Luck


The ground was littered with pennies, thirty nine in all, and in spite of the rain, I felt compelled to pick them up one by one.

Must be my lucky day.

Considering the rain, it didn’t seem especially lucky, but I was willing to think positively. The bus came right away. The bus didn’t leak. That was luck enough for me

At the end of the day, I boarded the bus again to go home, transit card in hand to pay my fare, but the driver waved me past due to a faulty card reader.

Guess my luck is holding. I thought.

At the transfer, it occurred to me that if I decided not to swipe my transit card at the station’s card reader that I would’ve gotten my whole ride for free. It would have been easy to do- the drivers didn’t check for transfers on that line and more than once I’d seen other riders stroll past the card reader without stopping and no one could really know the difference.

But I would know, and I would feel guilty: I could afford to pay the fare, I might as well actually do so.

I swiped my card. The light on the reader turned red. I stopped; swiped again. Still red. Insufficient funds. I’d known that it was getting low but I thought I still had a ride left before my stored value ran out.

As I refilled my card at a nearby kiosk it occurred to me that my luck had been holding out: if the driver on the express bus hadn’t waved me through I would’ve been standing in the rain for another twenty minutes before the next bus arrived. And if I hadn’t been honest enough to swipe my card at the transfer I never would have known the card was empty and would have had to refill it during my morning commute the next day no matter how late I was running.

So it wasn’t big luck, but I’ll take what I can get.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 18, 2019.

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