Jacob has been sick the past few days and somehow, perhaps that flu shot I got some months ago, I have managed to escape whatever bug has befallen him. I shy away from hugs and tell him, no, I don't need any help making dinner.
I was buying him cold medicine at the bodega yesterday, an excuse I have been using to purchase myself lottery tickets of various types, scratch-offs and numbers games. I think it might be something about the lighting in this one particular bodega, the guys working there never believe I am of age to buy anything. It occurred again last night, this questioning of my age, despite the fact that you only need to be 18 to purchase lotto tickets. How old are you, he asked. 30, I told him. No, you're not, he said. Yes, I am, born in '81, look at my ID. And he seemed truly amazed that I was 30 years old and something washed over him, some thoughts of this mortal coil and the process of aging and the brief time we have on this planet. It hit me too. We shared a nice little moment with my ID between us. He started reminiscing about 30, warning me that from that point you were just counting down the years. He was saying a sad truth, but saying it with a warm smile. We both smiled because life is a funny and depressing thing, that we are brought forth into the world, experience tremendous beauty and sadness, and then cease to exist. No one knows what it's for and so we shrugged and smiled at the mystery.
At home, I scratched off the card I bought with the quarter I received as change from the cold medicine and the chance at riches I had purchased. I won ten dollars.