I spoke with Edward on the drive up from Los Angeles when I  was a few hours away from Reno. I said I wasn’t going to arrive  until quite late and should I get a motel. He said not to worry;  he’d be awake and be waiting for me. I arrived around midnight.  I had no idea who this man was or what I was walking into.  We’d only spoken on the phone for the first time today. “This is  the way it is going to be for the next few months,” I thought to  myself as I finally got out of the car.  Edward was awake, like he said he’d be. I was shaking a little from  coffee, cigarettes and a lengthy drive. Nancy, his elderly mother,  was just going to bed. Nancy breathes through tubes. She has  oxygen pumped into her nose to help keep her up and about. She  gets weak if she doesn’t use the oxygen. The tubes are long and  follow her around the house wherever she goes. She’s chained to  those tanks and the machine eternally whirls in the background.  Edward works at Fitzgerald’s, an old casino even for Reno. I’d  only been to Reno once before in my life. I was on a road trip  with a girl. Heading back from Lake Tahoe we spent an evening  in Reno for a night out drinking. Downstairs at the hotel bar I  asked the bartender for a bottle of champagne, he said he had  some little bottles of sparking wine and he promptly unscrewed  them for me. We ended up in a bikers bar in some part of town.  where I started doing shots of tequila with a gentleman who,  after my inquiry as to whether he wanted salt and lime, informed  me, “I don’t need no fucking salad with my dinner.”   
       
     
 The Casino Edward was working in had filed for chapter 11 in  2000. It has an aged leprechaun as its mascot. I guess the luck was  on the players side then. I hope some luck rubs off on Edward,  not that he really needs it. He’s one of those people that’ll always  be all right. I’ve never really made the ‘smart’ choices in life. So  to see a man in his late 50’s where he is makes me nervous when  you’ve taken lots of gambles with your own life.  Edward is an entertainer, he tells me. He entertains the players  when he deals. “Asian women are the best dealers in the business  nowadays. They mechanically work the cards all day and only  smile when needed and nothing more”. It seems Edwards’s  talents as a dealer are falling into the past in the gaming industry;  He’d rather enjoy his day and ‘connect’ with the players than deal  a higher number of hands. I watch him for several days working  away. The time is filled with hope and laughter. Edward flirts  with the female players while addressing all the men as ‘Sir’. I  think he would like a companion, but he is looking after Nancy  right now. At home Edward tells stories of other times while  making dinner for Nancy and I. We have ribs and rice. Edward  likes to cook, likes to take care of his mother. Edward said it  should take him two years to get all her money. I’m not sure  whether he’s joking or not.  Edward was in the garage when a raccoon tried to get into some  dried food. He’d got out his .38 to shoot it, but he said he was  too drunk and didn’t want to clean up the mess. Food plays an  important role in Edwards’s routine. I’ve offered to take them  both out to dinner but he kindly refuses. He talks about the  players, the tips, the money he did or didn’t make, stories from  when he was on the run, stories from his youth. He tells me of his  uncle’s last bet, hocking his house for $25,000 to put on a George  Foreman fight that he thought was fixed. It wasn’t; he died a week  later. Edward has gambling in his blood; his mother and father  ran a casino in Sparks when he was growing up. Edward now  divides his time between working at the casino, watching movies  from Netflicks, looking after his mother, and drinking from the  moment she goes to bed. He takes enjoyment in everything he  does though; he’s that kind of guy.   
       
     
 My ears are ringing from the sounds of the casino. Edward  says he doesn’t notice anymore. He’s a gambler who tries not to  gamble these days, yet his whole life has been the casinos and he  knows nothing more. He has a collection of dice that belonged to  his father; some of them are loaded to land on certain numbers.  He tells me of days when he could hustle money from playing  dice, but again, those days are over. He commutes into Reno  from Lockwood every day. Lockwood is not so much a small  town but a series of streets with odd French names. Some of the  streets are lined with houses, others with trailers. Driving East on  highway 80, there’s no sign for the town on the freeway, just an  exit number. Lately there’s been talk of Edward and some of the  older dealers losing their jobs. A company is coming in to turn  the aging Casino into a boutique hotel. I ask Edward what he’ll  do if that happens. “One door closes and another one opens” he  says, smiling, both of us knowing perfectly well he’ll land on his  feet somehow. But inside I’m scared of one day ending up in my  very own Lockwood.
       
