Checking in at a hotel recently, there was a man in front of me who appeared to be homeless. He wore loose and dirty clothes. He had a knit cap and large jacket even though it was warm outside. Over his face, he wore a mask and glasses. All you could see of his features was his nose, the color of ash. His hair and beard were colorless with only hints of gray and both hung down to his jacket collar.
He was treated with respect and professional courtesy by the staff behind the counter. They smiled and maintained eye contact. The man held a thick wallet from which he pulled a credit card to secure his room.
I wondered what his story was. Was he homeless or more of a hippy type? Either way, his appearance was incongruous within the context of the lobby of a downtown Hyatt.
The town was one of apparent and abundant wealth. People went about their business in very fast and expensive cars even though there was so much traffic there was nowhere to get out of second gear. All show, no flow.
My coffee was over $7. (I had splurged for a triple latte instead of a double but, still, a pint of beer was $8. Might was well have beer for breakfast.)
In that same town, I saw a folded dollar bill on the sidewalk. It wasn't crumpled, as from someone's pocket, and it wasn't folded in half like it came from a wallet. It was folded rather neatly in a square and it lay on the corner.
I laughed because I might have picked up a penny but I didn't pick up the dollar. Neither did anyone else that crossed that intersection in this town of milk and Tesla. I even pointed it out to a man who regarded me as someone crazy. Of course there are dollars bills in the street, his look seemed to be saying.
I thought of the man from the hotel lobby? Could have dropped it? Would he have picked it up?
Find a penny, pick it up ...
* Hollar is now a defunct online dollar store. Maybe because all their dollars are on the sidewalk.