“I REMEMBER WAITING IN A VEHICLE IN THE TENSE MOMENTS BEFORE A
I’ve gone through a lot of life feeling like I got dealt a bad hand, and I used to look for confirmation to prove it. Like if the light turned red just as I was approaching. Even if it’s not real—and I know it’s not real—you still feel shitty.
That’s why this coin is so special.
My girlfriend was inside a country-and-western karaoke bar in San Francisco, singing Patsy Cline. I was standing out by the street, sour about something, shuffling my feet on the pavement. I saw a flash in the gutter. Half-buried in the crud was this 1943 Walking Liberty half dollar. A gorgeous coin.
I carried it when I was in the FBI. It calmed me. Once, I remember waiting in a vehicle in the tense moments before a drug bust, before the shouting and kicking down of doors. I reached into my pocket and felt the coin; it was a grounding thing. The coin’s still symbolic for me. It was the luck after feeling unlucky for a long time; it stands as the ultimate counterexample. It was like, Open your fucking eyes, jackass.