I think it correctly, but I cannot say it right. I mean, I think "rose" and it comes out "wose".
Oh, they make fun of me all right. All my life, I get shit everywhere I go. I'm 25 years old and the advantage is I stand 6'4", weight 225, sandy hair and green eyes. The girls think I am cute, I have a mostly larger than average dick, Shoulders are broad, sculpted abs, tight and small butt, strong muscular legs; the girls swoon until they hear me say, "hewlo, my name is Biwl Lwewlelwen". Sometimes they cackle right there, sometimes they giggle. Sometimes they think I am screwing around with them and try to get me to say it right; to my frustration. My name is Bill Lewellen, but I can't say it right.
So, I don't talk much. When guys push me too far, I push back. More than one young cowboy has found he wasn't able to tell the difference between the horse and the plow after fucking with me.
I have one true friend. Wesley Williams and I have been best friends for years, he's about 45, I think. I think it all started because I didn't mispronounce his name too bad, and he didn't make fun of me when I mispronounced other people's names. Wesley had been a hi-falooting lawyer at one time, but fell into the bottle. There are more guys like that around than you probably even realize.
Wesley and I were hanging around in downtown Denver, begging for change, going through the trash and looking for cans or bottles to sell. I could make enough in 1 day usually to feed myself at least. The rescue shelters usually offered us a bed, but if we didn't get there right at 5 pm, somebody else would generally take our spot and we' be out on the street all night. I didn't mind that when it wasn't too cold or snowy.
I met a girl who was on the run in the Park right off Welton and 23rd. She was cold and hungry, and, when I met her she was crying that day. I couldn't stand to see a girl cry, so I told her where we could get some hot soup and a sandwich, and they might have a warm soft bed for her at the women's' shelter, and that I'd show her how to get there. She never mocked my poor enunciation, just seemed grateful for the kind help.
Said her name was Vickie, said she was from a little town in Northeastern Colorado called Holyoke. She looked to be about 22. She was cute beneath all the rags she wore, the dirt on her unwashed face and her greasy stringy blah-like hair.
She told me her husband of 3 months had stuck a steel shish kabob rod up inside her when he found out she was pregnant and that she was bleeding and sick for days. Apparently she'd healed some, because she hitched a ride from Holyoke to Brush, off to the West and then from Brush she got a ride into Denver. This had all happened 2 months previous to when I met her, and she'd just arrived in Denver the day before I met her. She hadn't eaten very much or bathed at all for quite a while. Her clothes still carried dried blood stains from her horrible assault by the father of her dead baby. That had to be 2 months old. She hadn't changed for 2 months.
She didn't know about any of the services that are available to homeless women, where they are or anything. So, I told her I'd help her find some of them and they could help her from there, if she'd like, and she said she would.
I took Vickie down to the women's rescue mission at 23rd and Lawrence and introduced her. One of the ladies there took her by the arm and said they'd get her a shower and some clean clothes, a hot meal and safe place to sleep for the night. Vickie was real grateful for that. I told her I'd see her as soon as I could, told her that I am Biwl Lwewlelwen.
She never flinched when I spoke, never indicated that my speech impediment was a distraction at all.
One of the things I liked to do when I had an extra two dollars that I didn't need for food; I went to the seven eleven store at 18th and Larimer and bought a Power Ball ticket. I usually could only afford a ticket every couple of weeks, or so. I always played the same numbers every time and the same power ball number.
This week I saw the cash jackpot was nearing 67 million dollars. "'Course then taxes taken out would leave about 43 million." I yawned. Looking at my ticket, "I could make that do if I stretched my budgeting a bit, I bet."
I missed the shelter that night and had to sleep under the 23rd street Bridge. So, in the morning I had a hike to get to my corner to beg for food or money handouts. On the way, I saw my buddy Wesley heading for his corner, too. He asked me if I'd hit the big lotto last night, that "someone from downtown Denver had bought a ticket, the only winning ticket, but hadn't come forward yet."
I said, "Yeah, I bought one, guess I need to check my numbers."
I stood out on the corner of 6th and Broadway all day and only got a total of six dollars. That wasn't hardly enough to get any dinner, much less a little wine for keeping warm with tonight.
