Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Social Fiction Project: The Lottery Ticket

Created by: Katherine Gursky

Twitter: @HomelessBum 

The Lottery Ticket 

        It was another cold and bitter morning in the lower part of New York where the honking of a cab and the meowing of a stray cat had awoken me. I get up, rub my eyes and walk to the corner of two busy streets, with an empty cup bumming the citizens for some spare change for a cup of coffee. The people are kind, and I manage to spare up 21 dollars today, an all-time high. The New Yorkers around this area know me well; in fact I consider plenty of people to be friends of mine. Even some of the wealthiest in the city give the time of day to a homeless bum like me.
The nights are the hardest part of all; the lonely back lane, the cold cement, and the rotten smell of the neighborhood garbage bins. As I lay back onto the brick wall of a sketchy apartment block, I hear the flapping of a paper in the wind. I look over to find a lottery ticket blowing away. I must have ran faster than a lion stalking its prey after that piece of flimsy paper, in hopes of winning money that I knew was nearly impossible. After the cold day on the busy streets of New York, I had needed to get some rest. The lottery ticket could wait until morning, so I picked up my jacket and went in search for a safe place to catch some sleep.
First thing, that Saturday morning I took my ticket and went right to the closest convenient store. The man at the cash register stared me down, as if he expected me to steal something from his store. I asked to see the lottery numbers. He laughed and mumbled,

 “What’s a bum like you thinkin’ he’s gonna win 560 million dollars in a place like this.” He said with a sleazy smile.

It was not until after I scored every single number right that I replied to the man. I looked him right in the eye, as I put my right hand onto my hip and pointed a stern finger at him, and said,

“I am not a bum. I am a human being.” And walked away without looking back once.
Two weeks later my life had completely changed. I had everything I ever dreamed of; a perfect house, an expensive car, and enough food to fill up an entire fridge. I lived alone, as most of my friends I only saw on the streets. It seemed as if I had everything I wanted, but no company to share with. I would go out to the bars, and places I used to think were too exclusive for me. I quickly learned that once I had money I became the loneliest person you could ever imagine. I had so much money I did not need to work, but a part of me missed spending all day searching for money under park benches. Money did not make me a happier person. In fact, it made me one of the most miserable people in the world.


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