One million dollars richer--I go to celebrate by visiting the Jewish Deli I had once been a regular at.
The place is still crowded. I don't think I made it here once in the long, arduous year just ended.
This time last year I was on my way to a 2 month hospital stay which would bottom out with the removal of a kidney. Have you ever had a kidney removed. It's no picnic. They say that some lucky blokes in life have as many as nine lives. Maybe they are right. I am closer to nine than one. However, you get only two kidneys and you can visit all the psychics and their tacky palm reading rooms, but that fact never changes.
A fortune cookie was on my seat when I was directed to my table.
WE KNOW YOU ARE A JEW. THAT IS STRIKE ONE.
Strike one? I just told you that losing a kidney puts me at strike two. What do I give a fuck about strike one?
Had someone learned of my contract? Was this the way that they were communicating with me.
I ordered the #8 and the Nova Appetizer. It was the best dish I had since I owned two functioning kidneys.
The owner-hostess of the deli walked past my table. Had she delivered the cookie?
She hardly noticed me. There was a time when she would have fallen head over heels for me. Now, I was just a one kidney old man.
But still I had one million dollars.
That had to count for something.
I asked for my check.
A message with similar printing was included on the back of the bill.
INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR YOUR FIRST ASSIGNMENT.
YOU HAVE 10 DAYS TO COMPLETE YOUR ASSIGNMENT.
WHEN YOUR ASSIGNMENT IS COMPLETED, FIVE MILLION DOLLARS WILL BE POSTED TO YOUR ACCOUNT.
This was getting interesting. I took one last bite from my Bialy as butter oozed down my chin.
I looked again at the hostess who once was mad about me. She never glanced my way. Somebody was in on this gig and was very close.