The thing about the casino, though, is that Baltimore disappears there. Everything did, really, once I locked my bike up in the sizeable bike corral and headed inside. I've been to a zillion casinos, from the ones in Winnemucca where my dad would stop on the 24-hour drive from Boise to Los Angeles to visit family, so we could brush our teeth, to the ones in Reno where I celebrated every graduate school milestone as I trudged through a Ph.D. at Berkeley. When my mom wanted to meet my first super-serious ladyfriend, we all flew to Las Vegas and shared a room at the MGM Grand. I celebrated my 30th birthday at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut where I had a free room and a free cake because I was a Valued Member of their special player's club. I've made the drive between Boise and Jackpot, Nevada, just at the state line, more than a few times for slot-playing jamborees with my mom and sister, all of us sitting at the penny slots, chugging greyhounds—a drink I only have at casinos, like how you only drink tomato juice on the plane—breaking only for the buffet. There was the riverboat casino in Iowa on one of my many cross-country moves, the casino in New Orleans that was conveniently located at the halfway point between my house and where all my friends lived. It was one of the first places to reopen after Katrina—this casino business is really ugly. And yet here I was, again.