Well, this came to me yesterday. I was going to write it up as a poem, but obviously I reconsidered and thought it would best be told via the short story medium. Anyhow, this is one of those rare occasions, when I post something other than poetry on this blog. Hope all enjoy.
I had the most vivid of dreams last night. I awoke fully believing I had just won the lottery. In the dream there was then the waking dream, the kind that you transform into a zone unbreakable, where all the fantasies of change come fully to life. The feeling was beyond comprehension, except for those who’ve perhaps been blessed by a similar fate.
I paced my room looking for the ticket, tossing papers from drawers, checking books to see if I had used it as a placeholder, outturned pockets in the laundry bin, praying those numbers I would then find. Then, in the mirror, I noticed the ticket was somehow stuck to my forehead. A smile so wide filled my cheeks as I pulled it from my brow. I held it up, lauding all it represented, seemingly for hours, as time simply stayed motionless before me there.
I grabbed my keys, hopped in the car, pajamas still on, hair still tousled. The streets were perfectly empty as I took the short journey to the downtown lottery office, heart racing the entire time. When I arrived at the building the doors were locked. Nobody could be seen anywhere. It had all the qualities of a ghost town, a place void of life. It was then, when I reached for my phone, that I realized that it was Sunday. I couldn’t go home, not yet, not back to bed, not now.
It was then that I happened to notice a church offering service, to which I gladly entered, completely ignorant of what my appearance could or would project. The pastor read his readings and filled the tiny room with the greatest passion I’d ever seen. There were but a dozen people in there. I was the only one not in a suit-coat or a Sunday-dress, but nobody cast a judgmental eye upon me, not a single one. But, really, how could they, when this preacher was beyond anything anyone, well okay, more than I, had ever seen before. I was once again filled with the same joy I had experienced just a few hours earlier, yet none of the franticness filled me, not even in the slightest degree. The man in God’s cloak came to each of us there, shook each by the hand, placing an arm, tenderly upon a shoulder. He looked us in the eyes, and said some words, words so moving, so beautiful that I could not remember any of them at all, not a single one.
As the service was concluding, another man came down from behind the, up until then, sealed doors behind the pulpit, carrying a long wire-mesh basket, asking, without speaking, for anything we could give, to help. At such a moment, seconds before this man looked me in the eye, speaking nothing, just looking at me, I realized I didn’t have my wallet, I didn’t have anything on me except my keys. He looked at me, not in disgust, but instead with compassionate eyes of understanding. As he walked away, I realized something and called back to him. While making the short trip back to me, I met him half the way. I looked him in the eye, and without a moment of hesitancy, not a single one, I placed a solitary piece of paper in that meshed basket, to which he replied, “bless you sir.”
I then awoke, for real. I sat there in my darkened room. It certainly was Sunday. I calmly went to my wallet and pulled out the lottery ticket from within from where I always kept them. I sat at the computer and went to the state’s website. I checked the numbers, realizing I didn’t have a single one of them. I sighed, but not as long as I would have expected.
I hopped in the shower. I put on a fresh pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. I pulled back the curtains and opened the blinds. Light rushed in and the dogs jumped quickly atop the bed, as they always do. I let them both kiss me on the nose and told them I’d be back soon. I got in my car and reversed out of my driveway. I had to stop right at the end, as many cars happened to be travelling past my house. It was then I saw a large man and a thin man walking a small golden retriever. As they approached me, I realized these were the men from my dream. I noticed the dog’s collar said Jesus. As they got closer I waved to them, and the thinner man simply said, “and bless you sir.”