It appears that I’ve lost the oldest thing I owned.
Back when I lived here in London the first time, I was sent by CKSL to attend some sort of festival in Victoria Park. I don’t remember what it was but I do remember there were lots of vendors of cheap jewellery and flowing sundresses – just the kind of fun stuff that brings people out on a hot summer day.
I was alone and wanting to keep busy so as not to look, well, so alone. (As it turned out, a semi-stalker was taking photos of me that day which I would later receive in my mail bunk. But I didn’t know he was “with” me at the time.) I approached a man with a funny looking machine that had all sorts of gears and a big handle on the side. For one dollar he would crush a penny (mine) into a copper relief of the Lord’s Prayer. Well, how could I refuse? That looked like fun for $1.01.
He did as he promised, pounding down enough pressure on the coin to squash it and imprint the Lord’s Prayer on it in tiny script. Now, I’ve never been particularly religious but I think of the Lord’s Prayer as everybody’s poem. And to see it in tiny lettering in the copper of what used to be a penny, well, that was a neat trick.
I had had a fire in my townhouse back then and lost virtually everything I owned. The only thing I had from that era of my life, except for a few photos, was that penny. No matter how many times I’ve changed wallets or purses, that penny always went into the new one and was carried with me. It wasn’t so much a good luck charm as a memento that I never lost. Until now. I’ve been through every purse and wallet and couch cushion and I can’t find that cent. No cashier would have accepted it as currency so I simply must have dropped it somewhere.
It’s a bummer, really. I had that crushed coin for more than 20 years and now, suddenly, it’s gone. It’s only a penny. And since my fire I learned the hard way that it wasn’t wise to get too sentimental about “stuff”. But I was sort of attached to having that little token with me. I enjoyed seeing it in my coin purse, always there but never chosen. I guess it’s time to consider toting around the thing I’ve owned for the second-longest amount of time. Do you think I can get a 1936 floor model GE radio into my purse?