Saturday, October 31, 2009

Poop, and God, and Elvis

Dealing poker this week has been a blast. I ended up getting a few extra shifts because Steve got terminated. I really like him, for the most part. When I first started work there, he constantly made me laugh. When he bacame a dual-rate (part-time dealer, part-time floorman), he almost never made me laugh. So, I really do like him, for the most part. And I'm sorry to see him go, and I'm sorry he lost his job, especially in this economy. But, for me, it meant more poker, more money, and more stuff to write about.

It's been six days since I wrote about my job, and of those, I worked four. Here are some highlights from the week:

On Monday the 26th, while out on break, I run into the Lightening Lady and another woman from the EVS department. (That stands for Environmental Services - they clean the casino) They are having a conversation about the other woman having new bathroom-cleaning responsibilities. She says to the Lightening Lady, "I have no problem diving in to master the turd." And she's serious. This makes me laugh, and then we all laugh. The Lightening Lady then gets disgusted about the diapers the old ladies leave in the stalls. Her face contorts around and she chokes a bit on her cigarette. "They're just nasty old bitches," she says. "I wonder if they leave them diapers on all day sometimes - and just sit in it."

Later that day I text my brother to tell him some good news about something - I don't remember what. He tells me he's sick. He texts me, "Got the squirts - gotta go." And I wish him a speedy recovery.

Sometimes when I see A.J. around the casino, he tells me he has to go "make something". And, the first time he said that, I said, "what?" When he said, "I gotta make a poo," it didn't really surprise me. Some days it seems like poop comes up in conversation a lot.

On Tuesday the 27th, the players at the table during the day were actually fun - and in a good mood. I almost always sing along to the casino music, or to other music in my head while I'm dealing. We (the players and I) decided that in order to bring more business into the room, we should have Poker Karaoke. Everyone could pass the mic around the table and sing a little ditty. The only thing we were split on was the name of the game - Karaoker or Pokeroke. I voted for Pokeroke.

Watching the game from too far away to see anything is Elvis. Or what I suppose was Elvis at one point. There's no white, sparkly, bell-bottom get-up with a big belt buckle, no guitar, no microphone, no "thankyouverymuuch". Just the hair, the glasses, the cigarette, the swagger. I see him later in the high-limit slot room, standing/gyrating alone. At first I think he is singing along to the casino music like I do, but upon closer inspection, I spot an Ipod. I don't think Elvis ever had, or needed an Ipod. And I think, "What's the world coming to?" And I walk outside to have a cigarette.

On Thursday the 28th I run into Jason from Security. He's inside, and this throws me off a bit. Usually he is in a yellow and black outfit outside on a bike or one of those people-mover things - a Segway I guess they call it. But Thursday he's in the brown security uniform, with no helmet on, and I can see he's letting his hair grow out. Jason is so funny because he says anything. And most of the time every other word, literally, is f--k. I say, "Hey, J-Dog, I haven't seen you in forever! How ya been? I thought you might have finally quit." Jason hates his job. And Jason says, "Naw, man, I'm still here, f--k, I hate this place, these f--kin' people. I mean, it's all f--kin bullshit, ya know? I hate this f--kin place. It's just f--kin'...." He doesn't finish his sentence. He doesn't need to.

While I'm on break I get a text from my cousin Aimee that says, "i think i need to fast so god can hear me better". I tell her I don't think it really works. She says she needs to figure something out.

On another break I am outside at the front of the building, around the corner, where we used to smoke before the new General Manager came in and took our ashtray away. Some of us still go there out of rebellion or laziness. I just wanted a change of scenery. There is just a little breeze, but swirling around on the ground is a plastic grocery bag. It's jumping around, floating in circles, and sliding to and fro in the wind. It comes to my feet and stops. It looked like it was having fun, so I move over to let it swirl some more. It follows me. I move. It follows. This happens at least a dozen times, to where at one point, I moved about 15 feet from where it had last landed at my feet, and it followed me. I began to wonder if the plastic bag was the spirit of someone I knew, trying to tell me something - or just say 'hi'. But then I thought that no one I knew that had passed away would come back as a plastic grocery bag - even on a temporary basis. So, I flicked my cigarette into the street and went back to work.

Back at the poker table, one of my favorite players - Al - and I are joking back and forth about some 'inside stuff'. I get a mild case of the giggles when a woman that was sitting next to him gets up to leave. She makes a comment about how no one should mess with her because she's from Bulgary. And Al says, "NOT a BULGARIAN! Oh, those are the worst!" And he means it. And he starts talking about how he met a Bulgarian woman once and how horrible she was - the worst, he says again. And my giggles turn into full-blown laughter. And I can't think of any time that I've ever met a Bulgarian before today. And I wonder if Bulgary is a real place.

Shortly after that, I see Santa at one of the machines right in front of the poker room. He is sitting there, bowl full of jelly, pipe in mouth, white beard reaching down his chest, all in-tact but the suit. I tell the floorman that this is where Santa comes to make all his money for Christmas presents because he had to lay off the elves this year. And though it was supposed to be funny, I feel a bit sad.

After Elvis, Bulgary, and Santa, I am more than ready to leave for the day. I see Security Jason in the parking lot. He says he thinks he's gonna go play poker somewhere. He tells me he played somewhere yesterday and that, "those players were f--kin stupid. F--k, I almost f--kin strangled one of 'em 'cause of how f--kin stupid he played." I tell him to play somewhere else and get in my car.

Somewhere between poop, and God, and Elvis, I actually made some decent money. Things are looking up for sure.

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