Adjusting to the times.
Just imagine for a second, that you are a Catholic. So you are walking around with a false sense of superiority as you live by the Word of the Lord. It comes from knowing that your church has more money than all the feeble-minded and insane politicians and all the oligarchs in Russia to boot.
So right after the last commandment which tells you not to covet your neighbor’s goods (PUTIN-dumbass, baby-head looking fool) is the eleventh commandment:
Thou shalt not be a pig-headed idiot ruled by polluted ideologies of a long-forgotten past planet.
If this one caveat were adhered to, there would be a lot less of the fifth commandment to deal with.
Thou shalt not kill.
Putin, or more aptly put, the Russian ideology, has made it impossible for anyone to put up any semblance of resistance to the supreme ruler of Russia.
And you wonder why Trump sits back, green with envy.
Here is my short story about another chapter of my misspent youth:
I wasted two of the best years of my life in a dark den of iniquity located on the north end of the world-famous Strip in Las Vegas. City Liquors was a bar/casino (seemed like every bar in Las Vegas was a casino) that had all the requisite old slot machines and some games you would never see in a real casino. These are just a few of the memories I carry as the seventies came to an end in Sin City.
It was a Saturday night and I had just arrived. The jukebox was blasting away a Conway Twitty tune as the bartender wiped down the old pockmarked wooden bar with his sour towel. Lazily spreading the dirt and alcohol evenly over the surface, he looked up and shouted, “Hey Satin!” He was calling me by my self-appointed nickname the Satin Latin.
Bill had been the ‘tender there for about ten years, aging along with the bar that had attracted the oddest assortment of characters ever assembled. At 6 pm, that motley assemblage included Stevie, a good-looking friend of mine who I always felt was “slumming” when he showed up. Like everybody in Las Vegas, Stevie was from “somewhere else.” In this case, somewhere else was Minnesota. Stevie worked in a real casino with a much better breed of cat both working and gambling there. I would later end up in the same casino plying my trade as a chef.
Theo was another pool-shooting friend of mine I met at City Liquors. He was short, quick, and highly intelligent. I dubbed Theo the Thief and that nickname stuck for all to use. Theo liked the moniker, proudly displaying it on the tattered red sleeve of our 9-ball team shirt. Theo approached me as I made my way to Bill and the V.O. and Budweiser which were calling my name. My raging alcoholism made me a very indiscriminate drinker; I would have drunk a flask of Jabba the Hut’s piss if I thought it would get me high.
The strains of Crystal Gayle’s Don’t it Make Your Brown Eyes Blue was drifting above the sounds of jingling coins from the slot trays. The two-foot deep cloud of smoke which hung perpetually over the two pool tables permeated everything. When I stumbled home, my latest girlfriend was sure I was smoking cigarettes, my rank clothes belying my insistent denials. Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate smoking.
Cigarettes, that is.
“Deadeye!” the shout went out from nearly everyone in the bar. Deadeye was one of the stars of Saturday night at City Liquors. He was about as likeable a guy you would ever want to meet. He would stick his hand out to shake even the dirtiest and sleaziest of people, and he had a way of making you smile through your worst day. He had “the knack” of making you feel better no matter what was on your mind or what the situation.
“Satin!” he shouted out to me. Deadeye liked my nickname Satin Latin and that was the only way he ever addressed me. Deadeye was a hero to me. He was the best 9-ball pool player in a bar full of sharks and league champions. He took me under his wing and taught me how to play 9-ball. He personally turned me into a Top Individual Shooter for our team which represented dingy little City Liquors in the Nevada State 9-ball Championship Tournament. The run to state was bittersweet, as student bested teacher for the top individual award and I was heartbroken Deadeye didn’t show up to see me lose the title on the last shot of the tournament. As runner-up, I won fifty bucks and a case of Budweiser.
I woke up the next morning in the Las Vegas Metro jail, enduring my second DUI in six weeks.
Zoom to next Saturday night. Zoom past the fact that my girlfriend came to bail me out on Monday but spun around and left when the desk sergeant informed her that I was not alone in the vehicle when I was arrested. The other occupants of the vehicle were: a two-foot Grafix bong and a bowl of Panama Red kickass weed. Twelve empty beer cans littered the back seat. Oh yeah, and a prostitute. I am pretty sure that is why my girlfriend left.
Not the station house.
“Deadeye!” the shout again went up. The dans macabre continues……
I proceeded to drink the last bottle of V.O. in the bar and switched to drinking tumblers full of Bombay. I lost track of all things normal around midnight. All the gang had dispersed, leaving me and Bill to carry the torch.
Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven was blasting now and my head kept time with John Bonham’s drums between gulps of gin. I was now officially blind drunk, struggling to see my own reflection in the cracked mirror behind Bill. I couldn’t even spell DUI although it was a near-certainty number three was soon to occur.
I blinked my eyes several times to get a clearer picture of well, everything, but I remained out-of-focus.
I was contemplating ordering some food from the little toaster grill “kitchen” behind the bar from Chef Bill when I felt a soft touch on my left shoulder.
The lady sat in the torn leather stool beside me and ordered a martini.
She inched closer to me and I turned to look at her. The lady was not my typical Saturday night prey. She was older than the others and she spoke with a southern accent. Having lived in the south, I figured she was from somewhere around Alabama or Tennessee. She started offering the filthiest sexual proposition I had ever heard, and I began to pay attention. She continued in a most explicit dialogue and I began to stir in my loins as I drooled on the bar.
“I’m gonna show you what the young girls don’t know,” she cooed as my interest grew. “I’m gonna……
The Point of No Return arrived precisely at 3 am and I mumbled something unintelligible to Bill. I placed my hand on the small of the lady’s back and swiftly ushered her to my car in the alley.
I am absolutely certain selective memory has filtered this incident through the years, but I still get sick when I recall what happened next.
Flash to my condo in North Las Vegas. Up the stairs to my bedroom.
My condition did not lend itself to patience or consideration. We threw ourselves on my bed and sweated, writhed, and copulated for the better part of two hours. I do remember attempting to lower her bra for easier access, but she politely refused, pushing my eager rough hands away.
We fell asleep and off we drifted…….
It was nine o’clock in the morning when I stirred awake, my German Shorthaired Pointer Chopper licking me in an effort to get me to fill his dish with yummy dog food. I went downstairs, my companion still under the covers. I fed Chopper and I could hear what’s-her-name stirring upstairs.
I lit a joint, popped a Bud, and drained half of it in one desperate gulp.
I ascended the stairs, opened the door to my bedroom, and stopped literally in mid-stride. There, on the bed, getting dressed was…..
“I’m sorry, I stammered. “What is your name?”
“Ruth, she answered.
“Ruth, how old are you?” I had to ask.
“Eighty-nine” she replied.