Thursday, December 21, 2006

Personal Essay - Lotophobia

Tomorrow is the drawing for the Spanish Christmas Lottery, and like approximately two-thirds of the Iberian population, I’m already planning on how I will manage this substantial change in my personal economy. As the day has drawn closer my revelries have grown less sporadic and far more elaborate, so much so that last night I suffered a bout of nausea just dealing with all the headaches that my sudden and imaginary fortune will bring.

I came to the conclusion that perhaps I would be better off if by some remote chance I shouldn’t win tomorrow. After all, I have zero experience in handling sums of money larger than the purchase of some domestic electronic device. What would I do with it? What kinds of things would I be forced to learn? How do I know that I could trust other people whom I would charge with the management of my hard-played fortune?

That’s when I imagined my reaction to winning. I don’t think I would jump up and down screaming. Rather, I would probably become very scared and withdraw to my bed for a number of days, with the winning ticket tucked back in the closet and filling a space immensely beyond its proper dimensions. Somewhat like a chunk of plutonium.

It occurs to me that most people, when they buy a lottery ticket, are buying a piece of hope, a commodity that is infinitely valuable in a society that rarely offers more than currency for our labors. But I, on the other hand, just now realize that I have bought 15 pieces of fear. Man, that is wack.

So, I suppose it will be with relief when I face the inevitable tomorrow, and fail to come into my millions. Still, there’s a one in six chance of hitting something in this special draw. While millions might be a little stressful to handle, I think I could make do with 500,000. Maybe a little more.

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