Love & Lotto


Originally Published 2015

Sometimes in life, we have these profound, perplexing moments at the most unexpected times. Zen koans and ancient paradoxes rise from dross of everyday mundane existence in the current reality.

Such a moment happened to me several months ago, while I was on the treadmill at the gym. I still can’t figure it out. Maybe you can.

I was watching this ad on the large overhanging TV monitor. There was no sound on. It starts out with this bearded guy talking to a woman at the bar. I have no idea why I added the detail with the beard, I’m just trying to paint as vivid a picture for you of the ad as possible.

So this guy is talking to the girl, and he just seems a little too anxious to “seal the deal” if you know what I mean. He almost seems a little stalkery (this just could have been the beard).

Then the scene switches to him outside, perhaps the next day, getting a phone call from her. You can see he’s really relieved to get the call, as if he had a lot of anxiety that she didn’t like him or something.

But then it turns out the call was actually from a pizzeria and it was really some dude. I don’t know how this happened. But the man with the beard is devastated.

In the next scene, he is at a corner store or bodega buying a lotto ticket.

The end. “Buy Lotto Tickets”

Now, what was the meaning of that ad? Was it that life is unpredictable (the call from the pizza guy), so might as well buy lotto tickets? Was it that this bearded guy was so dejected from not receiving a call back from the girl at the bar that he was like “fuck it, might as well buy lotto tickets?”

And what was this guy’s problem, anyway? It was clear the girl at the bar wasn’t really into him. He was just coming on too strong. Did she give him a fake number? Was she really dating the guy at the pizza place and this was all just a ruse to humiliate the bearded guy?

Did the guy feel that if he won the lotto and became a millionaire, then the girl would finally date him?

There are still just so many unanswered questions. To be honest, it gives me a certain level of anxiety. That’s why I now stare at the control panel of the treadmill rather than watch the soundless flat-screen television monitor. I just can’t chance any more of these moments.