, folded around a few one dollar bills. I picked it up, turned it over, and saw that it had a post it note taped to it that said:
“If found please call:”
And then it had a number.
Okay, so what the fuck? Spooky, right?
I took it over to a couple of my co-workers. I said, “Should I keep this money?” I was answered with a resounding, “Hell no.”
So dropped it back on the ground as if it were crawling up my arm. A few of the ones scattered away, and before literally running away from the money to jump in a cab, I grabbed three dollar bills that weren’t touching the 20.
“Ma’am!” I turned around. A man was pointing at it.
“No thanks!” I yelled, around the same time as I heard my co-worker say, “We don’t want it.” At least I wasn’t alone.
There is no gold at the end of the rainbow. Only metaphors.
My very first therapist, way back in Chicago, once told me that it sounded like Misery was my comfort zone. My second to last therapist, here in New York, told me that she didn’t think Misery was necessarily the place I felt at home. She said it was the place I feel “safest,” because it’s free.
“Happiness costs something,” she told me, “it always does.”
And because money equals happiness, what would that twenty dollar bill have cost me, ultimately? I fleshed out the possibilities with my cab driver.
- I take the money and don’t call the number. There is a tracking device in the money. Someone comes to my house and murders me to teach me a lesson.
- I take the money and DO call the number. Someone rewards me for my honesty. I could have been a millionaire!
- I take the money, I call the number, I enter a psychotic game of cat and mouse, where I am warned not to hang up the phone or I will be killed, but then it turns out I was the killer the whole time.
- I take the money and I call the number. A sophomore in high school answers. They are doing a project for their psychology class on human behavior.
I also told my cab driver about the time that I found a ten dollar bill on the ground that was taped to a fishing pole and I had to chase it like in a cartoon, which was scarring.
“What would you have done?” I asked him.
“I would have taken the money!” He responded immediately, as if the words were burning his mouth, and he needed them to burn mine instead.
“Would you have called the number.”
“No!” He said, urgently, as if he had to go #1, all over my dreams.
A few blocks later, we saw a little black bus. He pointed it out. I saw the word “morbid” on the side, and a person standing next to the driver talking on a microphone.
“Oh,” I said, ” I bet you it’s a spooky haunted building tour.”
He sighed. “You need to get your head looked at.” By this point in the ride, we had become intimate friends, so I took it as a compliment.
I don’t spend much time with Misery anymore. It’s really just a place I go to when I’ve eaten too much dairy. And that’s called aging, people. I guess once you start to get control of your mind, your body peaces out?
So basically, whatever. Some people take the money, some people leave it and write blogs about being a little broke instead. I guess I’m the latter. After all, I can afford cabs now, so I’m doing pretty good.