I tend to look around a lot.
Some call it nosey. I call it observant.
Because of this, I find a lot of things.
I once found, in a fit of cleaning, a diamond and garnet ring. It may have been someone first wife's. It may have not been. But it was buried in a pile of left-behiond-style things in a corner of the basement, and I considered it "booty".
The next time we went out for drinks, I left it for the waitress as a tip.
But that's not the most memorable thing I've found.
It was 1986, and my friend Christy was living in Miami. Miami in the 80s was very much like the set of "Scarface": the buildings were the color of candy; the clothes were tiny, fluorescent bits; the sun was bright; and everyone was tanned to a the-turkey's-done brown-ness.
I had gone to visit her on a whim, a weekend of sun, water, dancing; and we found ourselves in a rented Mustang convertible (red, of course) on a very long bridge over a wide expanse of water on our way to Key West. We were branching out.
To be young and strong and confident? Oh, we were something.
One afternoon, walking the beaches, we came across a large plastic-wrapped bale. It had washed up into whatever weeds things wash up into in that part of the world, bundles and bundles of plastic-bound bundles tied together, careful packages...
"Oh God oh God oh God," Christy moaned. "They're gonna find us in plastic bags washed up on beaches, too." She threw her hands up in the air. "Stepping away! Stepping away!"
"What are you talking about?" I said.
"That's coke! That's hundreds of thousands of dollars right there! They bring it in on boats, sometimes they have to dump it early and it washes ashore! Oh God!" She began walking toward the car.
"We're going back to Miami, where it's safe!"
Well hold on there! Coke? Cocaine? All of that is cocaine?! Wow! Heady visions of the money that you could make if you just knew the right people in 5, 4, 3...
No, not really.
We went back to Miami. We did not make hundreds of thousands of dollars -- or go to prison.
A happy ending.
And that was the most memorable thing I ever found.
4 hours ago