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the rooms

‘How do you want it built?’

‘Toss three dice into a corner,’ he said, ‘then build the rooms the same way. Everything touching, anywhere, all corners and walls.’ He turned to the little man who always sat by his side in meetings such as these, ‘What am I saying Abe? Tell these gentleman.’

‘Build a fishtrap, we’ll eat inside.’

You have to follow the walls in this room, follow them around because they fold in and out and have hidden corners – that’s where they hide the door – so some sit and play where they can be found.

This woman sits by men’s toilet and she looks at her flickering display of chance like it’s telling her of the death of her children. She’s playing four dollars a throw, three hundred dollars an hour, two thousand for the day, or night.  Sometimes the day disappears entirely, dawn to dawn.

A Korean woman with a face like a blunt hatchet interrupts her call on the baccarat table and takes a silver phone out, she puts it to her ear and walks a step away from the game, and she yaps into it, hard. The croupier, a girl of eighteen,  waits a moment then calls her back; more or no more cards, tap or wave. The woman waves her down. So no more. So the game continues.

She is a Nero.

Doormen are there to be spoken to, men at the fat end of a muscled-out youth, and they all wish you the fuck away. This one is talking to a little man so I have two this time. They looked over.

‘How many auras of luck are trapped in there?’ A gesture to the rooms, questions such as these need time to prepare.

The big-youth doorman smiled down at the little man by his side and said. ‘This bloke is better at that than me, ask him.’

‘Four,’ the little bloke said, straight away, and if you could light up a smoke in here he’d be rolling one for everyone. ‘ Three bad and one good.’

Two girls painted in a black fabric brassed on through, tall with satin bulges. Everybody appreciated their passing by. He continued.

‘The bloke walking in who thinks he has it coming, the sheila in there waiting for it to come visit, and the bloke walking out who never saw it coming.’

Now we have to wait, because this little bloke is an outright joker, so it’s asked. ‘ Who’s the fourth?’

‘The bloke who owns the place.’

You can see Burleigh from the top floor today, it’s a good four foot and all the hollow eyes are sliding around the point. Probably good enough to go.

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