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Monday, August 27, 2018

Living on The Edge

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Living on The Edge
Living on The Edge

Isn't it interesting how the facts of life catch up with all of us?

My brother had a friend named Nick who was a retired steelworker. Nick was married to the sister of my brother's wife. He had $500,000 in the bank and his favorite hobbies were going to the casino, playing the slots, and talking to my brother.

Nick was intrigued by my lifestyle. He couldn't understand how I could divide my time between writing and visiting casinos to play poker and write stories about what I had done. He told my brother Legs I was living on the edge.

On the surface, Nick was a happy man. He had plenty of money in his bank account, he was married to an attractive woman, he lived in a nice house, and he could live his life pretty much as he pleased.

Then tragedy struck...

... his only son died in an accident at the place where he worked. Nick was devastated.

Life lost all meaning for him. One day he walked onto a bridge spanning the river that flowed near where he lived. He removed his jacket, placed it on the railing, and leaped into the river.

I know a few gamblers who, like me, live on the edge. It is part of their lifestyle and they are willing to take the risks that go with it.

I liked Nick. He had a good mind, was a good conversationalist, asked a lot of questions, and was a good listener. But he couldn't cope with the personal tragedy of losing his son. He was living on the edge.

There are recreational gamblers who do it for excitement and entertainment. They can afford their losses and enjoy their wins.

There are also professional gamblers who do it for a living. Their lifestyles and bankrolls depend on how well they play and how lucky they are on the draw. They live from day to day and if they have a losing session, they shrug it off. They are living on the edge and accept its rewards as well as its limitations.

Nick was right. I do live on the edge and to be frank, it has never bothered me.

Gamblers are Some of the Most Intriguing

They have stories to tell -- humorous stories, tales that can break your heart, and stories of winning against the odds. They are my kind of people.

My brother Legs thinks Nick was a winner. He bases this on the fact that Nick left behind a big bank account and a nice house when he decided to take his life.

Excuse me. I think my brother is wrong. Nick was a loser. He lived on the edge and fell off.

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