I came across this today. I wrote it for my daughters, although I can’t remember when. I only remember that I was expressing the wish shared by all parents to keep my children safe.
(For those of you not up on your mid-century musicals, Nathan Detroit is a character from the musical Guys and Dolls. He is a gambler who runs the “oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York.”)
It feels like a toss of the dice. If I were Nathan Detroit could I get it right? Listen girls, I’d load the dice if I could. Problem is, I don’t know which are the magic numbers that would keep you free from pain. What if I chose wrong, screwed up – loaded the dice, stacked the deck, and the rules changed, somebody sent in a ringer? Hell, I’d gamble away my youth – what’s left of it – sell my soul to the devil (all the while desperately mixing my metaphors), but what do I ask for? That you walk fearlessly in the world? That you experience everything except the one pain that is too much for you to bear – whatever that might be? That whatever your heartaches turn out to be, I am not their cause? That whatever your heartaches turn out to be, they will not do you in?
I’m looking for a sign. A tip. A card with a folded-back corner.
A rabbit’s foot to tuck inside your backpacks. I need the entire cast of Guys and Dolls – Marlon Brando included – to sashay across our lives, singing Luck Be a Lady Tonight. Look girls, I’d keep you safe if I could. If only someone would rig the roulette wheel and give me the keys to your hearts.