The bill for two bottles? $19.56. I gave them a twenty, got a handful of change in return. Four pennies, one a wheatback. It's been years since I got a wheatback in change, used to be something I always saved. This one was worn, the date was hard to read, I had to take it home and put on my old-person reading glasses and check the date.


I love old coins. Where have you been, friend? How many hands have rubbed your date down to a nub? Missus chritter understands this fetish. My groomsgift from her at our wedding? Cufflinks made from Roman coins. When she goes to N'Awlins for a medico confab she brings me back a silver Spanish piece of eight, stamped "1621." I carry it with me when I need luck. Something about the daily works of our long-dead ancestors speaks to me on an odd primal level. 1920 is only just shy of a century past, but I can't help wonder what this little penny has seen and where it's been. And how its voyage led to me finding it in my hands in a Costco wine shop parking lot in 2013.

Mysteries are wonderful.