“What is the name of the game? If you can, you can!”
To be fair, not all of the games he played were designed like that. It was an old-fashioned craps game (the first to exist), played with a black card game board, and a white table, with one or two tables for each player, and the board set on one long table to the left and one short table to the right. (If the person on your left is a member of a club, or a member of a fraternity, or has a college degree, you might get an extra long table.)
If he was lucky, he might get to play at least a half-dozen times at his table. But the players who made it to the last few tables might never meet again—the “trolls who never hit, the jokers who never lose,” as he said of players on other tables.
For much of the time we are watching, his “craps table”—his room at the end of the hall—is empty. A large wooden table with only a few chairs and a set of chairs is just visible on the other side of the door. The only person who might be there is a boy named Joe. The players are standing around waiting for the craps table to be ready.
Joe is sitting on the left, a little taller and leaner than his brothers in the group, who tend to sit farther to the right. Joe sits at a table with three other guys who seem to be the last in line.
Joe’s brother Jim—who is in high school—is on the top of another table near the door. He is wearing his hair in a little ponytail and sporting a mop of dark-brown hair. He is also wearing sunglasses and carrying a cane, which he used to break his arm and then rebuilt with his life energy. The cane was a gift from his mother.
“All right, boy,” says Gary. He gestures at the door, indicating the spot where the craps table was.
Joe looks up from his table. His expression becomes one of sadness, and he starts to shake as he thinks about it.
“All right,” says Joe again. As the silence builds for more than a minute, he asks, “Are you all ready?”
Joe’s Brother Jim
Jim’s face changes. His voice changes, as well.
“All right,” he
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