Monday, October 26, 2009

Waking Up in Harrah’s/Being the House

I recently found myself (a self-declared non-gambler) in Atlantic City, due to what I refer to as a family obligation, making the best of things while playing Blackjack to pass the time. The dealer was showing an ace.
“He’s got a ten under there,” the slightly inebriated, total stranger sitting next to me, whispered into my ear. “Never fails. Odds are always in favor of the house.”
Turned out the stranger was right. The dealer had a blackjack, then had about five or six more. Nobody at that table stood a fighting chance. Still we wagered our chips, we hit, we stayed, each of us indulging an unspoken fantasy that we’d end up with pockets a little fatter than when we started. I was heading straight over to the Swarovski store with my winnings. Umm – yeah. Didn’t happen.
The casino was bulging at the seams. (Did someone say recession?) If I was a betting girl I’d go “all in” with the notion that the vast majority left for home far lighter, monetarily speaking, than they’d arrived. Were they all just too obsessed with the remote chance that they could somehow, someway beat those nasty old odds?
I want to beat them too. I want to see the world through cut crystal eyes, want to bring a dream to life, feed an insatiable fire in my gut, pull a 21. It’s a gamble I wake up to every day. Like it or not, I’m addicted to the possibility that I can beat the odds – be the dealer for a change. Or be the house.


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