Luck o’ the Irish

view frrom Llano Quemado

New Mexico weather early warning system shown. Three hours later it rained in town.

So many dreams lately, so many dreams… Last night in an Irish pub while I waited for my wife and our little blonde-haired daughter, the warmest, friendliest bartender I ever met handed me a stack of coins and said, “Everybody feels better with a little cash…” Out of the blue this was. I hadn’t been acting poor or anything. Thinking about it later made my day, and I remembered that I’m Irish and not some dour Welshman likw my family pretended all those years. Well, Irish, French, and German, with a few Scotsmen in there, too. So of course I had to buy some lotto tickets.

I hadn’t driven the ’87 Ford F-150 in several weeks because it’s damn near impossible to shift unless I kill the engine, move the stick, and start her up again. That makes it kind of difficult to drive. I used to think this had to do with needing a new hydraulic cylinder for the clutch, so every time I had to go somewhere, I’d pump the pedal furiously ten or twenty times to build up enough pressure to disengage the thing, or so I thought. That never really worked. But letting the damn thing sit for weeks has had a salutary effect! Today I was able to get it into reverse with just a little grinding and into first as well by holding the pedal down so hard you’d think the floor would buckle. This phenomenon is known locally as el milagro del embrague and only happens on a new moon.

The best thing about driving an old truck on our ridiculous fraud of a road is that all I have to do is hang on to the steering wheel like it was part of me and I can go as fast as I want. This meant I reached my favorite gas station mini-mart in record time and even bought some gas. The tank should have held something less than seventeen gallons but took on eighteen and a half, so someone’s getting by. I chose a Powerball ticket (with PowerPlay) and two New Mexico Roadrunner cash numbers like I usually do. As I handed the lady my five-dollar bill, I noticed a pretty new red scratch card called Dia de Los Muertos. I have to say they had me there, so after I walked out to the truck, I turned around and went back in to score one. It cost two dollars and had a top prize of ten grand, which seemed only fair.

I waited all day long until cocktail hour to scratch the “play area” like it told me to—ten whole chances to win, I think—and would you believe, I skunked it! But it was red and had a skeleton on it and I didn’t mind. The other tickets are on the table and the nice man’s in my head. Tomorrow maybe I can start my day without reading about Donald Fucking Trump and write a story no one’s ever heard. That’s the actual lotto anyway, as no man can deny.

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