Sunday, October 12, 2008

life's a gamble

that's the way i felt wandering around reno last week. here are a few pictures

the center of town around the casinos has always been seedy. the new indian casinos in california have drawn away the crowds. gradually these old casinos have begun to close.

i've always liked reno. when i worked the lookouts at lake tahoe, i'd drive down for the day, wander the university campus, lose a few coins. compared to the gambling at the lake, it felt more real.

my first season over the water i worked at zephyr cove. very fancy homes were being built across the street. not what you'd expect at a lookout. as i circumnavigated the lake last week, i passed under zephyr and could barely see it for the houses!

stateline lookout no longer exists. my brother and sister-in-law visited the site and say it's a very nice park. fair enough. it's a great place for weddings, and i had a lot of them, one with a string quartet. being right above casinos, i could practically hear the slot-machines. i'd go inside and look in amazement at the people pulling the uprights of the one-armed bandits. for better or worse, i limited my personal participation.

but i did think a lot about the nature of luck. and since my whole life's been a gamble, i guess dropping coins in the slot not necessary. here's one meditation on the subject, written at the northshore:

and thoughts of turning lead into gold seemed to go with the place:

even this last week, i had fantasies of walking into a joint, plopping down a nickel, and walking out with five thousand dollars. that's the way they make suckers of people like me.

let's see, what would make a good aphorism? gamble with your life, but not with your money? oscar wilde would like that.