Saturday, March 21, 2015


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. 

Photo by Riho Kroll on Unsplash