A few hours ago, I fed a dollar to a slot machine and it spit back two-hundred. This wasn’t just any slot machine, but one on a cruise ship sailing across the Caribbean. Years ago, I would have laughed and settled into a miasma of booze and drugs and sex and thrown it away on a night’s pleasures. A pittance for Dionysus in exchange for a night’s worth of a silent mind and a satisfied body.
Tonight I got in a fight with my boyfriend so I went to the ship’s only club with my brother which ended the only way it could; half my money gone along with an angry brother who left me in a bad mood listening to worse music and watching young people fall in what feels like love.
It wasn’t the boyfriend’s fault. He has never changed. None of us have, but the closer we get, the farther apart we seem to become. If my mom hadn’t invited him along on this cruise, or if I had given 1% less, I doubt it would be him I would be fighting with tonight.
Every song and every beer recall a dozen faces I look back at in disgust, and a few I remember with that constant futile longing; that last remembered promise of a better next-time that never came; a slamming door that promised a better one would eventually open… but they all ended in that same slam and dubious promise, half-laughed into the darkness that followed.
Even from eight floors up in a dark club, looking out across the infinite blackness of the overcast sea, I don’t remember any night darker than this, but I cant help imagining the morning will come in laughing that next time will be better.