Archive for September 26th, 2010

I will not forget my first encounter with David. I had been working at the bank for a precious few weeks. Out of the corner of my eye I spied him standing at the door.  David is a little over six feet tall, about two hundred pounds, he has a pocked marked face brown eyes and short greasy black hair. I know all this because as I watched him I figured I had better cement a description of him in my head so I didn’t look like an idiot in front of the police when they asked me for a description.  he seemed to be looking at us, the cameras, the windows, his toes were lined up at the threshold of the door and he stood absolutely rigid. When David finally entered the bank the lobby was almost empty. I looked around to see which of the other four tellers was going to help him. Imagine my lack of surprise when I saw that all of my co-workers had magically vanished!

Okay, so it was throw the new guy to the wolves day. David walked over to my window and proceeded to re-arrange the must have teller paraphernalia, the deposit slips had to be in a perfectly squared pile. The pile had to be two finger widths from the edge of the counter and two finger widths from the edge of the wall and yes he used his fingers to measure. The chain on the bank pen had to be just so, the pen itself had to be lined up along the deposit tickets. All of this was done repeatedly and in silence.

Finally he reached into his pocket and removed his wallet.  He held it up to his face, right up to his large nose.  He opened the money part just a fraction, just enough so he could peer in with one eye, then he closed the wallet and put it back in his pocket.  “May I help you?” He looked at me and removed his wallet again, peered inside it again.  Put it back in his pocket and re-arranged my deposit slips…again. He looked over at my coin tray,  “Do you have any Sacagawea dollars?”  understand he is looking at them in my coin tray, “Yes, looks like I have about eight dollars worth do you want them?”  Once again he reaches into his pocket and repeats the wallet ritual several times.  “May I see them?”  I spread them out on the table.  He carefully looks them over, but does not touch them. “What dates are those two?”  I turn them over so he can see the dates.  He goes back to his wallet ritual.  I look around for some help and I see the tellers have drifted back to their stations and they all had huge grins. 

He leaned in a little, looked around the bank.  “My name is David, but please don’t say my name out loud. I have an account here.  I also have a safe deposit box here.” 

“Okay, Da..sorry, Sir so what is it I can help you with today?”  Back to the wallet ritual.  “Can I have two dollar bills, four quarters and those two Sacagawea dollars? I have a five dollar bill in my wallet.”

“Of course you may, I start to gather the money while he starts his wallet ritual.  Lucky for me I adhere to bank policy, all my bills are face up and in the same direction.  I think David would have had a heart attack had I given him the bills any other way.  Finally he removes the five dollar bill.  I happen to notice it is the only bill in his wallet.  Now that it is out David has to check it repeatedly.  He held it up to the light, front and back, checked it at different angles, he checked to make sure it was indeed only one bill over and over.  He smiled almost shyly as he handed over the five and gathered his coins.  Interestingly, he didn’t even look at the money I gave him.

He leans in again, points to my coin tray, “Is that a half-dollar?” 

Now I have to admit there are times I do things or say things that I’m wishing I hadn’t done while I am still doing it.  And for some reason, perhaps nerves, perhaps a coping mechanism but looking at that half dollar with David standing in front of me I lost control.

“Yes, but I should let you know that it is a magic half dollar'”



long pause while he is thinking this through.  Over the course of the next five years there would be many such pauses during conversations between David and Myself, sometimes to the point where he had to go sit down for a few minutes while he processed information.

“Magic, how?”

I picked up the coin with one hand and placed it in the other and closed my fingers around the coin.  I looked at David and slowly opened my fingers I watched his face as I opened my fist revealing that the half dollar had changed into a quarter.  And like Braveheart from a few years ealier there was no reaction.  None.  I patiently waited him out.

“That is just a trick, right?”


“Are you sure?”


“Can I see the quarter?”  And once again I don’t know what came over me.  I picked up the coin and handed it to him.  But when he held out his hand to recieve the quarter, it vanished completely.  

“Is that also a magic trick?”


“You are sure?”


“Where is the quarter?”

“Right here” Reaching into the air with an empty hand and producing the quarter at my finger tips. “And the half dollar is right here” Tossing the quarter into my hand, closing my fingers around it, and when I open them the quarter has changed back to the original dollar coin.

I’ve done this a zillion times to people, before David and after David, but to Davids credit he earned my respect in his next move, he did something nobody had ever done before and have not done since.  He reached into his pocket and counted the change I had given him earlier.  He looked up at me and smiled.

“I like you”

“Thanks your alright yourself”

“See you next time”

Much to the relief of everybody in the bank David became my customer.  I spent five years at that bank, and I think it is David I miss the most.

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