Luck is like an oven in the kitchen of one of the hundreds of fancy restaurants around New York City. It runs hot and cold. If your fortune has been running good, be concerned. If it has been awful, be patient. The script is about to change in your favor. We each get our fair portion of good and bad luck in this life. Everything in the known universe must balance including good fortune and bad.
So it was that Brandon woke up this cool spring morning. It was a special day on his calendar. It was April 2nd. Still feeling worn out from his work the night before he is slow to rise this morning. The young man works as a line cook in the kitchen of one of the busiest restaurants in Manhattan. In a couple of months, he will celebrate his fifth year there.
His place of employment is the kind of establishment where the bill plus bar tab for four generally covers the 27-year-old cook's weekly salary of $1,000 or so. However, for the time being, Brandon doesn’t complain. It is his hope to one day be much better off, but that will be in the future. In the meantime, he grinds forward through life working hard.
For Brandon, things are much better today than they were when he left the foster care system at the age of 18. He aged out, as they say, with nowhere to go. As a baby, he was abandoned on April 2nd. That's what makes today's date significant. Someone just left him at the doorway to a firehouse in Maspeth, Queens. It was not the worst thing that could have happened, but it was not what anyone would call a good start either.
Brandon rises from his bed and slowly makes his way to the bathroom of his small studio apartment. He lives across the river in Jersey City. From his doorway the Freedom Tower is visible. Five and often six days a week he rides his bike down Grand Street to the PATH station at Grove Street. From there he locks his bike and stops at Starbucks for his morning coffee and sometimes buys a lottery ticket at the corner store, but only when the jackpots are huge. From there it's into the tube and on to work in the city.
On this morning, as he had just finished shaving, while listening to Good Day New York playing on his flat screen television in the other room, the young cook heard mention of a winning $275 million Powerball ticket having been sold in Jersey City. It caught his attention, but he didn’t get excited. Brandon thought out loud “ What are the odds?”
Brandon next grabbed his worn LG android phone, and Googled the winning Powerball numbers. Then, he reached for his wallet, which is where he always keeps his lottery tickets before discarding them. For some reason, before he even looked at the numbers, he got a weird sensation that he was the one, and so he was.
To be continued.
To read part 2 click here.
Hi, I'm Lester Patterson,