There was a penny on the sidewalk, on Esplanade Avenue, between North Galvez Street and North Villere Street.
A man in a plaid jacket walked by it, never noticing it. A man in a wheelchair rolled over it, not noticing it. It started to rain. A woman looking down, under her umbrella did not see the penny in the puddle. A little girl carrying a plastic bag full of soda pop and eggs hurried home, looking at the sky. The copper in the penny turned another shade of green.
One hundred pennies make a dollar. One hundred dollars make a hundred dollar bill.
The rain stopped sometime after midnight, and the moon came out. The leaves overhead rustled in a light breeze. Everything was fine.
A baby was born at exactly 1:01 AM, across town. His mother fell asleep with him on her chest. His father was not there for the birth, except in spirit. The baby’s grandmother read a magazine a few rooms away.
A trashcan on the sidewalk overflowed with cardboard and rotten fruit. Someone dropped an empty pint bottle into it. All the windows along the street were dark. A light went on in one of the houses.
There were less than a hundred stars visible in the sky past the glow of the streetlights. They were all bright.
The filament in the lightbulb glowed yellow. The bare room had white walls, a white ceiling, and an unstained wood floor. The window was black from the inside. There was a jar of pennies on the mantle, some of them old, some of them new. There were more than a hundred of them, mixed with nickels and dimes, mixed with some quarters. Not a hundred dollars in the whole bunch, but enough.