100 yen

tokyo japan vending machineIt must be November as the vending machines have started to serve hot drinks again. I put my hand in my pocket and pull out a solitary 100 yen coin. It’s scuffed and has been well used; a small piece of metallic history on a neverending journey. Where has it been? What has it seen, this little coin? I turn it over in my hands, wondering if it is happy. This coin has seen many things, stolen moments lost in time. In 1997 it sat silently on top of a dresser for three months, watching as a couple fought every night in a small one-bedroom apartment in Osaka. In 2006 it travelled all the way to Kyushu and back with a truck driver from Manila, listening to The Beatles and Canned Heat on repeat. It has been places you will never go and seen things you will never see. I wonder if anyone else has ever taken the time think about how it feels, being shuffled around from place to place so often. As I stand in front of the vending machine, I put the coin back in my pocket. It’s safe for another day.

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