I'm going to tell you about this man I met that buys 20 scratch-off lottery tickets at his grocery store every Sunday. He grew up on the south side and has been riding the Halsted bus for years. His neighbors think he's a little off. He's not though. He's just getting up there. He's old enough to get social security checks in the mail. They aren't enough to make his ends meet though. So he has to work in a cafeteria at a small hospital near uptown. He doesn't mind working. He likes the people that eat in his cafeteria. Some of the patients know him. He talks to them once in a while, as he cleans up. So he's made himself a few acquaintances of the dialysis patients. He knows all of the stops between 55th and Waveland. There are an awful lot of them. Most of the time he reads the newspaper on the bus. He doesn't like the Sun Times. He always reads the Tribune. His wife used to read the Sun Times. They had it delivered for years. Then she died and he canceled their subscription. Now he gets his paper at the grocery store on the corner. It costs more but he likes to talk to the clerk. He works at the hospital six days a week. That's everyday that it's open. On Sunday after he finishes his laundry he goes to the grocery and buys whatever it is he needs for the week, canned meat, soup, toilet paper, whatever. On Sunday, he always buys twenty scratch-off lottery tickets. It's always twenty because he likes the number. It was how old he was when his wife gave birth to their daughter Jacqueline. It's also the day he was married. January 20th 1964 wasn't too long after Kennedy got shot. He remembers that awful time as being the happiest in his life. It was like it all happened yesterday morning. He wakes up at eight o'clock on Mondays. Then he lays out his clothes and has a shower. After he shaves, he'll have a cup of coffee and two eggs. He scrambles them in a pan over the hot plate that he and his wife bought at Marshall Fields for their first apartment. That place was just two blocks from here. Some mornings he makes toast with grape jelly. Most days he thinks that's just too extravagant. After he cleans up the breakfast dishes, he collects his wallet and house keys. He's worn a suit every day for more than thirty years. He puts on his jacket. He leaves and locks the door behind him. He passes the grocery and waves. His bus stop is at the corner. No one waves back to him. When the bus arrives, he shows the driver his senior's transport pass. He always chooses a seat near the front. He thinks that's where Rosa Parks would sit although it's early in the day. On Mondays, he doesn't read the paper on the bus. It stays wrapped up under his arm the entire trip as he counts all of the stops between here and work. At different intervals, the man lays down one of the scratch-off tickets on the bench. He then gathers himself up and moves to a different seat. By Waveland, he is at the back of the bus and out of lottery tickets. There the driver stops to turn around in the parking lot of a mini mall and he gets off to walk the rest of the way to work. Some people win. Some people lose. It's just this guys story.

- Diego Bobby, Etc.