When I got home last night, there was a $20 bill taped to the front door of my apartment building. No note. Nothing. Is this some sort of social experiment? Are there cameras somewhere? Tape rolling? I felt like I was being watched. I didn’t take it. It felt dirty. Perhaps there was something wrong with the money? All sorts of things going through my mind. Clearly, it wasn’t my money to take, but that shouldn’t have stopped me. Why would someone just tape money to a door in Brooklyn? It’s almost a sin not to take it. Nope, I looked at it for a few seconds, looked around, and went inside. Wondering.
When I was in fourth grade, I rode the school bus home. One afternoon, we had just let some kids out and I happen to be staring out the window. Miraculously, among a pile of leaves, I spotted a crisp bill. I couldn’t make out how much it was, but I got very giddy inside. I made up my mind at that moment. As soon as I got home I was going to hop on my bike and come claim that thing. There were people in the driveway of the house where this bill lay in front of. Had to make haste in order to get the reward. I couldn’t think of anything else the rest of the way home. That money was mine. 10 minutes later I got home, threw down my backpack in the garage and grabbed my BMX. I was pedaling with a purpose. Up and down the hilly back roads of Livingston, NJ. That money was mine. It was a late fall afternoon so there were leaves everywhere. It was cold. The images and smells are still vivid in my mind. Never had I found money before. When I got there, people were still outside. I pretended to have issues with my sneakers. Even then I was scheming. That cash was still there. And it was a $20! I couldn’t believe it. I don’t remember what I did with that money. It was fourth grade and I was just coming into my own. I had my first girlfriend. Sweet Lauren Kepniss. Maybe I went out and bought her some cheap jewelry. I had just started taking drum lessons. I thought Poison was the shit. I may have gone to Sam Goody and bought a Def Leppard tape. I don’t know. But I remember that cash as clear as day.
As I left my apartment this morning, the bill was still taped to the front door. This was a chance to inspect it in daylight. The money was fake. It had writing on it that read, “No Jews.”
It was a social experiment whether the fool that posted it knows it or not. I live next to a bodega. I have many neighbors. There were tons of eyeballs on that thing. But that bill stayed there for at least half a day without one person ripping it down. I try to always give people the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes they make me rethink that policy.