The rewards of waiting


Waiting for the Tuesday night Lotto draw, Pat imagines herself elsewhere, far from the small flat in which she lives, far from the fortnightly pension cheques.

She imagines herself miraculously inside another space, from which there are no doors back. Since she has never learnt to drive, she would, she would,
call a taxi,
a chauffeur even! to take her there ...

'Where to, M'am?'


She is at the casino, clutching a stack of $100 chips.

'10 red!' she yells, and around her people smile and wish her well. She imagines doubling her winnings overnight, and then -


and then realises that were this to happen - where she to reproduce her luck at the Roulette table, she would have to go even further away.

'Where to M'am?'At this point she grows vague about the details, and drifts unanchored through space, like a rogue satellite emitting random distress signals.


A recent radio report detailed growing concern on the part of Australian Lotteries Commissions about the effect of the Internet on national funds.

Already', said a concerned representative, 'it is possible to buy tickets from anywhere in the world. This trend will have a devastating effect on our capacity to raise funds locally and nationally.'


And what of Pat's good fortune? Her Tuesday night television vigil?

As if her devotion to Lotto was not already founded on the intercontinental, transgobal, transcendent rewards of waiting!


Where are we when we wait? According to Bachelard we are still governed by being and non-being, by the trapdoor metaphors of old philosophy - outside and inside, closed and open, by the phenomenology of small spaces - wardrobes, boxes, drawers. Where is waiting to be located? On one side of the door or the other?


'I only know how to work with a philosophy of detail. Then on the surface of being, in that region where being wants to be both visible and hidden, the movements of opening and closing are so numerous, are so frequently inverted, and so charged with hesitation, that we could conclude on the following formula: man is a half-open being'. (Bachelard).