     
 I spoke with Edward on the drive up from Los Angeles when I  was a few hours away from Reno. I said I wasn’t going to arrive  until quite late and should I get a motel. He said not to worry;  he’d be awake and be waiting for me. I arrived around midnight.  I had no idea who this man was or what I was walking into.  We’d only spoken on the phone for the first time today. “This is  the way it is going to be for the next few months,” I thought to  myself as I finally got out of the car.  Edward was awake, like he said he’d be. I was shaking a little from  coffee, cigarettes and a lengthy drive. Nancy, his elderly mother,  was just going to bed. Nancy breathes through tubes. She has  oxygen pumped into her nose to help keep her up and about. She  gets weak if she doesn’t use the oxygen. The tubes are long and  follow her around the house wherever she goes. She’s chained to  those tanks and the machine eternally whirls in the background.  Edward works at Fitzgerald’s, an old casino even for Reno. I’d  only been to Reno once before in my life. I was on a road trip  with a girl. Heading back from Lake Tahoe we spent an evening  in Reno for a night out drinking. Downstairs at the hotel bar I  asked the bartender for a bottle of champagne, he said he had  some little bottles of sparking wine and he promptly unscrewed  them for me. We ended up in a bikers bar in some part of town.  where I started doing shots of tequila with a gentleman who,  after my inquiry as to whether he wanted salt and lime, informed  me, “I don’t need no fucking salad with my dinner.”   
       
     

I spoke with Edward on the drive up from Los Angeles when I

was a few hours away from Reno. I said I wasn’t going to arrive

until quite late and should I get a motel. He said not to worry;

he’d be awake and be waiting for me. I arrived around midnight.

I had no idea who this man was or what I was walking into.

We’d only spoken on the phone for the first time today. “This is

the way it is going to be for the next few months,” I thought to

myself as I finally got out of the car.

Edward was awake, like he said he’d be. I was shaking a little from

coffee, cigarettes and a lengthy drive. Nancy, his elderly mother,

was just going to bed. Nancy breathes through tubes. She has

oxygen pumped into her nose to help keep her up and about. She

gets weak if she doesn’t use the oxygen. The tubes are long and

follow her around the house wherever she goes. She’s chained to

those tanks and the machine eternally whirls in the background.

Edward works at Fitzgerald’s, an old casino even for Reno. I’d

only been to Reno once before in my life. I was on a road trip

with a girl. Heading back from Lake Tahoe we spent an evening

in Reno for a night out drinking. Downstairs at the hotel bar I

asked the bartender for a bottle of champagne, he said he had

some little bottles of sparking wine and he promptly unscrewed

them for me. We ended up in a bikers bar in some part of town.

where I started doing shots of tequila with a gentleman who,

after my inquiry as to whether he wanted salt and lime, informed

me, “I don’t need no fucking salad with my dinner.”

 

 The Casino Edward was working in had filed for chapter 11 in  2000. It has an aged leprechaun as its mascot. I guess the luck was  on the players side then. I hope some luck rubs off on Edward,  not that he really needs it. He’s one of those people that’ll always  be all right. I’ve never really made the ‘smart’ choices in life. So  to see a man in his late 50’s where he is makes me nervous when  you’ve taken lots of gambles with your own life.  Edward is an entertainer, he tells me. He entertains the players  when he deals. “Asian women are the best dealers in the business  nowadays. They mechanically work the cards all day and only  smile when needed and nothing more”. It seems Edwards’s  talents as a dealer are falling into the past in the gaming industry;  He’d rather enjoy his day and ‘connect’ with the players than deal  a higher number of hands. I watch him for several days working  away. The time is filled with hope and laughter. Edward flirts  with the female players while addressing all the men as ‘Sir’. I  think he would like a companion, but he is looking after Nancy  right now. At home Edward tells stories of other times while  making dinner for Nancy and I. We have ribs and rice. Edward  likes to cook, likes to take care of his mother. Edward said it  should take him two years to get all her money. I’m not sure  whether he’s joking or not.  Edward was in the garage when a raccoon tried to get into some  dried food. He’d got out his .38 to shoot it, but he said he was  too drunk and didn’t want to clean up the mess. Food plays an  important role in Edwards’s routine. I’ve offered to take them  both out to dinner but he kindly refuses. He talks about the  players, the tips, the money he did or didn’t make, stories from  when he was on the run, stories from his youth. He tells me of his  uncle’s last bet, hocking his house for $25,000 to put on a George  Foreman fight that he thought was fixed. It wasn’t; he died a week  later. Edward has gambling in his blood; his mother and father  ran a casino in Sparks when he was growing up. Edward now  divides his time between working at the casino, watching movies  from Netflicks, looking after his mother, and drinking from the  moment she goes to bed. He takes enjoyment in everything he  does though; he’s that kind of guy.   
       
