Let It Ride

I mostly had lost patience with the saliva dripping onto my neck. The serpents smoked cigars, and the cigars gave off a thick smoke. Everything felt thick because of it. It was a warm thickness, and the wetness of the saliva created a feeling I no longer desired to sit with. It seemed funny now, but desire was the thing which led me to this seat to begin with.

I pushed my chips outward towards the dealer, just like the start of any other hand, except I pushed out all of the chips I had remaining. There weren’t many left. There weren’t few either.  There were enough that it was more than a typical hand, but not so many that the action felt flashy or “High Roller-ish.”

As I stood up, the dealer asked, “Cashing out?”

“No,” I replied. “Just let it ride.”

“You’re leaving?” he asked.

“I’ll be around. Keep dealing me in.” This may have not made complete sense in retrospect, but his silence denoted acceptance of my request.

Perfect. The chips would hold a place for me. I needed to stretch out a bit. I needed to get out of this place. Pushing through the smoke, I wiped away the wetness from my neck.

If the picture isn’t clear, at this point, I am moving towards the exit of some cramped, stale, smoke filled casino in some desert somewhere. Leather skinned serpents move throughout doing serpent things: grunting, shuffling, sipping, smoking, laughing. I overhear conversations. They’re the typical serpent kinds. All parties are given ample time to speak, though no one listens. That’s the things with these types, an agreeable detachment.

On my way to the exit, I pass a washroom. I choose to step inside. I could probably use a bit of a wash so a washroom is the perfect place.

After immediately splashing a few handfuls of water against my face, I catch a glimpse of my own reflection in the mirror and laugh out loud. More times than not, I forget who I am. Surrounded by serpents and the casualness of it all, it is easy to do.

Breathing smoke and drenched in mouth droppings, it is easy to do. I don’t know if it is the typical experience of others, but the lack of acknowledgement of my presence, or at least my presence as an outsider, adds to my temporary amnesia.

Sometimes I’ll smoke their smoke. I have drank their drinks. I’ve even mindlessly listened to their ramblings and had a chuckle while sharing a story of my own. Maybe we’re not that different. Maybe that’s why they barely acknowledge the difference. What is the difference anyways?

I am able to avoid this question. I’m familiar with the thought, and I know it has led to quite the existential crisis in the past. No time for that. Not now.

I look in the mirror once again, as I thank it for the reminder. “Now straight to the exit,” I tell myself. I know there is a portal near, and I know I plan to find it.

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