Laundered Money

I found four dollars in the washer. This has presented me with a dilemma.

It’s not 400 dollars, but it’s not nothing. If I lost four dollars I would miss it. Does the person who lost the four dollars wonder where it’s gone? I would return it, but how?

This is not like finding pennies on the sidewalk. They’re up for grabs as far as I can tell. Sometimes they’re dropped intentionally by people who treat them with disdain, if not contempt. Pennies add up if you collect them, but some people don’t seem to care.

If I found 400 pennies on the sidewalk would I feel conflicted about picking them up? Probably not, even though I’d notice them more: their weight, the metallic jangle they’d make in my pocket. They’d leave more of an impression than the four wrinkled, but freshly laundered dollar bills on my table waiting to be put to use. Then again, maybe not.

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