I saw a ticket lying in the gravel by the side of the road. Really, it was just on the other side of the kerb from the parking lot. The ticket had once been red, half of one of those drink tickets or 50-50s you buy at kids’ hockey games. It was soaked through from the rain and it was turning pink and I read the words printed on it and those words said “hold on to this ticket”.
I thought, hold on to this ticket. Hold it tightly. Hold it like it’s the only thing keeping you rooted to this planet. Just hold on. Hold on.
I thought, was it a liquor ticket from a dance at the ballroom? Was it an admission ticket for the crooners who’d come through? Was it a draw ticket for the door prizes from the family reunion?
I wondered, who dropped this ticket? Who did not hold on to this ticket? Who let this ticket drop, like autumn leaves, to lie forgotten in an occluded ditch at a seniors’ living complex? Who did not follow instructions?
No, I don’t pretend that the intent of the ticket printers was to insist that purveyors of their tickets must hold on to them ad infinitum. But the command is ambiguous.
Then I thought, you’re probably over thinking this, an went for a swim. But I’m still thinking about that ageing ticket, forlorn and forgotten, slowly turning to dust in a desert climate.