The Lucky Break, Part Two


“How long you got?” Golightly asked as we pulled out of the city parking lot.

“Well, as you may have known before I did, my position has been eliminated,” I said. “I reckon I’ve got to get my stuff cleaned out by the end of the day.”

“I need a ride to Spartanburg.”


“You need to take me. It’s worth your time.”

“Now, Golightly …”

“Listen what I got to say. You gonna need money. Me, too. I got something you can’t refuse.”

Max started to say something but just sighed.

“You see, I got a problem. I done won a heap of money, and I can’t collect it.”

“I mean, I’d like to help, but …”

“It’s a lottery ticket, Max. Ain’t nothing illegal.”

“How much you win?”

“Two hundred thousand dollars.”

“Holy shit.”

“Hey, man, don’t get on Twenty-Six. Let’s go through the country.”

“Golightly, I haven’t driven to Spartanburg this way in ten years, and I’m an insurance man.”

Was an insurance man. Go straight.”

“So, what you’re telling me is, you won the lottery and can’t collect it because they’ll arrest you,” Max said. “What? Do you want me to turn it in for you?”

“I wish,” Golightly said. “I’m just guessing you can’t afford to pay the taxes.”

“I can hardly afford to pay the light and water, as of about an hour ago. Divorce is hell, man.”

“How much you got? I mean, in the bank.”

“I’m not exactly sure, but … around five hundred dollars.”

“Shit, you worse off than me.”

“I just paid all the bills off last night. You should’ve gone to Joyce.”

“I can’t trust Joyce,” Golightly said. “Me and her didn’t never play ball.”

“That’s good to know,” Max said. “Her and everybody else did.”

“You still funny as hell, man. Look, I’ll get right to the point. I need about fifteen hundred dollars, and I need it quick. You get me that much, and you’n have the damn lottery ticket.”

“Surely you can do better than me, Golightly.”

“I can’t. Ain’t nobody else come to mind, and I ain’t got time.”

“Who’s after you? How hard’s it gonna be to get out of it?”

“Trust me, Max. You don’t need to know. I make a living getting out of shit like this.”

They drove through the rolling hills, occasionally passing an aging convenience store or a stately brick church named after some biblical site. Max tried to memorize them. Mount Moriah, Gethsemane, Jericho …



“I just thought of something,” Max said. “Thank God I brought my briefcase.”

“Go on.”

“I’ve got some checks where I can draw from my credit card.”

“How much?”

“How ‘bout if I come up with two thousand dollars? I think I got that much left on my credit limit.”

“That’s more than I asked for, man.”

“It don’t feel right giving you less than I can afford. We played ball.”

“Yeah,” Golightly said. “We played ball.”


              Take a look at my books – most notably my novels, The Intangibles and The Audacity of Dope, but also books on NASCAR and music – here:


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