Q. I’ve started seeing a guy and I want to get serious but my friends say I should play it cool and keep him guessing. I don’t like games, but are they right?

Reuben says: Just before Saigon fell in ‘75, I spent some time
in the city’s sweaty gambling dens. I remember the heat, the smell; us
GIs – wasted and warped – trawling the night for all we’d lost.

The women and the money came fast, as long as you were willing to put
it all on the line every single night. You spin the chamber and hope
like hell you’re number isn’t up. You put the barrel against your
temple – click – you either make it out alive or you’re all gone. All

When I got drafted, my father gave me some advice. He said, “Son,
friends will get you so far, and then they’ll get you killed.”

That advice got me through Nam in one piece; sometimes it’s necessary
to ditch your platoon and save your own skin. But remember that love,
like life, is a gamble – the stakes are highest when your heart’s on
the line.

Dear Ruby

Ruby says:  I used to work the gate for a travelling circus and the ringmaster, the Dark Prolapsio, and I were deeply in love. Late at night, after the showground had fallen still, he would braid my hair while I sang lullabies to the troupe’s menagerie. Prolapsio was my very own caged beast, who I alone could soothe with my womanly charms.

But the Bearded Lady, Mendaxia, was a jealous harpy. Our happiness gnawed at her like a yeast infection and she spread lies about me and the team of midget tumblers.

I tried to tell Prolapsio that it wasn’t true – that I had only given one of the midgets a reach-around – but he was inconsolable and drowned himself in the elephants’ drinking water.

Beware these bearded ladies who come to you as friends but speak with forked tongues.



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