Thursday, August 11, 2005

Atlantic City

I leaned against a mirrored wall in the alcove outside of the current of day trippers and vacationers eddying and streaming by in the adjacent corridor. Across the baroque carpeting Willie consulted a comp machine.

A woman two machines away also checked her complimentary bonus points, seeing the benefits racked up by hours and dollars spent on the adjacent casino floor. These totals are the frequent flier miles of the so called "gaming" industry.
Her fingers jabbed assuredly at the familiar key pad. She, like Willy, had done this before. Her actions were accompanied by the jangle of flat mirror polished dangles hanging from her gauntlet of gold bracelets. She paused in contemplation; even at rest they tinkled as wind chimes. I could see her white lacquered fingers, edged with gold sparkles like the the glitter lines drawn on old German glass Christmas ornaments or the coated rim of a gold dusted margarita glass, but not her face, which was obscured by a voluminous beach ball sized topiary of teased and tortured thicket dense shiny blue black hair (?). A few stray offshoots called for hedge clippers.

I could though see from the side and rear her resplendent outfit, a two piece ensemble of matching turquoise jersey knit. In this place overrun with multiple patterns and hues, it was the largest uninterrupted area of a single color in the room. It had bat wing three quarter sleeves, concealing her elbow and upper arm and leaving her stabbing wrists and hands seeming detached from the motionless plumb bob form of her torso. It's taper was duplicated by loose pantaloons which diminished from the ample circumference of her waist to closely skimming at mid calf. The separates were united by a longitudinal line of poker chip sized silver grommets running from shoulder to cuff, under the sleeve and to the hem, and continuing down the leggings to her calf; a stylish aid in venting (hot flashes?). The grommets reoccur at a smaller scale on the almost matching glazed teal leather of her stacked heel open toed mules, simulating a handful of silver Cheerios scattered by an unruly grandchild, who may well have edged her white polished toenails with fingernail matching glitter while down there.

She received her information and finished, turned my way and walked toward the corridor. Her face was a striking contrast to the hairdo which wrapped it like an Eskimo's fur trimmed hood, a pale and china doll perfect powder pink moon rising over the tanned and freckled valley of her decolletage. For a second her dark eyes met mine from behind beveled edged blue tinted lenses, precariously perched on a tiny nose barely up to the task, and steadied by outriggers of curving gold temples, all almost hiding the generously brushed highlights and shadows of invented bone structure striping her chipmunk cheeks. My eyes followed her toward the rushing masses channeling from restaurant to gift shop to gaming floor in the passage way.


Willie startled me and I turned to face him.


"Dinner on the Hilton Sisters tonight!" he anounced, beaming. His bright blue eyes twinkled in delight with his own totals, now further enabling his natural generosity.

"Yee Hah!" I enthused, forgetting my current obsession for a moment to consider a long standing one: free food. My mind lept forward to the steak house bone in rib eye au jus we'd already discussed. In my mind the tab would come out of Paris and Nicky's allowances, and I savored the expected high cost.

Oh, but wait! I whipped my head back toward the corridor. Whence the turquoise lady? What wonderous baubles ornamented her earlobes? Could her voice and mannerisms equal the drama of her costume? Did she smoke cigarettes? What brand, and were they drawn from a snap closed vinyl case bearing her initials in gold script? All would remain mysteries. I saw her brunette dandilion head bobbing like a fuzzy fishing float in the crowd, then watched it enveloped by the streaming bodies and swept away. Knowledge of further details was lost to the current.


Willie snapped me from my reverie.

"Boardwalk Pizza. You in?"

"Huh? Yeah yeah. I'm in."

I slipped back into reality and we slipped into the crowd, and descended the escalators toward the boardwalk.
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