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July 4, 2009

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Rolling dice is pretty pointless and boring
until you start doing it for money--then it's
about the most interesting thing going.
Dostoevsky knew this. I didn't until tonight,
when after watching fireworks from the end
of our alley we went to a neighbor's, drank
some wine, smoked cigarettes, and then
rolled dice at the kitchen table from midnight
till about 2 a.m. After a poor start--"What ever
happened to beginner's luck?"--I walked away
the big winner after urging my last throw:
"C'mon, easy three!" I got the three and raked
in the 18 singles. It felt good, damn good. No
wonder Sarah's father's father devoted himself
to games of chance. When you win, it's as if
the gods are smiling on you. It was the nicest
way to earn a buck I've found, and it came at
a time when I was walking around with an
empty wallet. As the game broke up and the
veterans were leaving the table I got a word of
advice about my new enthusiasm: "The first
taste is sweetest." It registered, I think, but there
was a bounce in my step as I walked the short
distance home, feeling the wad in my pocket.