As I approached the water, his eyes transfixed upon me; I turned away ashamed without anything to be shameful of. It was only a quarter and two small pennies, after all, and it wasn’t as if I was littering.
Maybe it is because I’m 35 years old and too old for such practices. Granted, a wishing well is for children, not rational adults. But, still, there was something nostalgic, a simple reminder of years gone by, that drew me to the small pool. Societal convention had pushed me away.
I did not even know who he was. Why did I care what he thought? Would he have given me a scornful look? Would it matter?
I quickly realized that I needed to turn around and go back. Still unsure why I needed to drop my 27 cents the water, my initial reasoning had become unimportant. What became most important was that I did what I wanted to, when I wanted to, without fear of societal prejudice.
So I went back, this time purposefully waiting for someone to watch. First, and older woman made eye contact; I flipped the quarter into the pool. I waited another minute before an adolescent girl made eye contact, I flipped in a penny.
Then, I noticed the young boy, no older than my own son. He looked at me and smiled. I smiled in return as I took a few steps toward him, held out my hand and gave him my last penny…
“Here you go buddy, make a wish.”