A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || June 28, 2008 || 3:03 am

“I’ll make you a proper hat.”


It’s really a bison, not a buffalo.


Just today I said to myself, “Oh God, stop with the Idealism already.”

So for a couple of years there, I carried a nineteen-thirty-five buffalo nickel around in the lovely little Saturncar with me. I don’t exactly recall how I came across it, but it rode there in my console’s cup holder steadily, patiently. As I marked the miles upon miles driving the back roads of various red dirt towns, that nickel was one constant companion in the sea of chaos and instability that my job was wrapped up in.

(Thou shalt not end a sentence with a preposition. I do it all the time because it’s comforting, I guess: Ending a sentence with a preposition is like warm, hand-whipped-into-peaking-submission mashed potatoes on your grandmomma’s table. You know what I’m talking about. You have a secret passion for marring the language with your own internal dialect, don’t you?)

I know I talk about Luck here from time to time, but the truth is that I don’t much cotton to the overall notion of it, not really. Despite my best efforts to the contrary, I came to think of that nickel as My Lucky Nineteen-Thirty-Five Buffalo Nickel. Sometimes, waiting on an errant client, or running to my car in the middle of a long docket day, I’d pick it up, holding it between the middle finger and thumb of my right hand, thumb ringing its surface in measured and thoughtful loops.

When I roughly kissed that tractor –it’s in the archives, May of oh-five to be exact– just about everything made it out of that car. There were exactly three things, though, that did not:

+ a neatly-tied little circlet of pale blue ribbon strung through a dozen brightly-colored plastic beads –all heart-shaped– that Scout had given me a couple years earlier. She handed it to me while saying earnestly with her slight, elementary-schooler’s lisp, “This is for you to carry while I’m not with you, for luck. For you to remember me.” I looped it across my turn signal lever and there it remained….

+ my Peter Gabriel ceedee, So, which was in the player on impact. Kate Bush was helping him sing ‘Don’t Give Up’. I’ve yet to replace that album, I keep forgetting, and it pisses me off because it’s one of my very favorites. Like, ever.

+ My Lucky Nineteen-Thirty-Five Buffalo Nickel

Sometime last fall I came to possess the updated version of that nickel, where both the Indian head and buffalo are larger and slightly different. The year on it, ironically enough, was two-thousand and five. Seventy years past the first nickel, and also the year of my accident. I saved that nickel in the center of my door’s armrest, because the cupholders in the Magic Superior Stealth Vehicle are part of a collapsible, sliding mechanism and therefore not solid. Sometime just past the first of this year I was waiting in line at the bank and absent-mindedly picked up the coin, only with my left hand. In a sudden spate of melancholy, I remarked to myself that I was glad of this replacement, but that I sure did miss the original, the My Lucky Nineteen-Thirty-Five Buffalo Nickel.

Within two weeks I found myself in possession of another vintage buffalo nickel; would you care to guess the date it was struck? That’s right: Nineteen-hundred and thirty-five. I remember thinking (and slightly sardonically) that I wish I had a head’s up on which wishes were going to actually count, which ones would actually be weighted, so that I would better know how to dispense of them.

I digress. I was thankful for the nod from the universe. And I put that nickel with its updated cousin, right there in the driver’s-side armrest.

Now I have two nickels, two buffaloes, where I used to have only one. That feels as if it has some meaning, but damned if I can decipher it as yet. I’ve no doubt it will sledgehammer me on some random Tuesday afternoon, because those Tuesday afternoons are good for that sort of thing.

But meaning is meaning, All You Folk, and I’d be a fool not to suppose that is enough for now.

Nobody worked it out »

Don´t be shy. Lay it on me.

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