Monday, December 4, 2006
In 111 days it will be 666. Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez jumps the gun. Addressing the UN last September, he shot from the hip, spoke straight from the heart, off the top of his head, calling Bush the Devil. Thinks he's the boss of the world and threatens the world. Three months have passed now. Chavez easily wins reelection, waving his arms as they film him crossing the finish line. The sulfur smell overpowers.
Lucky sevens. At the casino he sought out the progressive slots, but you needed more than three sevens. He always bet the max. That night he lost all he'd brought with him. She, on the other hand, gravitated toward a one-armed bandit that had clown faces spinning on it. She won. And she wouldn't share her winnings. It was his birthday.
They decided, now that she was past her teenage angst (read: self-hate; read: crazy), she should have a full-length mirror in her apartment. So they drove one all the way up from Atlantic City, despite her still-juvenile protests, and knocked it against a car as they carried it up to her door. They covered the crack with tape to stop its spreading. Another seven years.
Lucky sevens? As a child, seven and three were her favorite numbers. She remembers standing with her parents before the wheels at The Million Dollar Pier, hoping to win a stuffed bear or poodle taller than the doll they'd gotten her to dance with. She always wanted them to put the dime or quarter on number seven. And one time seven hit just as they said they had wasted enough money and were walking away. A few summers later found her babysitting her cousins, stopping for ice cream at the stand just across from the Million Dollar Pier. Getting cones, and then the boy's cone dropping. He was seven years old that summer. Visiting from Florida. She'd visit them there that next Christmas. Her parents, who didn't believe in luck, were willing to pay for that.