September 21, 2003
There’s a clatter as a 1998 penny drops to the linoleum and clink-clinks its way under a table. We keep walking, but he turns to look.
“Hey, you dropped a penny.” “I know.” “You did it on purpose?” “I always do when i get change. Seeding randomness, y’know?”
He pauses, looks around the restaurant. We’re in Portillo’s waiting for our food, and the herd of customers is oblivious to the change. It’ll be discovered eventually, though.
“Excellent.” “Yeah. I figure you have to plan for chaos. The little stuff counts.”
I turn back to watch the counter, wait for the food. As I do, I kick something – the tinny skitter of change on the floor. I look down, lean over and pick up a quarter at my feet. He blinks.
“And sometimes,” I say, grinning, “The universe gives me change back.”</i>