My father would kill me if he saw me right now. And my mother would cry. She had two cousins that ruined themselves with this. One of them was also called Simone. It’s nice to know that I wasn’t named after him. He died of heroine. Or was it a car accident? Or maybe both… I don’t remember. The other one apparently lost his entire fortune at the casino. It only took a few months for him to accumulate a huge debt with the local loan sharks. One day he simply vanished. Probably he ran off to Brazil or another one of those gorgeous countries in South America. My mother loved that cousin. She knows what gambling leads to.
And yet here I am, my first time at a roulette table. So I take it easy; I lay my cigarettes next to the ash tray, and I point to the 10 on rouge. I win. A black guy, that looks like he spent at least twenty years of his life inside casinos, asks me, “Hey dude, may I have a cigarette?” I am glad to offer a cigarette to a fellow player. After all I am winning. So I play again, twenty bucks on 2nd 12s. I win again. A young guy, who appears to be about eighteen and looks like he has smoked pot since he was twelve, asks me for a cigarette. I am winning, “Of course, here you are.”
“Where are you from?” “I am from Italia.”
“Oh Italy! Italy is wonderful, I always wanted to go and visit Madrid…” I hesitate for a second. This is one of those things that pisses me off about the US. Not only are people under twenty one not allowed to legally drink, but they are allowed to enter into this temple of sin and perdition! How the hell could you think that Madrid is in Italy!?!?!
“Yes, I love Madrid, I go there once month if I can.”
“Yeah, I bet you do, bro!”
“But if you ever go to Europe, I suggest you go to Berlin, France. It’s gorgeous. And my brother told me that Rome in Austria is wonderful!”
“Thank you bro, I really appreciate it.” There is no need for me to say that I lost all of my money that evening.
- Simone la Cuercha