Way Down in my Shoes
by Roger S Nelson
I woke up this morning with my radio/alarm playing "I feel
lucky" by Mary Chapin Carpenter. I thought, that's exactly how I feel, only
unlike the singer, I'm going to go to work today anyway. It was March 17, my
birthday, and I just knew it was going to be a good day. At work I had a great
morning and made lots of sales, so I decided to go to Wendy's for lunch. I drove
over there and met my good friend, Bud Davis, who often meets me there.
"I'm lucky today," I said. "I can feel it all the way down in my shoes."
"How's that?" Bud, asked while I look down at my shiny wing tips.
"I just feel lucky. Really, really lucky. Like if I was on an air plane and it crashed, I'd be the only survivor and I wouldn't be hurt. Or if I bought a lottery ticket, I'd win the big one. Or when I check my mail today, there will be something real good in it. Things are just going to go my way today. It's as if I'm charmed."
"Linc, that's just a feeling. Feelings come an go. So does luck."
We were just finishing our lunch hour at Wendy's, I had a cup of chili and Bud had a spicy chicken sandwich. Green shamrocks were hanging from the ceiling and I heard the radio station play the song 'McNamara's band' on the speakers. St. Patty's day was my favorite day of the year, especially since I'm Irish, at least in my mind, and it's also my birthday. How could anything go wrong today?
"Bud," I said, "I have both today. Feelings and luck." As I stood up I accidentally knocked over the chair I was sitting in. When I bent over to pick it up, there was a dollar bill laying on the floor, as if the chair had been saving it for me. I picked it up and showed Bud. "See, I just found a dollar bill. I have the luck of the Irish and here's some green."
"A dollar isn't very much. You call that luck?"
"Well it's a start. I could be a millionaire by the end of the day."
Bud smiled and laughed. "Right. Like that's gonna happen."
I was a little ticked off because he didn't believe me. But then he wasn't Irish. How could he understand? And I could just feel it way down in my shoes.
"OK," I said. "Let's go across the street and I'll buy an instant ticket with dollar I found. You'll See."
We went into the little party store and I bought a scratch off ticket for a dollar. I won ten dollars. With a smug look on my face I said, "See."
I think Bud was getting a little ticked off. "Don't be so smug," he said. "You're not Irish. Your name isn't Irish. Lincoln Sorenson sounds more Scandinavian to me. You even look Scandinavian and you've never even been to Ireland. You're American, just like me. And besides. Ten dollars is a long way from the million you said you'd win and it's not even close to the thousand you could have won with that ticket."
I smiled back at him and said, "Today is St. Patty's day. Anyone who joins in the celebration today can be a little Irish, even it they're not. And besides it's my birthday today so I can be as much Irish as anyone, even if I'm not. And I know I've got the luck of the Irish. I can feel it in my soul, all the way down to my shoes."
"Bah. If you told me you kissed the Blarney Stone, I'd believe that right now."
"This ten dollars is a sign. It means I should try again. I'll buy another dollar ticket with a higher jackpot and keep the rest to pay for my lunch."
"You'd be wasting your money."
"Not if I won."
"And what are the chances of that happening. You'd have better luck trying to go out with Sheryl again, and that's never gonna happen. She really dumped you good."
"Today it could. In fact, I think I'll give her a call right after I get another ticket."
So I bought a Classic Lotto 47 ticket. I had to pick six numbers from 1 to 47. Piece of cake, I thought. "3 and 17, for March 17, St. Patty's day," I mumbled.
Bud was watching me and laughed. "You should try 4 and 1 for April Fool's day," he said.
"OK, those numbers feel good to me." I chose those numbers. "What was the score at the last Michigan - Michigan State football game. Didn't the Spartans win?"
"Yeah, it was 26 to 20. Go green"
"Green, that's my color." So I wrote those numbers in. My final selection was 1, 3, 4, 17, 20, and 26. The drawing was on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7:29 EST. Today was Wednesday, so they'd draw tonight.
Bud went back to his job and I went to my office where I called Sheryl at her office. When she answered, I got down to business. "I have a few greenbacks here and I thought maybe we could go out for some green beer, or maybe a green milkshake or something. Would you like to hang out for a while after work tonight? We could watch the lottery drawing. I'm going to win a million dollars tonight."
"What? Have you rigged the game somehow or have you just lost your mind?"
"I'm serious. I feel lucky today, all the way down in my shoes."
"Oh, well if you feel lucky, I'll buy a ticket, too, and we can both have a little excitement. Sure. I'll go with you."
"Great, I'll pick you up at 7."
I couldn't help thinking, 'Sheryl was going out with me'. 'Sheryl was going out with me'. I danced up and down on those lucky shoes of mine and floated around the office all afternoon while I called customers and made a ton of sales and had a great day. My boss came over just before quitting time and said, "I see you set a new record for yourself for sales in one day. Keep up the good work."
It really was my lucky day. I went home, had supper, and as I got ready for my date with Sheryl, I hummed a song from the musical "Oklahoma" while the words went through my mind, 'Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day. Oh what a beautiful feeling, everything is going my way'. Later tonight I'd be a millionaire and Sheryl would be there.
And later I hummed a song in "My Fair Lady", 'I could have danced all night, I could have danced all night, and still have begged for more. I could have spread my wings and done a thousand things, I'd never done before'. OK, so I wasn't dancing. But I had that feeling. I was going to be rich and with a pretty girl by my side. How could things be any better?
And as I drove over to Sheryl's I started humming another song from "My Fair Lady", 'I have often walked, down this street before, but the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before." Even though I was driving, I felt like I was walking on air.
Sheryl answered the door wearing a little black dress with a pearl necklace and her hair swept back. She was everything I expected and more. She was gorgeous, all the way from her pretty black pumps to the ribbon in her hair. I thought of the song "Hello Mary Lou". It was good bye heart for me.
We went to Moriarty's Pub and the place grew quiet when the lotto came on the TV. The first number was 1. So far, so good. I was almost jumping up and down with excitement. Only five more to go. The second number was 8. My heart sank and I groaned when I saw my million dollars evaporate. Then came 18, 24, 32, and 37. One match didn't win anything. Sheryl didn't win either. I was so disappointed. If only the lottery had been a few hours ago, when I was lucky. So much for the luck of the Irish.
And then I looked at Sheryl smiling at me. She didn't seem to mind that we lost. And that's when I realized I wasn't lucky anymore. I was in love. All the way down in my shoes.