T i m o t h y  
G a g e r

The Lottery Winner
For TT

She buys her boyfriend a roller-coaster with some of the winnings, which takes up his entire backyard, but has to pay additionally to have some trees cleared. “Now you can ride it over and over again to match your mood swings,” she says. He tells her that he never asked for that. “Neither did I,” she says. She will then open a joint bank account with thousands of dollars in it. Don’t touch it, she’ll say and laugh knowing that all the money will be gone in about a week. It had been a few months earlier that she had been penniless and had to move in with her mother and stepfather.

Her stepfather, who used to place a revolver to her forehead when he got angry, gets a new gun. It’ll be a hunting rifle. She always dreamed of killing him, the way he made her feel after all the abuse followed by the further abuse. She told the dealer to rig it so it fires in reverse, to shoot out his guts. She finds this hysterically funny. He never had much of a sense of humor.

Her mother gets a card in the mail every day. They say, “Wish you were here” with the word “here” crossed out. Inside she adds, “staying in this hellhole forever.” Her mother and stepdad gang up on her, so the mother could avoid the abuse herself. Some of the cards come from the travel Aagent. They said, “Go Away Often” under which she writes, “or forever.”

For the healthy dog that stays, she buys a gift certificate for the animal hospital if it ever needs to be put to sleep. The dog could run there. It was either him or me, she says to the receptionist that worked there.

Then she will buy a lighthouse. She will use cash. She’ll send the Electric and Gas Company checks for one hundred thousand dollars because “that ought to cover it.” She plans on purchasing a pontoon boat, in case she needs to get off the island. The boat will be big enough to bring friends over if she wants to have a party. The light on top will spin around and around when they all dance. A lottery winner deserves to dance.