The man behind the counter at the bodega where everyone seems to be playing the lotto grabs my arm.
“You taking pictures?”
Coins on lottery scratch-offs stop and everyone turns.
"I see you taking pictures everyday. What, you a journalist? You taking pictures of me too?"
A nearby TV counts down until the mega million drawing, forty-five seconds; numbered tiles one through 75 are unselected.
I’m looking at these guys. I’ve got probably 50 pictures of them. And they are turned to face me, and I say some bullshit about taking lots of pictures of lots of people, and the guys kinda smile because they don’t really care.
We shake hands and they introduce themselves as River and Tony. River says, "Take as many pictures as you like, my man. I’ve already won. Find a copy of The New York Times- September 12, 2013.”
So River's not pictures; a third generation NYC firefighter, pulled people from the World Trade Center.
And they called River a hero.
We drink coffee and play scratch-offs.
Jordan Fein is a New York-based (proudly Texas-born) film director and producer.