Just As I Thought

The rich get richer

I’m back from a few days in Reno poorer and wiser.

Day one was really tough for me. After more than two years in California eeking out a living on freelance work and odd jobs (and all the while paying a California mortgage) I took it very hard when I lost $200 right out of the gate, mere hours after I arrived. This was compounded by the fact that Jann and Mike were winning consistently, which seemed completely unfair of the universe.

The next day I felt a bit better, but still concerned about it all. I thought I would have fun, but in fact the only thing about the trip I found fun was hanging out with my friends for a few days. Spending hundreds of dollars to sit at a screen and poke buttons for hours on end wasn’t all that great, and I do that all day anyway at work. To make matters worse, those machines were living in a huge cloud of cigarette smoke, blaring noise, and bright flashing lights. I am still coughing up whatever I inhaled there.

The lesson I learned about gambling is this: the reason Jann wins so much is that he is willing to invest large sums of money. When one gambles with $500, it doesn’t last long enough to ride through the downturns and one loses it all. When one starts with, say, $5000 it’s enough to keep you alive during the downturns until you reach the upswing.

I’m definitely not the kind of guy who is going to spend $5000 gambling, and even if I had that kind of discretionary entertainment money I could definitely find something far more entertaining to do with it.

I also found myself incredibly jealous of them. As you probably know, Jann is my ex from more than 10 years ago, and he is probably the only person I have ever been completely in love with. So while I really like his husband Mike, I sometimes get twinges of jealousy and anxiety; and in this situation I was feeling it particularly acutely because there I was in my hotel room, while directly across the hall was their room. I think this is because I am a very… well, when I was involved with Jann physically there was a massive emotional component to it. So I get freaked out just thinking about him being with anyone else. But more fundamentally, I think I was just so tired of being alone and wished I had someone to go on vacation with who I could share a hotel room with or who would massage my shoulders when I lose big on the poker machine or who would make it worthwhile to take a bath in the big jacuzzi tub in the room or would hold my hand for no reason on the long drive home.

So yesterday I spent the day at home, not even getting dressed, taking a vacation from my vacation and detoxing. I could feel the nicotine and smoke oozing out of my skin. Ick.

I’m thinking next time, Lake Tahoe. They can gamble, I can hike or boat or just sit there and breathe fresh air.

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