By Milt Shook
Forty-Seven million dollars. Shit!
I check the numbers I wrote on the napkin once more. I’d written them down exactly as the guy on tv said them. Twelve and six were the month and day I was born. Thirty-six was the number of women I’ve slept with in my life. Okay; it’s the number of women I'm willing to admit I slept with. Seventeen was the age at which I lost my virginity and thirty-five was the age at which I divorced my last wife and became a free man. All of the most important numbers in my life. I play them every week. Well, actually, not every week, but a lot of them. And I won.
It’s really hard to believe; forty-seven million dollars! I look around the bar, trying not to look too happy. If I look like I won, someone might take the ticket or some stupid shit like that. I’ve heard of shit like that happening, you know? I really want to dance a fucking jig right in front of all of them, the sorry bastards. In a matter of hours, I’ll leave them all in the dust and be richer than they ever dreamed. Finally, I’m lucky at something.
Luck’s never been my strong suit, to say the least. My entire life’s been marked by one unlucky thing after another. When I was seven, I tripped while marching down the aisle to receive my First Communion at St. Martin’s. Little Georgie Calhoun slyly put out his foot, and I took off like a rocket down the newly waxed tile floor in the center aisle of the church. I felt like an idiot. He only did it because I’d de-pantsed him at the rehearsal. Instead of Georgie getting in trouble, I was forced to suffer the humiliation of being lifted to my feet by Sister Bernadette Marie, who used my ear, which hurt like hell. I swear I can still feel the sting.