Today I was waiting to make a left turn, when up ahead I saw a pedestrian drop somethign as she crossed the street. At first I thought it was just paper, but when I actually got to turn I saw it was folded money. She had already crossed and was too far away to think my honking horn would be for her, so I pulled into a parking lot and ran out to pick it up, but it had blown into the middle of the intersection and I had to wait for the light to change again. Finally I reached it: $5.
But the lady was gone. I went in the grocery store and the clothing store on her side of the street, but couldn't find her.
I stood around for a while to see if she would appear again, but she didn't.
Then I felt kind of bad, because I'll I had done was grab somebody's lost money, which made me feel kind of dirty. I couldn't quite just put it in my wallet. There are usually a few panhandlers around, but not today. although I saw a few shabby people, I didn't want to go up to them and say "you look really shabby like you need my $5 charity. So I bought a burrito from the taco cart, figuring I could at least support a local business...plus I was hungry.
Mostly, I hope that she was someone who won't even really miss the $5. I fear that she will get to the bus stop or store and miss it a lot.
I was thinking about money today, because I went to the doctor's at UCLA, where it costs $11 to park. How much would it suck to make, say, $10 an hour, and then have to pay $11 to park for one hour? Strangely, I don't feel like I occupy that group yet, because I don't make ANY money an hour right now. But I spend such a gargantuan amount per hour for school, and I guess every time I see a doctor, that it seems minor. It might not in another year...