Jul 19, 2004

Love and Money 1 and 2

"Does anyone have five dollars?" I say.


"That man's selling roses for five dollars a bunch," I say.

Any maybe they don't have a five or have all loaned me too much money anyway but no one says anything and all of them look at me with a wonder of what, really, I would do with a bunch of cut roses and so we roll past the rose-selling man sitting on his overturned bucket, blue tee shirt stretched to fading over his sagging stomach, ball cap pulled down casting shadows down to his cigarette shedding ashes from the corner of his mouth.

"I've seen my future," I say and they laugh at me, at him.

"You'll be selling bunches for seven," they say.

"Far be it from me, to stand in the way of love and roses," I say, "I'll be selling for three."

They scratch lotto tickets as lovers, in the car in the rain.

He runs in to buy a few and then she runs in to buy a few. He has a little brown goatee and a painter's cap. She has a short shirt showing a smooth midriff and a tattooed bouquet of flowers.

"Trying our luck," he says.

"Trying to hit it big," she says.

"What happens if you hit it big?" I ask and she giggles a lilting giggle.

"I don't know," she says, "I guess we'll see." And she sprints out through the rain and I see her laughing as she takes a penny and rubs off the gaudy greens and yellows and the garish graphics of cash to see if this ticket is it, if this one is the hit.

She sees me watching through the wet windows and smiles, wanting, I think, nothing.