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Gambling

I posted about the crazy stuff going on out here in Moab, Utah. A guy shot a park ranger with a shotgun then ran off into the canyons to hide. Five days later he has not been caught – but the original ranger did shoot back and he did injure him. Lots of tracks, blood, and other stuff going on but the terrain is such that they can’t go ball’s out to try and find him – he’s still armed. Then again, he might have bled out or infection may be setting in. It snowed and got damn cold, so one way or another this guy’s in trouble.

But that’s not what this is about. This is about people and gambling. Not money, necessarily, but just in general. Several years ago I finally landed a job at a decent company paying a decent wage. I worked for a guy who I was kind of annoyed with initially. Young guy, my age or maybe even younger (he turned out to be a year younger), and in a position I’d been hoping to land in for years. The guy had just finished up his MBA, he played football in college at Ferris State, he was talented musically, and he was very charismatic. What’s not to hate?

So the truth was I was envious of the guy. He had a beautiful wife and, a few years down the road, a single child. Everything he touched seem to turn to gold. It was infuriating, but thought-inspiring as well. Couldn’t find a fault with this guy, and he’d even done things right from an early age trying to build up as many skills and interests as possible (hence the ability to play a couple of musical instruments – something I am incapable of and thus my respect).

So with all this going right, why right about him? He’s the guy we all hate because things just go right for them. You can’t hate him once you meet him though, he wins you over through force of personality. In no time I considered him a friend and, as our career paths took us in different directions I even used him as a reference a couple of times. We fell out of communication but would renew it when we realized it. Pretty typical stuff really.

So this guy, I’ll call him Sean because that’s his name, has a life many would be envious of. Not me – I’ve got my own beautiful wife, family, and job. For him it seemed effortless. For me it’s been the result of a lot of hard work but I appreciate it all the more for it. Anyhow, Sean’s cruising through life able to try things that most of us would never dream of attempting – and for him it works. With that kind of background and experience, the sky’s the limit!

This morning I got an email asking if I’d heard the news about Sean. That’s it, no hints or anything. I do a quick Google check and have to pick my jaw up off the ground. It’s a heavy jaw too, it took some time. There’s a manhunt out for him. He’s the prime suspect – on the run after a confrontation with the police no less – in the stabbing murder of his ex-girlfriend who was found in the garage of his apartment.

Wait a minute? Ex-girlfriend? Yes, that took me by surprise too. Sean and his wife are in the process of getting divorced. I suspect this ex-girlfriend had a lot to do with that. According to recent text messages to his soon to be ex-wife, he seems to be increasingly unstable. She called the cops to check up on him out of concern for his safety and they found the body of his ex-gf. Later that night the cops saw him next to a rental car with a shotgun. They called to him but he took off running across a field and into a woods. He remains at large, armed and considered dangerous.

Everyone who knew him is shocked by this. That’s not speculation, that’s based on what people have posted across the Internet. Me, yeah, I’m shocked, but then again I’m not. Before I knew about the girl I theorized a very similar scenario. Then the news reports come out about the girl. Sean’s always been a charmer. A real lady’s man – though in his defense I do not know of any single occasion in which he ever did anything inappropriate while he was married to his wife. There are always rumors, but rumors fly about everyone so they deserve no more thought or comment.

Nevertheless, the tie in to the title (Gambling), is that some of us seem to be born with more luck than others. People like me might be envious of those lucky SOBs, but quite often it seems that luck can run out. Even a 99% success rate at tempting fate still leaves that 1 time in 100 when things don’t work out so well. When your hand gets caught in the cookie jar. Or that time when you realize you’ve thrown away a great life on a foolish risk and now not only can you not get it back, but it’s going to cost you more than you’re willing to pay.

A lot of people are suggesting that he should turn the shotgun on himself and just get it over with. Maybe that would be an easier way out for him, but it’s a lot harder to suggest when it’s not a random face. Regardless of what happens, I feel the most for his daughter and soon-to-be ex-wife. They didn’t ask for this and don’t deserve to have to deal with it for the rest of their lives. The family of the deceased ex-girlfriend certainly fall in that category too.

And yes, I wish Sean the best of luck in this as well. However it turns out and whatever he does, I’ll try my hardest to remember him for how brightly he shone as a shooting star rather than the burnt out lump falling stars inevitably end up as.

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