Once again I purchased the Mega Millions tickets at Charlie’s Grocery on Elm Street. I made my way over to Tate Street on the edge of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro campus. I spent so much time talking to people about their dreams in this neighborhood that I had to make two visits to finish my dream collecting.
On the first day, the weather was gorgeous—clear skies, warm sunshine and low humidity—so people were gathered outside local establishments. I was attracted to the people socializing and enjoying beer in the afternoon sun at NY Pizza. One person was so excited that I she responded, “Hell yes I’d like a ticket.” Often I overheard people talking about what their dreams were while I was walking away from them. I couldn’t help but chuckle when one person said she would share the winnings with others at the table but the others failed to do the same.
One woman wrote down her dreams for me, but then returned the lottery ticket. She said I seemed like a good person (in the brief moments that she talked to me) and she thought I would do more good with the winnings than she would.
After NY Pizza, I went to Tate Street Coffee and talked with the coffee drinkers smoking cigarettes outside. I have found that smokers are likely to share their dreams. Perhaps because they have already taken a time out to smoke and dreaming doesn’t cost them extra time.
A new business on Tate Street—East Coast Wings—was readying itself for opening its doors to customers. I approached the group of people gathered inside the construction site. When I entered the establishment, a few women were putting out a Latin buffet meal of homemade salads, chicken, pork—it smelled delicious. Some people partaking in the lunch were extended family members from New Jersey and New York who traveled to North Carolina to help get the business open. A few members of the crew did not speak English so I said they could fill out their dreams in their native language. I hope to get their contributions translated to learn what these two grandmotherly figures were dreaming of that day.
On my second visit to this neighborhood I returned to Tate Street. I encountered a flirtatious man who wrote that he’d buy me a new dress with the money. When he asked me what I’d do with the money, one of the expenditures I mentioned was that I would set up an education fund for my daughter. He asked me my daughter’s name, wrote it down on the corner of the paper I had given him to write his dreams, and then ripped it off so he could take her name with him. He said he was going to pray for Zadie. I am not sure what he was specifically going to pray for on her behalf.