Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Casino

Today I wandered through the Casino of my torched love life. It's still there, some parts of the building are black with soot, but everyone just stays on the side that's still good. It's warm outside this evening (it's always evening) so the sheared off parts of the building don't bother anyone.

It's crowded here, but not because I've had a lot of lovers. It's crowded because the angels and demons of my psyche like to come here for recreational purposes. You do know that they like to gamble, don't you? I often wonder why they don't repair the place, but I realized they don't care at all. So much for divine intervention.

Various characters and monsters also show up. On Thursday nights, everyone gets a real 100% bonus so the place is packed. Sometimes it looks like the occupants of the Cantina scene were transported here (there is no Han Solo even though I've wished for it often enough).

The Casino looks like the Bellagio or some facsimile of it complete with fake Chihuly flowers. All day and all night the tables go on. The sounds of video poker, slot machines sounding everywhere. Bells and whistles. There are cushion chairs that look like overstuffed tomatoes (reference to E.M. Forester), the people who work there are running two and fro. They all know me and nod, but no one smiles.

A brawl breaks out approximately every hour on the hour. For some reason, angels and demons get petty hotheaded while they're gambling. The fights can go on for hundreds of years which is why security's first priority is to get them out of the building as soon as possible. Every once in a while there's a full scale fight that half the Casino takes part in. The tables are smashed, chips fly everywhere, holes are punched in the walls, the sound of unearthly screams and shouts are everywhere. We've learned that it's best to move to the other side of the building (the side that isn't fighting) and wait it out. The last one lasted about a week. Group fights are always shorter. Afterwards, everyone apologizes profusely and they clean up the place. I figure when they finally brawl on the side of the building that's burned out, it will finally get repaired.

Big gaudy flower displays, lots of overpriced restaurants and, of course, the wedding chapel. I try to stay as far away from that place as possible. There's even huge Ferrari dealership, the largest ever seen by human eyes (several floors). I never get to drive them or even ride in the cars. Too expensive. At least there's a world class art museum, but I'm the only one who visits.

I don't know how to gamble. I'm too shy to try my luck at the tables. Hell, I'm even too shy to try to learn how to play. The employees always ask me if I want a lesson or two. I shake my head, saying nothing.

On the other side of the building, I see Mr. Gryphon in the poker room. He's a little difficult to spot since everyone in there is immortal and sporting feathery or scaly wings. He's a great poker player, has offered to teach me several times, but I always decline. I've always been bad at bluffing.

Tonight with the sounds of the games playing on, I decide to stop and sit on the floor in the middle of the wide thoroughfare. Everyone steps politely around me. It's my place, after all.

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