The Old d12

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I have a lot of dice. I used to have over 3,500 dice, but I cut back a lot. But I still have a jar full, not to mention a few in game boxes and a few sets I keep handy for emergency random numbers. However, I always come back to that old d12 (that's a 12 sided die, for the not totally geeked out).

I think it's the oldest die I own, although I can't really remember where it came from. It evokes older memories of simple role-playing games played in the house I grew up in, not the specialized games and far-off conventions evoked by the other dice. The edges are all battered and beaten, and I'm not even sure it rolls fair, while I am sure that strange seven-sided die is fair. And while that seven sider may be the die I'm proudest of, and the one I am mostly likely to mention when I tell people about my collection; my eyes always come back to that old battered d12, the one never mentioned until now.

In some ways it blends in well with the other dice. It's blue like so many of my other dice. Of course, while blue is my favorite color, a look at my collection will show that green is a close second. But it's blue is faded, as if it were left out in the sun to fade. But that's just the illusion of it's age, for it lacks any visible tan lines. It has numbers rather than pips, as is common among polyhedral dice. Not that I don't have pipped polyhedral dice, of course. I like to keep my collection varied.

I don't know why my eye is drawn to that die. Perhaps it evokes fond memories of my childhood. I find fond memories of my childhood to be hard to come by, for my childhood was as beaten and battered as that old d12 is. But for all the rarity I attribute to such memories, I keep finding them. Mabe they are faded, just like that old d12. Maybe I can find them at the bottom of a jar somewhere.

This is from the "One's-Self, En Masse" exercise in The Practice of Poetry.