I have the most interesting experiences while waiting in lines.

First of all, I’m the type of person that other people just seem to open up to. I find myself hearing all about the cashier’s long day, boyfriend troubles, or the fact that their ankle bracelet from work release is really rubbing them wrong.

As interesting as those face to face encounters might be, what I really enjoy are the conversations I overhear while I’m waiting in line. Conversations like the one I heard on a recent visit to the 7-eleven.

As I walked in, I saw an older woman with an exhausted sort of air approaching the counter. She might have been beautiful once, it was hard to tell under the mask of defeat. I tried to imagine her in her youth before life disappointments caught up with her. She’s a woman who has stopped believing the world can surprise her…almost.

Because for this one moment, this one purchase, she’s hopeful and I’m hopeful for her. She’s buying a lotto ticket. And her conversation with the clerk goes something like this:

Clerk: “You’re gonna win!”

Woman: “I don’t want no limo though.”

Clerk: “Why not?”

Woman: “Where am I gonna go?”

The woman laughs as if that statement actually were funny instead of heart wrenching. She takes her ticket and leaves.

And as I watch her, I’m hoping so damn hard that she wins and she buys that damn limo anyway.

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