I used to joke that my father’s religion was Gambling/Gaming and that the entire religion was built around the central principle of Probability. Every time you went to metaphoric ‘congregation’ (‘mass,’ ‘temple,’ etc), you were up against the Numbers. It wasn’t what many would term a battle or a war in a traditional sense; Gambling had the perfect name for it anyway: a Bet. A Bet is not a battle of purely body, tool, trade, mind or control like many others. But is it some combination of these? Or is it some other battle entirely? …One in which friends of the Saints of Probability are favored and blessed? Dare we say Fortuna rules here? Are the temples of Fortuna lit by the brightly-colored neon signs advertising aspirations and long-shots? Are the donations to Her and her cause(ality) the bills and coins passed between hands upon observation and acceptance of a reality of an event? The hymns and chants: cheering for sides? The Book: the Odds? I used to joke… but Fortune has always had a hand in the lives of humans. Ones that honor Her in the ways She likes best seem to have Her on their side.
I say the tradition of Gambling is passed to me from my father’s side, but recently, I discovered that my maternal grandfather also played the Numbers. Where others found sense in dates, he concentrated on Time. The day meant little to him; it was all about the moment in a constantly repeating cycle. Just after 23:59, Time reset to play again. We are reborn at 24:00 (which I always think of as 00:00); we are reset to experience the day all over again. Will today be like yesterday, just like the following day? Will tomorrow mimic today? As if Yesterday actually has a say… As if Tomorrow ever really comes… We cannot be afforded a Portal if we do not enter a Void.
Anyway… my grandfather, the man that Bet on Time. Times of births and deaths were especially important to him. I heard he had great Luck when Betting on Time; he won more often than he lost. Probability was on his side. Perhaps Time was, as well. Though, it seems a rather odd phenomenon that this man who played the Numbers of Time could never wear a functional wristwatch. Any watch worn on his body would stop after only a number of days. Somehow Time’s measuring instrument became faulty upon his carrying. Who was playing whom?
My grandfather had much Luck where others often failed. All that was necessary was that he took the Chance, that he allowed Fortuna to take care of his Bet.
My father played the Numbers of my grandfather’s death day the exact day he died. My father Bet on his Time. The Numbers did not come out that day; they came out the following the day. My father exclaimed, “I should have known! He was busy traveling.”
My father plays the Odds. His talent at poker helped him pay for college. My maternal grandfather Bet on Time. Shifting Probability is in my blood… or so I jest.