Monday, January 31, 2005

A Fool and His Pennies

I have often looked foolish. I'm used to it. I can laugh about it. See? Hee hee. Several of those fool-looking instances occurred today: my Timberland boots are disintegrating by the minute, the soles peeling off in layers (yes, they are ten years old, and haven't weathered the salt well, and yes, I need to buy new shoes.); my bags got trapped in a closing door while getting off the train; my scarf has developed a tendency to leap up and attach itself to the velcro strip at the back of my baseball cap.

But, as usual, I'm thinking of something that happened a long time ago.

During my junior and (first) senior year of college, I shared a small house with my best friends Richard and Jill (I've given up on creating clever pseudonyms for people. If I think of any, I'll start using them.) Richard and I each had a bedroom, while Jill inhabited a converted utility room in the back of the house. It was nice place to live - 734 W. Drachman, if I remember correctly - a very cute little house, or hoose, as our Canadian property manager called it.

There was a mystery. The mystery of the Pennies in the Shower.

Every so often, we'd find a few pennies in the shower. No one really knew where they came from. Whoever found them would stack them neatly in one of the corners of the tub; occasionally we'd gather them up and dump them in the change jar.

They didn't show up every day; they turned up in twos and threes - most often pennies, but sometimes a dime would appear as well.

We wondered if our shower were the other end of a wormhole connected to the underside of someone's couch cushions. What was happening? It was a mystery.

One day, I shuffled to the shower in my usual semi-conscious state. And then the mystery was revealed.

But first, some explanation. I have always needed a lot of sleep; left to my own devices, I will sleep eight and a half to nine hours a night. Throughout college, I lived in a constant state of sleep deprivation. I would come home late from rehearsal, and then have to be up early for class. (My music history class was at eight a.m., and it was all I could do to pass it. I took it four years in a row - I had the first three weeks memorized - but always dropped it. The last time I took it, I managed to drag myself to class most of the time. The professor passed me largely out of pity.)

My alarm would go off, and then in a zombie-like stupor I would stumble to the shower, where I would attain full consciousness under the hot water. This particular day, I heard a "plink," and looked down. A penny had fallen ... off of me.

Suddenly, it all became clear. When I got home from rehearsals, often I would fall into my futon bed fully dressed. I fell asleep; change fell from my pockets into the bedsheets. In the middle of the night I would get undressed in my sleep, and snuggle back into the coin-infested covers. Some pennies would naturally ... adhere ... until they fell off in the shower.

(I'm editing this to say the pennies were not adhering to someplace disgusting. As in, not anywhere in my Swimsuit Area. Just to my legs, usually. So it wasn't like anything "ew" was going on.)

The sad part is, I had no idea this was happening. I was as baffled as my roommates about the mysteriously appearing pennies. When I figured out what had been happening, I called to my roommate Jill. When she heard, we laughed until we cried.

I felt like one of those people in a horror movie who is committing crimes in a hypnotic trance, with no idea that THEY ARE THE KILLER! BWA HA HA HA!

That was only one of my fool-moments; there were many, especially while living in that house. But I think of it often, especially since coins seem to be eternally erupting from my pockets.

Some things never change. No pun intended.


Blogger jwer said...

That is the most awesome thing I've ever heard.

Also, if you'd not edited, I was going to continue imagining you not knowing there were pennies stuck to your face, because it made me snort that way... less plausible, perhaps, but funny nonetheless.

5:27 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

You'll have to ask Karen about the ass dime incident.

6:25 AM  
Blogger David said...

Things like this still happen often, although they make him look less foolish than adorable and slightly deranged.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Celie said...

One time Jen left me an 11-cent tip. A dime and a penny. I'll just leave it at that...

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also seem to remember you occasionally falling asleep in the shower. Leaving the bathroom with a big crease down your face where it had been resting against the wall in a quiet showery snooze. That sort of thing.

Two great things that go...great?...together.


8:43 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

My ex often had quarters stuck to his thighs when getting up in the morning. The current boy is not so generous.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Zenchick said...

okay, I didn't have the "ew" question on my mind...until your disclaimer. :-)

9:13 PM  

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