But as often happens, the hurricane that is reality came blowing through my fantasies, flinging my hot dreams through the air, dropping them limply on the side of the Road of Truth and shredding my naive desires, leaving piles of rubbish in its Righteous wake.
How, do you ask, did this life changing event come to pass?
I started dating these bastions of sex and anarchy. I even spent a summer living with a surf-punk band and to my surprise, it was not the culmination of all my youthful imaginings manifesting before my eyes. Rather, it was a huge pain in the ass. At eighteen, I was the "grown-up" in the house. I'm not talking about the bill paying, house cleaning type of "grown-up", just the voice of reason (Get a job, stop dealing drugs at the house, get off that under-aged girl...another little hello to the Hubby, loosely borrowed from a King of Queens episode).
Anyway, you would think I had learned my lesson but you would be wrong. I just switched my fantasies to a different music genre: Country. Why, you ask? Deep voices with a little twang, southern hospitality, rough hands, broad shoulders, well-filled jeans...WHY? Why the hell not.
I, like most Las Vegans, have spent some time working in a casino or two. At the time of this particular tale, I was working in a casino cage, which is the main cashier area (referred to as a cage due to the security bars which hang above the counter...that's Vegas for you...classy). I had been there almost two years and was the current supervisor at the seasoned age of twenty-two (not that impressive in the casino industry, I mean, I DID say I had been working there almost two years). I was very excited on this particular day because the National Finals Rodeo had come to town and I was in cowboy heaven. My little fantasies practically short-circuiting my brain.
To my delight, the casino cage had the best view of the craps table (for those of you non-gamblers out there, please get that disgusted look off your faces, craps is a dice game), which meant we got to see a lot of really nice saddle fillers being lovingly hugged by their faded blue jeans. It. Was. Awesome.
Suddenly, one of those huggable
"Howdy, ma'am." (I don't know if he actually said that but it's what I heard)
"Hello, how can I help you?"
"I need to get a $2500 marker." (a marker is a loan issued by the casino to the guest in order to allow him/her to prolong their gambling experience even after they have exhausted their current funds-this is a legal transaction, maybe not moral...but legal)
This is where the reality hurricane started stirring yet again. I felt it as it whispered through my hair and brushed lightly across my arms.
"Have you established a credit line with this casino before?"
The cowboy smiles at me and says, "No ma'am, I haven't but I've blown quite a pretty penny here today and I sure would appreciate it if you could help me out."
I explained to him that I couldn't give him a marker larger than $500 since he had no prior credit line with us or any other casino in town for that matter. I did this as politely as I could and with the ring of a sincere apology in my voice since I didn't want to be the one to tell him no. (It sucks to be the queen.)
To my surprise, the cowboy wasn't upset at all. He just gave me a lop-sided smile and said, "Well sugar, I really want the $2500 so why don't you wiggle that little tush of yours over to your supervisor and have him get me that marker." (note: my tushy really was little and quite spectacular back then being that I was 22 and everyone knows that great rear-ends primarily reside in the twenty-something block of the town of Female, except of course for the simulated versions, which reside in Silicone Valley)
SLAM. That damn hurricane knocked me right off my feet.
I looked over at that smiling cowboy, my customer service face morphing into what my family refers to as my PMS face and said, "Listen, Jethro, I realize that the bright lights of the big city may have overwhelmed your good judgement but being as I happen to be the supervisor you previously mentioned, I suggest you call on some of that southern charm you folks are known for, happily accept the $500 marker and mosey YOUR tight little ass back on over to the craps table."
In the end, Gomer took the $500, staring at me through his whiskey soaked eyes and made his way back to the craps table. I wanted to suggest he try some of that "Fancy Book Learnin" and buy himself a Gambling for Dummies guide so he could manage his cash flow a little better but alas, Cletus and Opie were calling him over, so I left well enough alone.
I still listen to a diverse array of music and can even be caught in an old fantasy or two but nowadays, I am fully aware of Reality's hovering presence and am ever watchful for hurricanes.