I’ve started and stopped a few blogs in the last month, but I haven’t been posting anything. I think I jumped in too deep, and too early, during the Democratic Primary, and now I’m just kind of bored and sick of it all. Yeah, yeah, Bernie Sanders is my guy. Yeah, of course yeah, the corporate media and Dem Party establishment are trying to make Joe Biden the guy.
I shouldn’t seem surprised at that, just as I shouldn’t be surprised every time the Texas Rangers blow a late lead. These are the games I signed up to play, after all.
But work is cool. I worked the night shift for like nine months at the casino I deal at — I had to in order to get full-time — and then a spot opened up for me recently on day shift so now I’m back there. I know it sounds ordinary, because people can adjust to almost anything wherever money is concerned, but I really took for granted just how nice it is to be on a “normal” schedule. As in: going to bed around midnight, and being awake for the daylight hours.
Night shift was a different animal. I wouldn’t get to bed until 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning, and by the time I woke up (around 3:00 or 4 in the afternoon) I never felt like doing anything on my days off. It’s just harder to accomplish mundane shit when your body clock is operating in reverse.
The day shifters were happy to see me back, for the most part. A good amount were concerned that I was unhappy or depressed working at nights, because the last time they saw me I weighed something in the neighborhood of 180 pounds; presently I’m at around 155. They thought that, since I lost so much weight, there must’ve been something wrong with me. The truth (per usual) is pretty boring: all I did was start using the treadmill for 15 or 20 minutes every day.
When I started dealing at this casino, I was 24 and worked the graveyard shift (2:00 AM to 10:00). So what would happen was, I would get to work and go to the back patio to smoke a cigarette. And that was usually around the time the night shift craps crew was on their way out. So they would all be out there smoking cigarettes, talking about such and such players or how much money they made. And I would sit there, quietly, and think how cool it would be to work with them. That was before I ever learned how to deal craps.
When I got promoted to full-time I was 28, and had been dealing craps for about 3.5 years. All the dice dealers I looked up to turned into my coworkers, and people I felt the need to prove myself to. It was sort of the last hurdle I was compelled to triumph over.
See, I live my life with a chip on my shoulder. I don’t know if it’s because I’m only 5’7″, or because I never graduated from college even though I feel like I’m smarter and more clever than everyone, or some other reason entirely. I just know when I was in dealer school I wanted to prove myself. I know when I started dealing at Spotlight 29 in Coachella I wanted to prove myself. I know when I started at Agua Caliente I wanted to prove myself. Then I started dealing craps and wanted to prove myself there, too. And finally I had to prove myself to all the grizzled veterans who came from Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe and Atlantic City who worked the craps table during nights.
I’ve been trying to prove myself as a dealer for five years now, which is on top of another 25 or so years trying to prove myself in everyday life. Somehow the dominoes keep falling. I keep setting (minor) goals, and then I move on to the next. I generally have a hard time appreciating what’s right in front of my face, typically due to the fact that I’m always concerned about looking ahead.
I don’t have any goals at the moment. I don’t know what my next challenge is going to be. In a perfect world I would drop everything and start a revolution; in a dream world I would have the time to go back to school to study law, or business, or economics; in my current reality I just have to keep dealing, and waiting for my next opportunity to present itself.
I’ve never had a hard time rationalizing why being a dealer makes so much sense. I’ve found that there aren’t a ton of careers out there that pay so well without requiring more than a high school education. It’s easy to sit back and think, yeah, this isn’t so bad. Like, if this is as good as it gets, then I’m going to be all right.
But then the other part of me, the part that is never satisfied with anything, keeps telling me I’m selling myself short. That even if I have a good year — and make $100,000, or what have you — it’s still a waste because I’m not fulfilling any of my potential. I love money too much to give up my job and try for something else, but I know the time will come where I have to look for something different. It won’t be today or tomorrow, but I know it’s coming. And I’m ready for it.
I haven’t been writing a lot lately because I’m pretty bored with all the things I love (except for my girlfriend). Sports and politics and more sports and more politics. Oh, and bills.