Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Church of the Slot Machine

I am an generally an atheist. But every once in a while, I have a moment where I find myself wondering if just maybe...there might be a God/Goddess/Higher Power, etc. Mostly is because of some long talks with a friend of mine who believes that God sends people into our lives or puts us into situations in order to teach us something. And while I don’t actually believe that, I do occasionally ask myself, “If there were a Goddess and she put me in this situation, what is the lesson I am supposed to learn”? And then there are times when the lesson just seems oh-so-obvious. I had a brief moment of that tonight...

I went to Detroit with a friend to go to one of the casinos there. I went even though I think that I have a personality that could be prone to developing a gambling problem. I probably shouldnt go at all but I *really* like it. I like it enough that I can justify my losses as an entertainment expense as long as I can keep control of myself while I am there in the casino.

Money is a little bit tight for me this week so I told myself that I would only allow myself to lose $20. $20 is an amount, btw, that can be lost in a casino in a matter of seconds if one is not careful. But no matter, I can nurse my $20 by playing the low denomination slot machines which generally means that since I am not risking much, I don’t stand to win much either. But that is ok. Still, it is hard for me.

Anyways, I had $100 in my pocket because earlier in the day, I went to the bank and got out that $100. But I pretty much need $80 of it for the rest of week for things like buying lunch at work and for buying VERY IMPORTANT things like...oh I don’t and beer. At any rate, after a couple of very enjoyable hours in the casino, I had lost $12 or so but I found myself in a state of mind where I wanted more. I could feel the $80 burning a hole in my pocket. I kept having a compulsion to just put it all in a slot machine and go mad. There is something about all those lights and ringing bells that makes me feel I just must put the money into the slot machine.

So there I was with “MUST PUT MONEY IN SLOT MACHINE” running through my mind like some kind of crazy mantra. But it was getting late and I was resisting the urge to see how fast I could lose the rest of my money in a slot machine.. I chose that moment to remark to my friend that it was probably a good time to leave because she had won $70 or so and I had only lost $12. I told her too that we HAD to go because I was feeling like I didnt want to be in control anymore and if I lost that $80, I was going to be grumpy and no one wants *that*! I even said something about how I thought I could be the type of person to have a gambling problem.

And just then a haggard looking woman walked up to me and asked me for a dollar. And I thought, “Now there is a person with a gambling problem.” Because I imagine that she must have lost everything but even after that couldnt bring herself to leave the joint. The timing was perfect too and certainly firmed up my resolve to quit before losing more dough. And I have to admit that if I did believe in God, I would think that woman was sent to me just then to help me as I learn to control at least one of my bad habits.

But I don’t belive in God so I suppose it was just a fortunate coincidence for me (although not fortunate for the woman begging money on the floor of the casino).

1 comment:

E-Speed said...

Glad you didn't gamble away your pizza and beer money!

I feel the same way a lot of the time ,being agnostic. But I always find a logical explanation for my lessons learned rather than a spiritual one. Maybe one day I will believe :)