A fact about me: I very seldom put away my shoes. Call it my fatal flaw. (Fatal as in, if you trip over the mess on my floor, you run the risk of breaking something.) As such, I generally have just about every boot, sneaker, and flip-flop I wear on a semi-regular basis scattered across my side of the dorm, abandoned wherever I last removed them and half-heartedly kicked into differently shaped piles as I move them out of my way. (My running shoes, however, sacred objects that they are, receive a place of honor neatly lined up on the shelf beneath my bed in their order of rotation—green, pink, blue.)
A few nights ago, a friend was over, standing carefully among my footwear graveyard. Just as he was about to leave, his eye caught on something resting in an old, beaten pair of Chuck Taylors: a penny, rubbed shiny by the frequent polishings of a sock-clad foot.