Five Shiny Dimes – TBP

by Diogenes’ Dung

Demons and Angels, whatever labels we give them, are part of Earth’s curriculum. This world is a school balanced between daylight and darkness, good and evil, birth and death and our limitless choices between the two.

Demons are compelled to pull us down into the spiritual paralysis of ingrown hatred. Angels lift us to a place where the weight of our grievances evaporates with the knowledge that our destiny is a heavenly home.

There have been too few moments of grace in my heart these last few years as my grievances against our society have multiplied beyond counting. It seems increasingly foolish to hope that our society – particularly its governing structures, will be ever be safe, supportive or sustainable. That requires caring and kindness with a historical eye on the future from those we choose to govern us. Today our government is controlled by unelected psychopaths who intend to cull us like diseased livestock.


As that becomes increasingly apparent, a goodhearted stranger with a welcoming smile for all will become a fairy tale. A government that meticulously plans complete control of everyone creates a climate of fear and isolation everywhere. Every face becomes a mug shot. But this story isn’t about dysfunctional schisms kicking hope’s tail between its legs. It’s about Hope’s happily wagging tail at the future.

I know Angels are waiting to serve anyone who is ready for their help. They share their warm, light-infusing touch when least expected and most needed. I have met angels before, several times that I know of and more that I suspect were passed because I was in too big of a hurry. I rarely speak to anyone of my encounters. They are my pearls.

There were hallmarks that signaled their passing, usually noticed moments after we parted. The significance of the encounters were the only unique aspects, each offering something beneficial, but entirely inexplicable.

My angels were always unexpected, nondescript individuals blending anonymously into their surroundings. We would share the simplest of exchanges, usually involving charity or help with a small problem. They always touched my hand, infusing me with gentle warmth while their twinkling eyes radiated goodhearted mirth. Today’s visit arrived with all the hallmarks, each unnoticed until it was over and I walked into a moment of grace.

Yesterday I went to the self-serve car wash and didn’t notice until a 4 AM trip to the bathroom this morning that my wedding band was missing. I knew the pressure wand had stripped it off my finger. It wasn’t valuable, just a sliver of silver, but it meant the world to me. I was devastated.

We found our disparate but character-appropriate wedding bands sitting side by side in a pawn shop in Pismo Beach. It was just hours before we were Zoom married on our oceanfront balcony, serenaded by a pelican sanctuary. The rings are irreplaceable. I had to retrieve my ring from the drain in the car wash bay. Pronto, no matter what it took.

I had crowbars, a colander, slotted ladles and work gloves in a five-gallon bucket ready to return to the car wash when Liz awoke and inquired WTF I was planning to do with her fine kitchen utensils. When I explained my predicament, I could see her resignation as any hope of its recovery vanished from her eyes while she waved her consent to excavate and sluice a noxious, slimy four-foot deep sump with her cooking tools. She later told me she allowed it only because I had her over a ring barrel.

I arrived at the car wash, an isolated victim-creating corner on Portland’s MLK Blvd just south of Rosa Parks Way, at 7:30 am, ready to go to work. I was alone in a neighborhood notorious for automatic weapon fire that the police never hear. It was cool, in the 60’s, so the HK 45C in my left armpit and two clips in the right didn’t print under my Carhartt vest as I slowly walked a closing circle from the perimeter of the empty, dry wash bay to the sump and reversed course, expanding the circle back out to the perimeter. Nothing. Then an up and down walk, then left to right. Four separate, slow searches and nothing but clean concrete. It had to be in the sump pit.

It took my largest crowbar to pry the broken grill off the sump in the middle of the wash bay and I somehow let half of it slip, disappearing into the greenish-yellow goop, almost out of reach. I needed a lucky snag and all my strength to yank it out, covered in coffee-colored slime. It was too deep to reach the bottom with a scoop without going hand to shoulder deep in the muck and that wasn’t an option. So I began bailing. I had to lower the water at least two feet to get to the bottom only wet to my elbow.

Back and forth to the edge of the bay, half a bucket each trip, pulling it up with one arm to keep my strapped torso out of the wet pit. After about twenty trips out of the bay to sling the disgusting sump contents towards MLK Blvd I had a steady stream of VOC-laden decomposition crossing the sidewalk into its gutters. Pedestrians had cars swerving as they held their noses and stepped into the street to avoid it.

About then I noticed that an old car had parked in front of me by the second row of wash bays. Its doors were open, displaying collections common to the homeless. A New Delhi-looking older man in faded cloths was sorting through them. He appeared harmless, so I paid little attention. My head was on a swivel looking behind me at the low-riding Caddie with blackout windows parked by a vacuum cleaner with nobody visible and no vacuuming on the agenda.

Slowly, the Indian-looking fellow approached me with tiny mound of dull dimes and pennies in his outstretched palm and asked in unaccented English, “Do you have a quarter, just one quarter?”

He didn’t look like a clean car was in his budget this year but it didn’t matter – I never carry change in my pockets. I was curt, too busy and burdened to care about a quarter for anyone… “No – I don’t have any change at all.” He turned away with a sideways look at me. A small smile that flickered chagrin, like I was missing a great opportunity. It feather-tickled my brain stem to respons again.

“Wait! Sir! I forgot I’m driving my wife’s car – I think maybe she has some change in the console.” He grin got wider and he looked at me like I was Gulliver squeezing through a keyhole. I returned from the car with a quarter and his small, cupped hand of tarnished dimes and pennies extended, closing and turning his hand down to place them in my palm, opening his hand slowly slowly to leave them there with a brief contact of warmth and “Thank you!” as he turned back toward his car.

I put the coins in my pocket without inspection and turned back to my task without another thought for him, facing the most disgusting part of the job. Scooping thick, yak-inducing slime and sluicing it through a colander. I surveyed the impenetrable pit of sloughed car slag below me and looked up at the superfund trail of pollution I had trickled out of the wash bay to hurl downstream and there it was, my wedding band. Right next to the path I had been walking back and forth for a half hour. In the first and last last place I searched – easily seen from ten feet away. When I picked it up fromthe cold concrete, it was clean and warm. I looked over toward my unusual visitor but the old man and his car had dissapeared without a sound.

An hour after returning home and cleaning up, I almost sprinted to the cloths hamper to retrieve the magical dimes and pennies from my jeans. They were essential, magical pocket-warmers for my next high-stakes game of Texas Hold’em. When I pulled my hand from my jeans pocket and opened it, I held five shiny dimes.



The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)


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