This past week there was a gigantic lottery payout here in the U.S. The jackpot was a staggering $588 million. Over half a billion dollars! I didn’t buy a ticket. I like to fancy myself a super sophisticated student of the odds and at, literally, 175,000,000 to 1, I felt it was a boorish bet to make. I won’t even lay 35 to 1 at a roulette table.
While on my arduous commute home, past the petroleum refineries and chemical plants of northern New Jersey, I did what every red blooded American did. I stared out the window into the dusk and imagined what it would be like to suddenly win that preposterous amount of money. My first thought was, of course, no more life-sucking hours spent commuting. The second was the cliché palatial apartment overlooking Central Park. “Please don’t show me anything below the 30th floor,” I would instruct the real estate agent.
Then, very quickly, my mind drifted towards all the trouble it would cause. The relentless phone calls and pleadings for help. The whacked-out investment schemes and long, lost family, friends and ex-colleagues who would emerge from the mist of my intentionally forgotten memories. The unrelenting tsunami of temptations and guilt.
Do you see what I did there? I took a fortuitous event like winning the national lottery and immediately fashioned it into something bleak. I turned it into a problem. What the hell’s the matter with me? I don’t understand how my mind works sometimes. I lead a pretty decent life. From what deep, dark crevice does all this angst emanate from?
Do you know the plot device in the Harry Potter novels whereby memories and thoughts can be extracted and shared? In the films, those thoughts and memories are depicted as long, sparkly, glistening threads. I’ll bet my thought strands would be brown and dripping with rust.
Not every post can be pizza commentary, casino hijinks and theater boasts. Nor should they be.
Self portrait #7. The Canine and I are getting along much better. I haven’t been bitten or seriously growled at in quite some time. Just in a playful way. Still, if I were a wizard, I’d dramatically slice the air with my wand and turn her into a cat.
City sidewalks, busy sidewalks.
Dressed in holiday style.
It’s Christmas time in the city.
Here’s the first of several holiday shots of the city. I love Christmas for purely secular reasons. The town gets all gussied up like a cheap, glittery, 10-cent transvestite. People are genuinely nicer to one another and I like the music. I’m not even bothered by the holiday throngs that residents constantly complain about. If you hate crowds so much, why the hell did you move to New York City in the first place, you idiot? Go live in Omaha. I hear they have room to breath. Merry Christmas!