Creases everywhere. I try to imagine the face without lines, but find the task impossible. At least he’s still got hair. Gray now, but a full head of it. I hope that’s hereditary.
Grandpa Tom starts digging in his pocket. “Come over here, John,” He waves me to his knee.
I stand up straight and look into his eyes. Steely but loving, blue like mine.
From his worn jeans he pulls a single copper penny.
“Do you know what this is?” his thumb and finger pinch the coin an inch in front of my nose.
I nod. “It’s a penny.”
“And what does one do with a penny?”
“Well I don’t know. I mean, one penny isn’t worth very much. You can’t buy anything for just one penny.”
Grandpa Toms lip hardens into a thin line. “Sit down John.”
I sit cross legged in front of his brown leather shoes.
“How would you like to have one million dollars?” he asks me.
I grin at the idea.
“Well,” he tells me, leaning in closer “you get there one penny at a time.” He flicks the piece of metal into the air, then stands, arching his back and yawning before shuffling into the kitchen. It falls into my lap.
I stare at it, memorizing the shape of Lincoln’s nose, and the little spot of green smudgy stuff. I pick it off the wood and turn it gingerly over and over.
I will never spend this penny.