Life From A Coins Perspective

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade April 2001

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A Coin's Adventurous Lifetime From the day I was minted I knew I was going to be something special in this world. I was created on January 23, 1982, which I consider my birthday. I may look just like every other quarter you have ever seen but I assure you I am much different. The machine that pressed me gave me a sense of confidence in myself. I proudly show the profile of President Washington on one side and on the other a stately eagle clutching olive branches. My shiny coat reflects light and gives me a brand new quality. I never imagined I would end up back here at the Treasury to be taken out of circulation.

My life has been a long and interesting one. After being made I was shipped to a suburban bank in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Here I remained for a while mixed with many of my brothers, who also longed to be released into the world and have experiences.

The day finally came when a man cashed his paycheck and got me in return. The first few moments when I was in circulation were exhilarating. The feeling of moving around in a pocket with other coins and bills, as well as mints and blistex, made me feel glad to be alive. After traveling with him for a while, I was used to buy a newspaper and felt some sense of sadness as I was separated from this father-like man who exposed me to the world for the first time.

The chute that he put me down was much like being on some kind of bizarre roller coaster, but the end is very violent because I ended up crashing into all of my brothers with no warning. However, sitting in the dark with all of those other coins gave me a chance to hear some interesting stories from some of the older coins. They spoke of trips overseas and of exciting adventures they shared with their past masters. After hours of sitting in darkness we were finally retrieved by a newspaper man and taken to another bank to be cashed in for dollar bills, which incidentally I don't understand why people prefer, coins are obviously better. We are a lot more convenient because we come in smaller denominations. But anyway, at the bank I once again had to wait for someone to cash a check so I could get out of its prison like atmosphere with all those metal bars, locks and guns.

I was finally pardoned again and this time I vowed to make the most of my freedom. This time I was traveling with a woman and she took me to New York with her when she went to visit relatives. I was so excited to finally be on the road and experiencing life and making memories. While in New York I had one of the most thrilling experiences in my life. While my master and her boyfriend were walking through Central Park, they were walking past a large wishing fountain. That's when it happened; I became their wish. As they tossed me, all I could think of was how I hoped that I could make their wish come true and become a good symbol of their love. But then I as I got closer to the water a disturbing thought entered my head. I thought "Dear God, I don't know how to swim!" As I hit the water, chills spin around the outside of my disc. Then I realized, "Wait a second, I'm fine, I must not need air to live." So as I sat at the bottom of this fountain my thoughts kept returning to my former master and her lover and how I hoped they would stay together forever.

After sitting there for a few days I was regrettably forced to leave my spot under the water. A homeless man came and stole me out of the fountain. I tried to scream in protest but it unfortunately had no effect. He stuffed some of my fellow coins and me in his smelly pocket, which carried the vilest stench I have ever smelled. Thankfully it was a short trip with the vagrant and after he used me to purchase some cheap alcohol, I spent nearly a week in the register at a New York liquor store. Then the day came when a young boy, obviously under age, came and tried to buy a bottle of whiskey. The clerk knew he wasn't old enough and planned to catch him in the act, but the boy produced one of the best fake licenses I've ever seen. I was reluctantly then given to the minor as change and expected to go home with him.

While he was nervously rushing out of the store he accidentally dropped me, then actually had the nerve not to pick me up. So there I sat in the gutters of New York wallowing in the filth created by the millions of people who live there. Finally a nice man noticed me, and despite the trash I was covered in he picked me up and put me in his pocket. When we got back to his apartment he washed me off and put me on a plaque to be in his coin collection. Here I stayed for over 15 years watching his life, as children and grandchildren came to visit occasionally and as he struggled to fill up the hours of the day with activities. Then one day the old man died and no one was there to help him; I screamed as loud as I could for help but no one came. When his family finally discovered he was dead, they cashed in his coin collection. I couldn't believe they could do such a thing to something that their father and grandfather found so important. I spent several more years in circulation and picked up a few nicks and scratches.

Finally I ended up here where it all began at the Treasury. Apparently I'm not pretty enough to be allowed in circulation. So now I face the end of my life in a furnace and I can only hope that my remains are used to make a new coin, which will have as exciting a life as I did. The heat as I approach the flames is unbearable and as I'm tossed in I reflect on all my adventures and I think, "It's been a good life, goodbye, world." .