A true gambler never settles down. He will always want to be free as a bird.
Free as a bird. That is the way I want to be and have lived my life the past 30 years.
It began after my divorce and my flight to the Caribbean to escape all things American. It ended with my sleeping on windswept beaches or on the sand beneath a tropical moon.
The true gambler flies free as a bird in his search for happiness. Happiness of course equates riches and that is what the true gambler seeks.
I am looking forward to boarding The Big M Casino boat in Little River, S.C. tomorrow. The three-tiered vessel sails at 10 a.m. I will make the two and a half-hour drive from Charleston to the small seaport where the boat is docked.
Of the 300-plus passengers on the boat, some will undoubtedly get seasick. There will be people draped over stairwells and in room corners, sicker than dogs. No psychology will help them. They will simply have to live through the sea's revenge.
Gamblers who are free as birds can soar wherever other gamblers congregate. That can give you a wide sweep of land, from America to the Americas.
I have gambled in Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean as well as across the United States. I have searched for pearls in the Caribbean and bet on cockfights in Guadalajara, Mexico. I have made the 'bet of honor' with a poor Mexican vaquero who did not have the money to pay me if he lost.
Free as a bird describes my flight from Las Vegas to Reno, when I immersed myself beneath stars on the shores of Lake Tahoe. I reclined there with poker and blackjack, accepting drinks from comely maidens with demure eyes and accepting smiles.
I have played poker against cigar-smoking sugar cane workers, their machetes strapped to their things as we sat beneath the straw-thatched roof of a hut in the street. The rum was delightful with the warm Coke and the green monkeys honked from the coconut palm trees.
I wandered the white sand beaches and ran into native girls who were also wanderers. We joined one another in a lime that would snake itself toward the village, picking up more people as we danced. It was wonderful and tropical, totally native and amoral.
The lime would continue into the country where peasants with flashlights beaming would join us. On and on we danced until we had left the village far behind us. Then the snake would break up and people would return to their homes.
Free as a bird I remain, dancing to lady luck's leanings and favors. Let the games begin.