Grant, had no money, no friends, no relatives. In fact, you could put the word “No” next to his name. He had no property and no titles. The things that he did have, belonged to everybody else. Strangely, nobody used or appreciated what belonged to them. Chiefly, books, but also, the city, country roads, the woods, and the mountains.
What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Most people gain nothing, and they lose their soul anyway.
Grant’s boots scuffed the sidewalk, the rattlesnake hides were molting. His face was burned, a reddish-brown, a native of the elements. His blue-jeans were blue. His brown shirt was starched. He walked with a purpose, though, he never went anywhere. He was reading The Will To Power, and he found himself at the racetrack. The admissions fee was six dollars. Grant always saw people begging for a fix—they were broken. He never begged. He lost weight. He felt half-sick, but he never begged.
He looked at the flags flying above the stadium. People died for them. People burned them. People wore them as underwear. People got hold of an idea, and made it their own. Most of them were so entrenched with their own rules, they were prisoners to themselves. Grant, turned to walk away, when he noticed a green leaf of paper under a green-leafy tree.
“50 dollars?” It had his name on it. Maybe it belonged to a hooker, like the vending machine, that doesn’t take your bill, when you insert it. He put Grant in his pocket, looked at the tree, and thought, popular wisdom was wrong. More good and bad comes in one day, than in all the years put together.
He entered the gate with 44 dollars. The stadium was the world brought down to size, like a tide pool of lazy marine-life who all wanted to become big fish. Grant saw the hope in their faces, the dull, mutilated, expressions, the losers who wanted to be winners. Grant couldn’t stand humanity. He was looking for someone different, but their conversations were all the same, and when someone said something different, it was a threat.
“Would you like to make a bet?”
“Yes. 40 on the 6 horse, and a beer.”
“You got it.”
Grant never understood the slaves that worked jobs like the clerk. They busied themselves for nothing. He took a seat next to three girls who talked endlessly about pedicures, and how most people never get them—they have fungus as a result.
The 6 horse was weak at the start, but gained ground on the outside. “Smart 6, it’s Smart 6 on the outside… Smart 6! Ladies and Gentlemen.”
Grant was lucky. He could feel it in his bones. The world had opened up, like a womb. He was reborn. Grant pocketed 400 dollars and bought 12 cans of beer. You can feel lucky without luck, but the real thing is nice to have from time to time.