Lotto’s falling has slowed to floating. She swishes from side to side like a magic carpet ride, the gentleness unnerving her. She doesn’t know where she is and her vision is blurry. She can see a pinhole of light with everything else around it being the color of murky, San Franciscan fog. Looking left and right and up and down doesn’t help. Just as she thinks the darkness will never leave, she starts to make out a man. He is short, with mocha colored skin and thinning but oily,raven hair. He is wearing a faded blue collared shirt and tan pants. He is standing in a wallflower living room in an apartment. To the left of the living room is the minute kitchen, with its white side by side refrigerator, grease stained stove, and peeling linoleum floors. Lotto brings her attention back to the man and sees him double over. He grabs his chest and voices a shout that doesn’t make it’s way out. He takes two steps forward and eventually falls to his feet. Lotto’s mind races to try and figure out what she is seeing, wanting to solve the mystery to calm her nerves. Who is this man? When is this happening? Can she help him?
Lotto watches in terror until she is back at her desk. She feels her chest. Her heart is calm. She is still fresh from her shower. But her mental state has gone in the opposite direction, a state of chaos. It is starting to feel like she can’t distinguish dreams from reality. Lotto breathes through her nose, trying to focus. She doesn’t know this man but she knows his plight. Many have come to her before, in similar states of distress. She has had these visions for almost a decade. This man is just one in a line of people who clearly needs help. But no matter how many people need her help, she doesn’t know how. Each image leaves her feeling shaky and on the verge of tears.
Lotto attempts to write down what she saw but she is at a loss once she writes down “Man needs help. Heart attack?” Nothing else comes to her. She clenches her fists, counts to ten, and leans back in her chair. These images haunt her day and night. Trying to make sense of them only leads to the road of nothing. Lotto decides to move forward for the moment and focus on something she can accomplish. She opens up her notebook and looks at the multicolored dividers. The purple one shows English. Lotto knows she should focus on history or math but English will set her in motion. She doesn’t even bother flipping the divider to show what she has to do for the day. She opens the middle desk drawer and takes out The Great Gatsby. Glamour in 20th century. Lotto has read the book already but decides to refresh her memory. She flattens the book out on her desk, puts her head down, and commences rereading.