I stopped by my seven eleven on the way back to the bridge and asked Rose to check my ticket. When the clerk put my ticket into the machine, everything froze up. Then in a few seconds the machine said, "You are a winner" in a mechanical sounding voice.
I heard it and said, "What'd I get two dollars again Rosie? I could use it after the day I've had."
Rosie, the seven eleven clerk's eyes were huge and her mouth was open as she looked at the paper that the machine had spit out. The phone started to ring and when Rosie answered it, she handed the phone to me, said, "They want to talk to you, Bill."
"To talk to me? How do they know I'm hewe, how do they know me at alw? Who's they?"
"Helwo?" I said into the phone.
A male voice said, "This is the Colorado Lottery Commission. Are you the person who just presented the winning ticket for this week's power ball?"
"I just pwesented a ticket, I don't know yet if it is the winning ticket, Wosie tode me it is a winner."
"What is your name, please?"
"Biwl Lwewlelwen" I said.
"Pardon me, what was that?"
"Biwl Lwewlelwen, I said." I said.
"Well sir, if you'd please wait right there, we have a couple of folks on their way to the store to pick you up and bring you to Lottery headquarters right now."
I hung up and asked Rosie for my ticket back. She handed it to me and told me to "sign it right away and put my social security number on it."
I didn't understand why, "If it is the winning ticket, it is, if not, it ain't. What diffwence does it make?"
But, I did sign it and put my social security number on it.
In about 15 minutes a "Colorado Lottery" SUV pulled up to the seven eleven and three guys and a woman got out, looking for me, I guess.
They asked Rosie and she pointed me out to them.
They came over and asked if I had the winning power ball ticket.
I said, "Wewl, I guess so. That's what I'm tode." I replied.
They asked to see it, so I handed it to the one man.
They all looked at it and checked it against a paper they had on a clipboard. They asked to see my id, and I showed them my Colorado Driver's license, proudly.
They took note that I'd signed the ticket and then, "Mr. Lewellen, we'd like you to accompany us to Lottery Headquarters where we can verify your information and check the ticket for authenticity and if everything is in order, we can issue you a check today. This appears to be the jackpot winning ticket. There will be a news conference and you'll get your picture taken a lot. This will be fun."
I waved good bye to Rose, got in and we went to their Headquarters. They seemed somewhat put off by my smell and raggedy clothes. The woman mentioned that I could clean up at the men's room there in their offices.
"But, I don't have any cween cwothes" I said.
"Oh, ok, well we can step out and get you some. There is a J.C. Penney just a few doors down from our office." The woman said.
They took me to a large bathroom and it actually had a shower and lockers in it. They said that they'd be getting the new clothes while I took a shower. They sure seemed anxious for me to get a shower and take my old clothes. The hot water and soap felt so good. I hadn't had a really nice hot shower in weeks. They even found a razor and some shaving cream for me to use.
"I hope they don't lose my six dollars." I thought. "It's all I got."
I was toweling off, looking at my clean shaven mug in the mirror when they brought in a sack with underwear, socks, shoes dress slacks, pull-over polo type shirt and sports jacket. Wow, I hadn't dressed like that since... , well never.
They apparently were verifying and validifying and all that, so after I got all spiffied up, they led me into a room with a whole lot of bright lights and people in it. I was asked to stand in a certain spot. Pretty soon some guy started talking and then he mentioned my name, 'Bill Lewellen, ' and handed me this huge cardboard check for seventy one million one hundred sixty three thousand nine hundred and twelve dollars.
The final amount had increased due to a buying frenzy the last 8 or 10 hours before the final drawing. I'd get about ½ of that after taxes and such.
"Let's see, how much is half of $71,163,912?" I was thinking.
There were lots of pictures being taken. Some cute lady came up and stuck a microphone in my face and asked me what I'll do with the money, where I bought the ticket, all about my life and what this money would mean to me.
I just said, "I bought the ticket ovu at the seven eweven downtown and Wosey, she tode me it was a winner. Then, they bwought me hewre and cweaned me up and gave me this check. Now, I guess I'wle get an apartment, since I'wve been lwiving on the stweets so wong."
.... There is more of this story ...