Colin, our disillusioned protagonist, longs to escape the ironic-bohemian stagnation of his peers. His grandfather, Simon, fights the inevitable fate of senility.
Colin lives with his grandfather Simon in a drearily snide and self-absorbed New York City analog where every side street is a scene for pseudo-bohemians struggling to establish themselves against the tyranny of whatever their parents believed. They are a generation of kids in adult bodies who refuse to grow up by sarcastically defending their immaturity.
Colin doesn't quite feel at ease with his contemporaries, and resents himself for having let himself dissolve into such a culture. His feelings are ambivalent, though, as he simultaneously longs for his peers' acceptance.
Meanwhile, Simon, a desperately lonely and clockwork-lifestyled man, tries to retain his sanity and dignity while his body and mind deteriorate faster than his spirit. In a last ditch effort to pay off his taxes and have enough money to enjoy his last years in luxury, Simon obsessively gathers lottery data until he's confident enough to implement a scheme likely to work.