Last Thursday I began another consulting project. This one might go a bit long but it’s too soon to tell. Honestly, I don’t know what to expect anymore. The last two years of work have been so tumultuous that my confidence is completely wrecked. Between being laid off and the numerous finite consulting projects, I’ve HAD IT with the uncertainty of not knowing how long I’ll be at any one particular desk. It’s maddening.
One thing is certain; for the time being, my days no longer belong to me. They belong to an investment bank and are paycheck-oriented. And thank God for that.
Mrs. Wife correctly labeled last Wednesday as my “last day of freedom” and didn’t object when I told her I wanted to blow off some steam at a crap table in Atlantic City. I didn’t hang around long enough for her to change her mind. She said go and I got.
The casino glam factor on a Wednesday afternoon is -10 to the 10th power. It’s anti-glamor, but I like it just fine. The crowds that choke the casinos on Friday and Saturday nights are empty-head Jersey Shore-types trolling for something other than a hot craps table. The men are overweight goombahs with unbuttoned shirts, gold chains and pinky rings. The women walk by and an odor trails behind them. They all interfere with my casino buzz.
Take a look at these old Sherman Tanks.
These are my boys. He limps up, hangs his cane on the edge of the table and pulls out a wad of cash. He knew how to bet properly. He didn’t place any of the sucker bets that the stickmen try to draw you into. His drinkin’ pal had carpel tunnel damage to his right hand, but it didn’t prevent him from lifting the dice or riffling his chips.
At least they had each other. The casino can be an empty, lonely place.
The charter buses pull up and spit out their occupants. Most waddle over to the slot machines. Once there, it doesn’t make a bit of difference if they’re alone. They sit mesmerized and watch the screens flicker until the buses scoop them up and take them away.
Many, many fashion faux pas are committed. It’s easy to feel ahead of the curve in this crowd.
I love this shot. It’s perfectly framed. The green blur on the right is the zero. This pic is the current screen saver on my phone.
I was able to take it clandestinely while the wheel was still spinning. They don’t like cameras in the casino. Later, I tried to get another pic of the craps table but the croupier put his hand in front of my phone and yelled, “No pictures!”