Thursday, March 7, 2013

30 Seconds In A Casino In Detroit

I'm no innocent.  I've seen things.  I've experienced some things that would raise an eyebrow or two.  I've been around people and situations that I would describe as "edgy" or "gritty" or "scary real."  But nothing prepared me for my 30 seconds in a casino in Detroit.  

This week, Tim and I got wild and crazy and went on a date on a Tuesday night.  His friend gave him Red Wings tickets a few days before the game.  That my friends is what he and I call spontaneous--three days to find a sitter and arrange carpools and more is quick turnaround for us.

Even though we are metro Detroiters, we only head into the city approximately three times a year.  

There's a sadness in Detroit that you feel the minute you drive into town.  Empty buildings, empty streets.  So much potential, so many problems.  It's heavy.  I want to be one of those people that says it's coming back, but dude, it's tough.  And honestly, that's a whole other  post.

On Tuesday night, Tim and I got in the minivan and headed to Hockey Town for a hot date.  We felt giddy.  We felt young.  We felt a little reckless.  So, we decided to go to the casino before the hockey game.  

I have never been to a casino in my life. Ever. 
The bright side of being a bit over-analytical is I'm pretty self-aware.  And I'm pretty aware that my self is pretty prone to addiction.  And that is why I am so grateful I never tried cocaine and never gambled.

But last Tuesday night, I felt like I was safe with Tim by my side and free seats waiting for us at an NHL game.

Tim and I walked into the casino wide-eyed and well, kind of stupid looking.  

"Hey, how come those people just walk in and other people are showing ID," Tim asked me while we waited in line.   We were all "hey why do they get to go in faster and we have to wait in line and get our ID out?"

Well, turns out we didn't have to get out our IDs because they weren't checking old people's.  Duh.
Laughing at our mistake as the doorman/bouncer/greeter ushered us in with a wave and a "hope you win big" we made our way inside.

Our eyes got wider and we looked stupider.

It was like a scene out of a movie.  I expected Joe Pesci to walk around the corner at any minute.

Sensory overload.  Dings, cha-chings and buzzers going off everywhere.  Lights flashing and spinning.  The carpets were a maze of colorful, yet dull diamonds.  And gah, what was that smell? Smoking.  How quickly we've forgotten how suffocating cigarette smoke can be.

Tim kept asking me questions like "where are the bathrooms?" and "what is that machine over there?" like I had been there before.  

It was stupid and thrilling.

We decided to play $5 on some sort of flashy machine with a lot of buttons.  We won $60. Woo-hoo!  We had no idea what we pushed or how it happened.

With that, we decided to be safe and cash out.  We had money to pay for dinner, what more could we ask for really?  The whole experience was just a little over 30 seconds, it was fast.

As we made our way out the door, I couldn't help but notice how fucking sad the crowd was.  Eyes glazed, brains dazed staring into the shiny machines pushing one button then another then another.  Almost masterfully balancing a cigarette from their lips, stopping every now and then for a long drag. Several patrons without teeth were there busy pushing buttons.  There was a man being wheeled into the casino with a medical mask and what looked like an oxygen tank.  

It felt like years ago when I used to stay at the bar until they turned the lights on and told everyone to go home.  That depressing, yet eye-opening, moment when everyone went from cool, sexy, drunk to disheveled, sweaty, wasted with one flip of the light switch. 

What a cautionary tale my 30 seconds in a casino in Detroit was.  Just a few more buttons and maybe I'd end up toothless, smoking and in a gambling fog.  And don't forget what happened to Joe Pesci in the movie Casino.  

I am just fine staying on this side of the gate and never going back to a casino.

Casino trailer.

1 comment:

  1. I've been to casinos in Las Vegas and here in KS, and yeah. Sensory overload. The smoke, the sounds. It's depressing.