The other day I found $25 on the street, one $5 folded into a $20.
This was a rare occurrence; I can't remember the last time I found a wrinkled old dollar wafting in the breeze, much less twenty-five clams.
I picked up the bills and looked around to see if there was anyone nearby who might have dropped it. No luck. An old man walked up behind me. I asked him if the money was his.
"It's yours now," he said.
"Maybe I should leave it at the botanica in case someone asks for it?"
"No," he said. "They would keep it, and no one would ask there."
(In case you are wondering, this man exists. He wore a hat.)
$25 still seemed like too much to pocket. Extra money + need to spend creatively = project.
So I'm giving money to whomever asks me for it, until I run out of the original $25. Probably most of these people will be homeless, but if you were to walk up to me in a bar and ask for a drink during this magical period, I would buy one for you. Here's the rub: you have to tell me what you plan to use the money for, even if it's a lie.
First recipient: a homeless man on 24th Street, outside the bakery where Matt and I bought cupcakes (him: yellow, me: pink).
"What'll you use the money for?" I asked, "I'll give it to you either way."
"Rent!" he insisted. "I'm not a drinker! Oh, no, sir! It'll all go to rent."