Another day – like yesterday

It’s Tuesday around noon,

I find a place at the bar,

At the Big Endicino Casino,

The one on the reservation,

Ten miles outside of town,

I dangle a wayward twenty,

Above the hungry mouth,

Of the video poker machine,

A queen winks at me,

Like an old hooker:

“hey guy, wanna have a good time?”

Jodi, the bartender,

Pours a coca cola for me,

In a frosted highball glass,

With three ice cubes and a lemon twist,

I give her a five, then,

She points (wistfully) at the Bacardi bottle,

“On the side?” she asks.

I shake my head. I need a steady hand,

The jacks and queens call to me,

From inside the electronic box,

They need to eat they tell me,

I’ve been away too long,

So I feed the creature,

Lights flash, like demon’s eyes,

The ones you see before you fall asleep,

In the early morning,

After an all-nighter.

A full house on the first play,

Three of a kind, four of a kind,

Inside straight – fill it – don’t stop,

Hammer it,  in spite of the odds,

Soon I’m sweating, the tide turns,

I worry about my future,

I consider my past due phone bill,

Jodi half smiles at me,

I know she wishes I was drinking.

A skinny guy with a goatee,

Wearing a Korn t-shirt, and a Caterpillar ball cap,

Sits down beside me,

He lights a cigarette and pumps twenty,

Into his own little monster,

“Shit” he soon says,

He pounds his fist on the bar,

And then stomps away,

I shake my head – an amateur that one.

You gotta THINK before you play,

You can’t be too reckless,

I slide another twenty,

Into the hungry little mouth.

At one thirty, the bus from Kansas City rolls up,

Retirees on oxygen and social security totter in,

Jodi comes by and asks if I need anything,

Another eighty five bucks, I tell her,

After that I go outside to call the office,

Boss asks how the meeting went,

I say it went just like the one yesterday.

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