Karl Love Excerpt An excerpt from the new Davezine, Number 12

(Karl) Love Story:
Low-Level Bureaucrats 2

By David G. Cookson
Karl Love watched his pile of chips, once overflowing in the rails around the craps table, now dwindling to just a few. At 1 a.m, on Memorial Day Weekend, the casino was packed. Throngs found their way into this place, with itís dazzling lights, noisy slot machines, and labyrinthine design to confuse people into staying longer. Even the High Roller room, with minimums starting at 50 dollars a bet, was overflowing with tourists. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, everyone seemed to be winning--at least, thatís how it always felt when you were constantly on the wrong side of the table.

Love watched an old lady on the other end as she kept throwing the dice, hitting number after number in agonizing fashion. All Love needed was a seven to make everyone a loser and him a winner with his chips consistently placed on the Donít Pass row on the green felt in front of him. Love had bet against the shooter one too many times in the past to not see this coming. When his luck was down he could always sense it but could never seem to do anything to change it. Walking away never seemed to be an option. And now with only a few hundred dollars in chips left he was stuck in the gamblerís hell--too late to leave.

The sweat turned cold, the euphoria of the previous hours gone as Love kept hoping for a change in fortune that he knew wasnít coming. Thirty thousand dollars later, it just wasnít turning around. He knew he should have stuck with the three dollar table in his hotel. But he had tired of nickel and diming it and was going for it all at the high roller table. Now, with the help of the numerous free drinks, he was paying for them anyway with his bankroll.

His last fifty dollar chip was on the table as the next shooter picked up the dice. It was just some kid, maybe 20, looking like this was his first time ever to belly up to the craps table. Love could smell defeat--this novice was just the kind of shooter that always managed to get hot while he was getting cold. ďDice are out!Ē called the stickman. The kid threw the dice down to Loveís end of the table, and the pack of gamblers around him all leaned over to look at the result of the roll. Love, drunk and choked by the smoke of the dingy casino, felt like he could not breathe.

ďWinner 7! Pay the line!Ē A cheer, applause from all around--all the pass line players had won. Karl Love watched as they took away his last chip from the Donít Pass line. He had lost. With that last roll, he had lost it all.

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