I was bumming around the strip in my best rags, a ten year old baseball jersey and 20 year old jeans. Class. When it started getting dark, I began to ponder heading back to my hovel for some spam. Just as I was turning off to go back home I spotted something green on the street. It was made of paper. In order to cure my curiosity, I snatched it up. Once in my grasp, I realized that it was a dollar. It was such a great moment for me. I had not handled money for months and I realized that tonight I would not be eating spam in the gutter, but a cheese burger inside an air-conditioned building. I started to run. Excitement cursed through my veins at the idea of a hot meal. Then, suddenly, I stopped. I was right in front of the MGM Grand resort and casino. I couldn’t stop. It pulled me in like a magnet. Before I knew it, I was stumbling through the front door and being greeted with a blast of air conditioning. A massive fountain in the shape of a lion lay right in front of me. Just on the other side of the lobby I noticed the bank. When I reached it, I asked the cashier for 4 quarters in exchange for the dollar I had. The cashier raised her eyebrow in surprise. She was probably used to exchanging 100 dollar bills and was not used to handling such low value bills. Anyway, she handed over the quarters and went back to working on her computer. To the right of the bank was my final destination, the casino floor. I entered through the main entrance to see a dazzling sight. Row upon row of slot machines gave way to dozens of blackjack and roulette tables. I took my time wandering the slot machines until I found a deserted row. It was a spectacle on its own to see each machine blinking in unison, with its soft neon glow tracing shadows across my face. Before I knew it I was sitting in a stool looking directly into a machine. My heart started to race as I dropped each quarter into the coin slot. I noticed the coin release lever at the bottom of the machine, shrouded in the shadows as the neon only glows on the coin slot and lever, taunting me to pull it. Deep in my conscience a voice was screaming, telling me to get my money and never come hear again. It was too late. The monster inside all of use broke free. Before I was extracted from my body I felt the lust and desire curse through my veins. Suddenly, I was in third- person watching myself slam down the lever of the slot machine. Cherry, orange, grape. And like that, I was back in my body suffering the side effects of my high. All gone. “Time for Spam”. I whispered, with a tear in my eye.
January 8, 2011