Greed: The Gambler, Kenny Rogers
Vegas: On our last night, at 4:30 am, I stepped up to a craps table surrounded by men in expensive suits. A man looked at me with playful eyes that danced like dice thrown across the table,
“Where you from sweetheaht?”
I placed 40 on the table and put ten on the pass. The dice rolled a 3. I had $30 remaining.
“Aw Christ a Flyers fan.”
The dice rolled an 8. The game opened for bets. The man shuffled his chips with dexterity. The others watched his lead. He played the hard eight, the come bet and a two-way yo telling the dealer to cover the lady. He looked at me,
“Aw Christ whatta doing Philly, back up your bet and put some coin on the come.”
He sounded like a coach with guiding command. If I trusted and lost, I’d be out of the game. My palms got sweaty. Scared money don’t win money, I reminded myself and placed the bets.
“Where are you from?”
“Bawstun,” he said clapping, “C’mon shooter, throw the hahd eight.”
I drummed my fingers on the side cushion. The dice rolled a hard 8 turning my $30 into $60. The dealer tossed a green $25 chip from Boston’s side bet. I exhaled; I now had a bank.
After a couple rounds, I was the shooter. I picked up the dice feeling powerful.
“What do you do, Sweetheaht?”
“I work in development but I don’t really identify with that…I’m a writer.”
I rolled a seven, everyone got paid.
“What do you write?”
“I’m working on a novel.”
“What’s the novel about?
I hesitated feeling shy, “It’s a story, within a story, about the power of one’s own story.”
“What do you do Boston?”
“I work in anesthesia.”
”Ah the last man I see before I go under.”
“And the first person you see when you wake up.”
I processed; a man who had to be extremely accountable for his decisions/actions and knew a lot about the body. He was also a wordsmith. Boston continued to cover the lady on his side bets. I liked the way ‘lady’ rolled over his tongue; it felt good to be covered, for someone to have your back.
The waitress asked for drink orders. Boston got a redbull and vodka, I ordered the same. His friend between us said, “Looks like the Lady is following your lead.”
I love following a strong lead; it means less thinking, more frivolity. I looked into Boston’s eyes,
“Sometimes I like to be led.”
“Is that right?”
“And sometimes I like to lead.”
After a solid run, I crapped out. The dice went to Boston. The table got loud,
I waited until they quieted and whispered, “Nice n easy, Boston, just throw ‘em nice and easy.”
He paused placing his knuckles on the table.
“You’re killing me. Gawd look at that smile.”
I blushed on the inside.
He rolled an 8, I backed my bet. He threw a dollar to the dealer and said,
“Put it on the hahd eight.”
I did the same making sure to not pronounce my ‘r’. Boston threw the dice,
“So you like it nice and easy.”
“Yeah sometimes I do.”
I took a quick inventory of my chips then asked Boston if I could tell him a secret. He inched over placing a hand behind my back. I whispered,
“I just won back my plane ticket.”
I was giddy. Boston pulled back, disappointment washing over his face,
“Is that all you’re happy about?”
A Warrior Princess