Nov. 3rd, Saturday. The whole course of events for the next couple weeks has suddenly changed. After making the final entry in Vol. 2 of my journal, I decided to take a walk. I couldn’t make it to my job today because I was nearly out of gas and my paycheck hadn’t come in the mail. I figured I’d take a walk and then do some painting when I got back. I put on my leather jacket, for it was a typical cool fall day (and cloudy), and headed towards one of the busier streets. I had to find a mailbox to mail my time card in, so as to get paid for working this week. It was about the only constructive thing I could do.
I saw a mailbox only a couple short blocks away, but I felt like getting into things a little more, and headed towards the little town’s square. It was Saturday, so people would be about, and I figured getting where things were happening and were new to me would have to increase my odds for bettering my situation. (This same line of thinking was what prompted me to take my trip in the first place.)
As I walked, kicking through fallen leaves and litter, I was reminded of the walk I took just before I left Ken’s place in Harlingen. Then, too, I had wanted to think about my situation and I ended up finding a ten-dollar bill, dirty from blowing alongside the road for who knows how long. I had needed money then to make it up here to Dallas. Now, I thought, I really would like to run across some money. Then I remembered something I’d read in a book called, “Illusions.” (It was a great book; I had even brought it along on my trip to read again, sometime.) It had said if you want something to enter your life, you picture it in your mind, floating on a blue background, and your hand reaching and grabbing it. So I pictured me grabbing a 20-dollar bill, floating on blue. Afterwards I remember how the book had added that you never know how or when it will happen, though. Despite my gloomy mood this morning, I kinda felt sure that this process would work.
After a bit of walking, looking at the nice old houses that lined Virginia St., I finally made it “into town,” and a block later, the square. They were doing a lot of construction there and I thought that without the construction noise, it would probably have a real homey, small-town feel to it. I walked past a painter eating lunch in a nearly-done building. A few doors down I turned around and went back and asked him if he could use any help with whatever he was doing. He said he had enough help, so I asked what the place was going to be when he got done. A theater of art, he said. I thanked him anyway and left, wondering what exactly a theater of art was. Well, it was a good try, I thought. He may have paid me to help him.
I mailed my letter and did some people-watching, went into a couple stores, and was heading back on Louisiana St., the other busy street with nice old houses on it. I stopped and talked to an old man who was looking at a little creek that passed under the road. He had been going the opposite way I was going but he walked with me, back the way he’d come. He was telling me how he was from Virginia and was staying with his grandson in this big old house on the corner, when we both looked down to see a twenty-dollar bill (“MY twenty,” I thought), with a ten next to it. Since it was on his side of the sidewalk he quickly reached down and picked them up. “Can you imagine that?” he said, while my mind was whirling with what to do next. We both immediately started to look around for more, of course. I turned and looked on my side and saw a one-dollar bill, bent to pick it up, and my heart jumped when I noticed it was folded with a hundred-dollar bill! I couldn’t quite believe it. We looked a bit more and the man asked me what I’d found. I showed him and said, “Can you believe that?!” We both laughed and I told him that I thought I might find something today. I laughed some more and showed him my last seven cents and told him how I was wondering what I was going to do.
We casually walked down to the beautiful house he was staying at and he told how his grandson had restored the whole thing. I thanked him for the profitable walk and walked back towards Dave’s house, with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. I thought about how clean the bills were, compared to the old ten-spot I’d found before. A block away I had to take the two bills out again to be sure I hadn’t imagined the whole thing. I hadn’t.