I love casinos.
It's pretty rare that we go to them (and we have LOTS of nice ones on reservations in Western Washington where the tribes actually make decent money off of them instead of simply being exploited by outside corporations which is what happens in most states) and the amount of money I spend is trifling, but I still love walking around in them and being absorbed by the noises and orderly rows of tables and machines.
A few nights ago I needed to get out of the house so I went with Delia
to her 12-step meeting. Meaning I went along for the ride, dropped her off, and headed to the casino by myself. Delia doesn't like wandering around aimlessly in casinos the way I do so I really got to enjoy spending an hour there with my free Sprite, completely overwhelmed and unsure what to do with myself (but in a good way). Eventually I made a $7 donation to the tribe via penny and nickel slots after I figured out how to get and use their club card.
I allowed myself to be completely unhurried and take as much time as I needed to make and execute the simplest of decisions, like whether or not I should remove my club card from the lanyard so that it wouldn't be dangling across the screen or tying me up by the neck to the machine. Seriously. I spent ten minutes trying to figure that out and get the card OFF the clip. I am not very bright or coordinated, especially when there's a lot of distractions around so it's a huge relief sometimes to be completely alone with nobody (I know) watching and just allow myself to sink into being massively stupid, completely enveloped in the casino atmosphere where you're allowed to publicly do nothing but throw money away while you sit on a stool and look at little pictures of monkeys and fruit and BARBARBAR spinning around. For hours. I suppose that's pathetic, but it relaxes me to feel no pressure. To not have to try to be smart. To be hidden between the slot machines that are all taller than I am.
I love casinos enough that I would throw much more money away in them if I could afford to. Enough that I can envision myself having a serious problem, especially if I ever learned to confidently play cards which is one of those perfect-for-Trixie ways of being around other people, in a completely structured semi-social exchange where the object isn't to chat, but to play and to win. Everybody has a clearly defined role. There are RULES. I like that.
But I don't have money to throw away so after I (ever so slowly) spent my seven dollars I wandered around looking at the steakhouse menu and the cafe menu and the people and the machines and the gift shop. And while I looked at the two pound steak special it occurred to me that it would be very convenient if someone offered me money for sexual favors. That I would DO IT without hesitating, return to consume my blowjob-earned steak, and spend the rest of it on slots.
On the Golden Girls, Blanche referred to buying things with her body as "using nature's credit card". I wonder: what is the percentage of women who 1) want things and 2) immediately scan the room for men who can provide the means for procuring the things that they want. I imagine it's pretty high. It seems perfectly natural. And of that number, how many would use "nature's credit card" to seal the deal?
Of course I wouldn't do that at the casino. Probably not. Unless I did become addicted to gambling.
When the thought first (naturally) crossed my mind it seemed totally logical and if it would've only taken 20 seconds for an opportunity to present itself then YES, I would have done it. But after a minute reality set in and I realized I wouldn't have time to do that before Delia's meeting was over. I don't know enough about the casino to know what the risks are. I have no desire to be publicly humiliated there or never allowed to return. I'm not sure what safety precautions to take. And the whole thing would be so much messier and uncomfortable in real life than in my imagination. Plus the guy would probably offer way less money than would be worth it. Plus I really didn't feel like talking to anybody.
But I didn't look "hot" so I'd have probably performed, for example, a low-priced handjob with my tits out for groping if I knew it was safe and the guy didn't want a big long conversation. Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to ever know for sure that something is safe. And I hate the idea of someone following me around, eyeballing me before they make an approach, or worse, following me around afterward when I'm trying to enjoy the money I earned.
It's much better to be a lone stranger in the casino that the security guys suspect is autistic rather than a prostitute. I didn't feel like smiling at anybody or talking. I veered away from a chunky black guy earlier (before my whore light bulb dinged outside the steakhouse) who seemed to be pursuing me; in hindsight he might have been a perfect mark for that handjob exchange. But at the time I just wanted to sit alone on a stool at a slot machine without being hemmed in by people on both sides.
At the printing company where I used to work there was an autistic guy working in the art department. He scanned logos and cleaned up the artwork. I briefly worked there too on the night shift. Sometimes our boss would look at me working, obsessively sharpening the edges of black, shaving off pixels that shouldn't have been there, and would complain with a laugh that I worked exactly like Bill (the autistic guy). I took it as a compliment even though she didn't mean it that way. Even though she liked Bill better than she liked me, what she meant is that it had been revealed to her that I wasn't so fucking smart; I was actually slow and retarded with no clue how normal people do things.
Everybody liked Bill. So did I, and when someone got in his way when he was headed somewhere or tried to stop him and engage him in conversation and he'd pointedly stare straight past them above their heads and try to GET AROUND THEM, to steamroll straight past them, I totally understood what he felt like. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but very few people respect how we want to go directly from point A to point B without someone interfering with our straight line. GET OUT OF MY WAY.
I think it's that desire to connect the dots (going from *not* having something I want to procuring it) in a very direct way that makes turning a trick in a casino to get money for a steak and more time at the slots seem perfectly logical and also anathema to me. It's not a moral or ethical issue to me at all. It's not natural to me to think about it in those terms. The notion of NOT doing it because it's "wrong" is complete nonsense to me. There are plenty of reasons not to do it, but that's not one of them.
Anyway, I had a good time by myself at the casino. I used to hate public smoking, but now that it's illegal (except on reservations) it's been so long that I actually sort of welcomed the stench and that whole Vegas smell. I was dizzy by the time I left.
Labels: addiction, fantasies, human nature, money, sex work, sociopolitical commentary, values