The shopkeeper at Charlie’s Grocery recognizes me now due to my periodic purchase of 50 individually printed Mega Millions tickets. I am fairly sure his name is not Charlie, but that is how I refer to him and if the woman behind the counter sells me the tickets—she is “Charlie’s wife”.
It was a sweltering 97 degrees at 5 pm when I headed downtown to the First Friday activities. The brutal heat caused people to move slowly. I abandoned my plan of setting up my table and Dreams for Free sign and approached people on foot instead. Groups were gathered outside having beers or smoking cigarettes. People were eager to share their dreams in exchange for a lottery ticket.
I made my way over to the monthly Indie Market. Many of the vendors were sitting and sweating—there wasn’t a big crowd of shoppers yet. Almost everyone shared their dreams with me gladly. I think people were happy for the diversion from the heat (only two people turned me down) or they felt compelled to comply with my offer because I was visibly pregnant. In my experience, people are generally nicer to pregnant women.
A group of women were not sure if they could accept lottery tickets because they work for a company that is affiliated with the lottery. All of them, except one woman, decided they would share their dreams, take a ticket, and then figure out how to deal with the situation in the event the ticket was a winner. One woman declined the opportunity to dream, but said she would quit “working for the lottery if she ever won that kind of money.”