Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Most Peculiar Thing the Loser Does

The Complete and Total Loser gets coins of no interesting vintage, and polishes them. He's been doing this for nearly twenty years.
The coins are nearly always quarters. He particularly likes ones made in 1965, the year their composition went from silver to copper. (He keeps the silver ones.) He puts on cheap plastic gloves he bought in a dollar store and uses Maas or, more recently, Flitz. Both are noted polishing products and both come in tubes so he can control the tiny amounts of material he uses. He polishes no more than two a day. On average, he polishes four or five a week, but months have gone by without any coins being rehabilitated.
When finished he puts them on the corner of the small table near his door, the better to remember to take them with him as he leaves for work. Before he had his current job as a cashier he would mix them in with change he'd use when making purchases.

The Loser can only guess at the psychology of why he does this. The act of cleaning them soothes the Loser, the little circles he makes, the buffing on ever cleaner bits of cotton cloth as he rubs with his right index finger. He reflects on the year the coin was made, what he was doing then, where he lived, how that year went went for him.
And in the end the Loser, who never married, had a serious relationship, sired any progeny or contributed anything of value to the world, releases aging bits of metal that will be treated roughly by uncaring users. But they will be a little brighter than their younger and often more information-laden brethren.
shiny coin
See how one coin is shinier than all the others? That's the Loser at work.

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