Regardless my knowledge regarding the dangerous inertia trap I’ve found myself in and my desire to change, I start up Netflix and turn on Lost. Musette sinks into the show and away from her dream of winning a billion. The fact that I’m sinking deeper into failure and away from God’s good graces gnaws at me all through the multiple episodes we watch, and when Musette declares that she’s hungry, I bring back up the PowerBall.

Let’s do it, I say. Let’s get tickets, and then let’s get something to eat.

It takes some coaxing to get Musette back on track and on her feet.

Can’t we just get something delivered, she asks.

They don’t deliver PowerBall tickets. We’re going to have to get up and get out.

She complies, and we get dressed. It’s not hard finding PowerBall tickets in New York, but we’ve both picked the nearby gas station for our source. There is a brown skinned man who works there and is always there. I don’t know where he’s from. It doesn’t matter. He’s just the gas station guy. That’s all I need to know about him. I’m not trying to be his friend, although he’s always making cute little comments to us whenever we shop with him, making fun of our relationship and joking about the stuff we buy. When we ask for about the PowerBall, he doesn’t make any jokes. He describes to us the process and we buy twenty dollars worth of tickets from him. They are on two tickets, each with five games on them. We get one in paper format, that we have to fill out, and one digitally printed from his register that the computer fills out for us.

There is only one paper ticket left in the store. It has little rectangles on it. It looks just like an SAT form. Musette and I take turns filling out the games. I pick my numbers by letting the island speak to me through gas pumps, license plates, and candy prices. I don’t know Musette’s method. She had wanted to use the Lost numbers, but neither of us could remember them. We fill the last game out together, taking turns picking numbers.

Once it’s all filled out, we take the ticket back to the gas station attendant, but his register doesn’t accept it.

I’ve been having bad reception today, he tells us. Try coming back tomorrow and turning it in.

We tell him that we’ll do that, but on the way to finding food we drop the ticket off at a little convenience store.

They have tons of tickets there. The register has no problem accepting our ticket. The man behind the counter looks hispanic. He thanks us, and we leave.


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