Yesterday was so hot that even air conditioning wasn’t cutting it, especially in the back of Dan’s Jeep, where I was sitting on our way back from picking up a friend at the airport. Before leaving the airport, I asked Dan to stop and let me grab a cold fountain drink for the three of us. After wrestling three Double Gulps to the register at a Seven-Eleven where everyone seemed to either be a thug or in a very bad mood, I made it to the register to see the smiling face of the cashier. Once I knew I had enough money for the three ginormous drinks I was purchasing, I realized I had a $20 bill left in my hand. Since I didn’t know it was there and didn’t expect it, I asked for two $10 lottery scratch off tickets.
Carlos, the nice guy at the register asked what kind, and since Dan usually buys any lottery tickets we ever buy, I asked him to pick. He completely ignored the impatient guy who had come up behind me, and he thoughtfully chose two tickets. In retrospect, I should have just handed one back to him and told him to have a good day, but I am a little slow on the uptake (let’s blame the heat), and instead I promised him I would split the winnings with him. He probably has heard that before, but he lit up and smiled, saying, “Really? You would do that?” I assured him my word was good, and I thought he was going to climb over the counter and hug me. It was a small gift, to be sure, but it made my heart light for the rest of the day. Next time I’ll try to think more quickly and give one of the tickets I buy back to the cashier. Then we can both have few minutes of hopeful dreaming on a steamy afternoon.