“Who are you? Where does that saying come from?”
He ignored my questions and span the wheel. A kaleidoscope of numbers flickered before my eyes.
The number 19 was passed over for Black 31.
The widow had placed a stack on black and collected. She encouraged me to try again.
Placing my chips again on Red 19, I could not let the croupier pass unnoticed.
“Have we met before? Have you always been here? Here on the ship?”
The impostor, the croupier, ignored me and watched as other hands placed their bets.
When all is done he makes a signal, but before spinning the wheel, he quietly speaks to me again.
“(this and that) put (here and there) out of sight of Polaris”.
The greedy crowd continue ignore him. All eyes are on the wheel. It was me alone who couldn't believe it.
"Polaris? Is that the name of the ship?"
He refused to answer me and, infuriated by this incipient insubordination, I jumped over the table. Chips were knocked everywhere and the wheel come crashing down. I seized the Pervert around the neck and was squeezing the very life from him.
"What are these statements? What the hell do you mean? I need to get out of here man. Polaris! Fucking Polaris! You mean the star? Listen up arsehole! I was born in the city. I don't look at the fucking stars!"
Staring directly into his eyes I could see nothing but dark circles; they were vacant, utterly vacant.
I sensed no feelings of malice nor pain from him: just egoless circles staring back. His only reaction was to blow tobacco smoke in my face and like a sea fog it enveloped me. I began coughing and had to release my grip. Desperately I reached out again for him, knowing he had answers to my endless questions, but I found only a solid wall. With my hands I felt the edges of hexagram tiles in the darkness all around me. Somehow I had been transported back into my room, plunged into the darkness of before. Slumping against the tiled floor I curled up into a ball and gently rocked myself back and forth like a child abandoned in a war-torn and borderless country. All authority had deserted me. I looked upwards for any sign of grace or of love.
I released my hands around my knees and stopped rocking, then calmly lay flat on the ground. I was willing to tell my interrogator all my knowledge of the gold.
"You have won," I yelled. "You have won."
Yet there was no response.