Indian gaming facilities

The Kangol-styled hat was on backward and his gray hair spilled from it. Cheap shades hid his eyes. And unfiltered cigarette dangled from his lips, framed by a dirty gray beard.
Other than the smoke that escaped his lips, the only other way you could tell the man was alive was the frenetic tap of the first two fingers of his right hand on the slot machine.
One of the high-roller machines by the men’s room. Top Gun.
Depression is a walk through an Indian casino at 2 a.m.
Elderly women attached to nickel slots by the slinky cord of their player’s cards. Thee elderly woman with a cannula under her nose, a bottle of oxygen at her feet in its own little wheeled dolly. She taps out code to the machine; it rewards her with sound.
The guy in the wheelchair. Not old, not young. Ruffled brown hair over the ears, thick bifocals over his goldfish eyes.
The old man, in the beer logo T-shirt to pricey for him to afford, his liver-stained hands that clawed a plastic cup full of nickels.
We were there to see the band.
In the restaurant/bar. Friends of the band members. Dressed for a night out, a quick change from softball, T-shirts and sweats and running shoes.
Smoke and grease and beer hung in the air, like sex sometimes does in a closed room.
There’s laughter, dancing in the bar. Flirting. Loud conversations over the music, the thump of the bass.
But when the band is on break, the bar comes with its own soundtrack. The designers tried to block it with the use of fountains, a water feature.
But the steady whirl of the slots – so much depression in those bings and whistles – overpowers everything.

3 comments:

Jason said...

I remember those casino gigs in the old days. "Turn on the Fish Bowl channel!" Hey, at least you can dispose of your hypodermics "sharps" after you shoot up in the bathroom... pure class.

Queen Of The Valkyries said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one that felt that way. I was totally depressed all day today! It was like I couldn't wipe off the smarmy aroma. Maybe it was just the beer I spilled down the sleeve of my sweater.

Hilda said...

Nice posting, SurfaceTension. Well, if writing about totally depressing casinos can be nice. But you definitely captured everything, down to the oxygen tank leashes. I think I can smell all of you right now, through this computer. Ick. So, which band was playing?

Oy yes, and remember, All Hail the Queen!