     

The Casino Edward was working in had filed for chapter 11 in

2000. It has an aged leprechaun as its mascot. I guess the luck was

on the players side then. I hope some luck rubs off on Edward,

not that he really needs it. He’s one of those people that’ll always

be all right. I’ve never really made the ‘smart’ choices in life. So

to see a man in his late 50’s where he is makes me nervous when

you’ve taken lots of gambles with your own life.

Edward is an entertainer, he tells me. He entertains the players

when he deals. “Asian women are the best dealers in the business

nowadays. They mechanically work the cards all day and only

smile when needed and nothing more”. It seems Edwards’s

talents as a dealer are falling into the past in the gaming industry;

He’d rather enjoy his day and ‘connect’ with the players than deal

a higher number of hands. I watch him for several days working

away. The time is filled with hope and laughter. Edward flirts

with the female players while addressing all the men as ‘Sir’. I

think he would like a companion, but he is looking after Nancy

right now. At home Edward tells stories of other times while

making dinner for Nancy and I. We have ribs and rice. Edward

likes to cook, likes to take care of his mother. Edward said it

should take him two years to get all her money. I’m not sure

whether he’s joking or not.

Edward was in the garage when a raccoon tried to get into some

dried food. He’d got out his .38 to shoot it, but he said he was

too drunk and didn’t want to clean up the mess. Food plays an

important role in Edwards’s routine. I’ve offered to take them

both out to dinner but he kindly refuses. He talks about the

players, the tips, the money he did or didn’t make, stories from

when he was on the run, stories from his youth. He tells me of his

uncle’s last bet, hocking his house for $25,000 to put on a George

Foreman fight that he thought was fixed. It wasn’t; he died a week

later. Edward has gambling in his blood; his mother and father

ran a casino in Sparks when he was growing up. Edward now

divides his time between working at the casino, watching movies

from Netflicks, looking after his mother, and drinking from the

moment she goes to bed. He takes enjoyment in everything he

does though; he’s that kind of guy.

 

 My ears are ringing from the sounds of the casino. Edward  says he doesn’t notice anymore. He’s a gambler who tries not to  gamble these days, yet his whole life has been the casinos and he  knows nothing more. He has a collection of dice that belonged to  his father; some of them are loaded to land on certain numbers.  He tells me of days when he could hustle money from playing  dice, but again, those days are over. He commutes into Reno  from Lockwood every day. Lockwood is not so much a small  town but a series of streets with odd French names. Some of the  streets are lined with houses, others with trailers. Driving East on  highway 80, there’s no sign for the town on the freeway, just an  exit number. Lately there’s been talk of Edward and some of the  older dealers losing their jobs. A company is coming in to turn  the aging Casino into a boutique hotel. I ask Edward what he’ll  do if that happens. “One door closes and another one opens” he  says, smiling, both of us knowing perfectly well he’ll land on his  feet somehow. But inside I’m scared of one day ending up in my  very own Lockwood.
       
     

My ears are ringing from the sounds of the casino. Edward

says he doesn’t notice anymore. He’s a gambler who tries not to

gamble these days, yet his whole life has been the casinos and he

knows nothing more. He has a collection of dice that belonged to

his father; some of them are loaded to land on certain numbers.

He tells me of days when he could hustle money from playing

dice, but again, those days are over. He commutes into Reno

from Lockwood every day. Lockwood is not so much a small

town but a series of streets with odd French names. Some of the

streets are lined with houses, others with trailers. Driving East on

highway 80, there’s no sign for the town on the freeway, just an

exit number. Lately there’s been talk of Edward and some of the

older dealers losing their jobs. A company is coming in to turn

the aging Casino into a boutique hotel. I ask Edward what he’ll

do if that happens. “One door closes and another one opens” he

says, smiling, both of us knowing perfectly well he’ll land on his

feet somehow. But inside I’m scared of one day ending up in my

very own Lockwood.