“When a magician waves his hand and says, ‘This is where the magic is happening.’ The real trick is happening somewhere else.”
My parents always told me that you make your own luck. I’m pretty sure neither of them intended for me to take that literally. One of my hobbies involves applied statistics and a love of cards. The key to being successful at what I do is to make a great first impression, and then be utterly forgettable. You never want to attract attention, especially when you’re winning. And there is nothing more distracting in the world than a beautiful woman in a red dress.
Recruiting a partner isn’t as easy as people think it is. Sure, there are plenty of beautiful women, but there has to be a certain level of chemistry, and beyond that, a certain level of trust. When you’re dealing with money, deceit, and the mixture of the two, some things need to be ironclad and unspoken. That’s one of the things that I’m incredibly thankful for. Things between ‘The Woman’ and I are simple, friends first, accomplices second. There’s a genuine respect, shared interests, and most importantly, we never take each other too seriously [Case in point, she forgot her glasses this weekend, and so between the two of us only one could see at any given time]. But then, there’s the whole thing where she’s a model.
I by no means think I’m ugly, but when you stand next to someone who’s paid to be good looking, you tend to get your standards mixed up. The Woman obviously has to deal with incredible amounts of harassment and she handles it with an uncanny amount of poise and grace. She wears the mask of indifference that I think all women learn to put up to misogyny, but then the second you get past it, she can charm and disarm with a simple smile. I’ve seen men melt in front of her, and it was then that the idea popped into my head to recruit her.
I always arrive at the table first; well-dressed, well-mannered, and well-spoken. Once the cards are dealt, and we’re a shoe or two in, she walks in. The Woman doesn’t walk so much as she glides. I always smirk when she does this, because in the high limit rooms, the only people with their eyes not glued to the cards are the pit bosses.
It starts with them, the ones in charge. Their heads turn instinctively toward her. When the dealers catch their superiors doing so, they inevitably peek, and then they’re drawn as well. Lastly, the gamblers who are annoyed that their cards aren’t being dealt look up, and for a split second, the room wonders if she wandered in by accident, and if she hasn’t , what deigns her presence here. The room is rapt as she saunters over, touches my shoulder, and with a practiced smile and drawl, I respond with an, “Evenin’ gorgeous.”
The second that happens, they forget everything about me. They forget my name, they forget where I’m from, they forget what I do. They only know that I’m with her, and the only thing that they wonder is why I’m with her. During the shuffle, she introduces herself to the other gamblers, she flirts with the dealers, all with a vodka soda perched just so in her hand. It’s amazing how the atmosphere of a table changes once she sits down. What was dour becomes hopeful, even the losers start to believe in the cards again, simply because a beautiful girl talked to them just so. When I lean down to whisper what seem like sweet nothings into her ear, no one suspects that I’m telling her the shoe is heavy and we’re going to smash and dash in 3 hands.
And that’s the power of the Woman.
And folks, we’re just getting started.
To Be Continued….