The odds of winning the lottery are like 80,431,176 to 1. People would die to win it, have millions of dollars suddenly encased within their bank account number. It's a lot of people's key to happiness...they say "Man, if I could only win the lottery, I'd be SO happy, I'd spend the rest of my life traveling, doing amazing things, just enjoying life instead of toiling through it." I'm not gonna lie, I play the lottery all the time. I'd love to hit it big, win that jackpot. But on the train on the way home today, an epiphany - I've already won it.
I won the lottery on 3/19/69.
3/19/69, for my Dad:
He woke up and went to work at Chrysler, as he would do every other weekday for the next 35 years. He stopped at the gas station to get gas on the way in. He thought about doing it on the way home, but had a few extra minutes because he woke up early. He woke up early because the next door neighbor started yelling at his wife about who knows what.
His work day was pretty unspectacular, as they would be for the next 35 years. He ate a smallish lunch, wasn't feeling too hungry. He wasn't feeling too hungry because he grabbed a danish at the gas station - he normally skips breakfast. He said goodbye to his co-worker Phil, changed his clothes and hopped in the car around 3:40pm.
On the way home, due to his smallish lunch around noon, he felt a small hunger pang. Out of his subconscious came an inkling for a White Castle hamburger. He had seen a commercial earlier in the week, and the advertisement finally did it's job, and he suddenly craved the wave. He pulled into the restaurant, decided to go inside instead of the drive-thru. No real reason, just one of those things. He got in line. Two persons in front of him was a really attractive 26 year old Beatles fan from Duluth. She had moved to Michigan because of a job offer she couldn't refuse. She got the job offer because the person her boss was going to give it to passed away in a drunk driving accident. They were drunk because they were celebrating the fact that they had heard a rumor that they were going to be getting a big promotion, which included a nice transfer out of Duluth.
My Dad stared at this girl for about 8 seconds, long enough for his mind to turn the optical vision into a hormonal rush. The rush, suddenly stored within him, turned to arousal, blood flow, heat. He didn't even really realize it, but all of a sudden, it was there.
He ate the burgers on the way home. His body, still covert to him, was percolating into some serious sex drive. He swallowed the sliders, sipped on a Coke and drove up the driveway to our house. He parked the car and walked into the house. He looked at my Mom, and rather unaware of why, instantly thought about having sex with her. He said "Hey, are the kids home from school yet?", and winked at her seductively.
3/19/69, for my Mom:
She woke up when my Dad did and kissed him goodbye, then fell back asleep for about a half hour. She got up and went into my two older brother's room, woke them up and told them to get ready for school. They, for once, didn't complain and ask for the usual five more minutes of sleep. They did this because today at school was basketball in gym class, and they LOVED that day. Unknown to my Mom, this set into motion a serious mood of relaxation for the day. Just this little non-thing was all it took for her day to improve by tenfold, and the end result was a very happy, cheerful Mom.
After my brothers left, she made herself some coffee and sat down to watch her morning shows. At around 10:30am, her friend Rebecca called and asked if she was doing anything. She said no, and Rebecca came over. Rebecca made it to our house because while driving over there, she had missed a turn while trying to put out a cigarette in the ashtray. If she had made the correct turn, she would have hit a pothole and her tire would have been ruined. She would've gone to the auto shop to get it fixed and would've canceled with my Mom. But since she missed the pothole, she made it to our house. They had lunch together. They chatted. They laughed. They had a really great afternoon. My Mom's happy mood increased even more.
My Mom then listened to her new Rolling Stones record while making a roast for dinner. She did this because her friend Anne, who was never wrong about these things, recommended it to her. The album, not the roast. Mom was particularly impressed by a song called "Street Fighting Man". Without really knowing it was happening, the song stirred up some pretty serious feelings in her. You know the kind I'm talking about. Quite covert to her, without even really knowing it, she was getting pretty damn horny. And oh, by the way, she prepared a salad for dinner as well.
She had just put the roast in the oven and sat down on the couch when my Dad came in and, while winking, said "Hey, are the kids home from school yet?"
3/19/69, for me:
My future Dad and Mom had sex. My Dad released about 100 million sperm cells. Only one of those, if it connected with Mom's egg, would be me. Any other of the MILLIONS!!! of sperm connects, and I'm not me! My life never happened! You're not reading this! The only EXACT way that I came about was that one sperm fertilizing that one egg. If my Dad had been in the mood and Mom had not, and the attractive Duluthian fervor ended up with my Dad going at it solo that night, I wouldn't have happened. I would've ended up down a sink drain. But alas, all events lined up, the ones mentioned above being just an insanely small sampling, and the one sperm connected out of those millions, and on 3/19/69, I was conceived. That, my friends, is what I call hitting the jackpot!
So I've won the lottery. I've already beaten the most mind boggling of odds. We all have. So I think I will spend some time traveling, to Brazil next maybe, or even just to a local bar to hang with my friends. I will do amazing things, even if only small things here and there that make someone feel/live/think/aspire/laugh. And I will enjoy life, because the way I see it, I won that lottery back in '69, and that's a wild, crazy, mind-blowing gift, and that kind of gift deserves respect, awe, honor, activity and mayhem.