Back when I worked at the luncheonette,
I remember the guy used to come
in every day. Sometimes twice.
He'd sit at the counter, order his coffee,
break out his pad and pencil and began
to jot down numbers. All sorts
of fucking numbers.
Every page would be dated and under
each day, he would jot down the
winning lottery numbers in pencil.
Licking the tip each time before he wrote,
he'd mumur to himself, almost trance-like.
Lottery Man would analyze the numbers
by tabulating how many odd and even
winners came up per week, month
and year. He'd jot down odd facts
like how often '3' would appear and
would often say if he could get rid of
any number, it would be easily be '9.'
He'd call me 'Sonny...' and would ask
me to steal him an instant rub-off on
the sly at least once a week. When I
declined, 'Sonny...' became 'Mary...'
and Phil the owner would usually give
him more coffee, as if he needed it.
I knew his son. We were the same age
and all I could think was, 'Why aren't
you home with him?'
Lottery Man would win now and again and
usually brag about what he'd buy
his family. One year it was a computer,
then a microwave. He always said
he wanted a video camera but never
When I quit for college, he bought me
an instant rub-off for good luck.
The last thing I remember about
about Lottery Man was splitting our
winnings which bought me my books.
Here's hoping he got that camera...
"Lottery Man" by Anthony Venutolo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Hosted by The Internet Archive, download MP3 here. Music by Bossa2 "Cuando Vuelva a Tu Lado" and provided by Jamendo.