Tuesday, April 28, 2009

7-7-7 Part 3: Fear and Loathing in Tunica

I don't remember much of the ride to Tunica. I do remember after doing the first few lines of cocaine my brain was completely scattered. I was beginning to believe that we were being chased by police. The paranoia and anxiety were overwhelming. I thought that Elvis was an undercover agent. The pistol, the drugs, the casino, I thought it was all one big red herring. I hid behind my aviators. If people could not see my eyes and I didn't speak, no one would know how out of my mind I really was. I agreed with whatever suggestions Elvis had made. I currently can find no words to describe the amount of fear and dread I had looming over me. I was completely consumed by it. Every thought, every action, every step I made, I felt I was being observed, monitored, and judged.

We entered the casino and surprisingly it wasn't overly full for the 7th day of July in 2007. We sat down at a roulette wheel and immediately the board blanked out. This even greater led to the ominous feeling that something bigger than me had intentions on my having a disastrous evening. While I do possess the ability to think logically, when it comes to gambling, I throw logic out the window, with the exception of odds and probability, and I find myself easily giving into the delusions of luck. We commented to the pit boss and he said that the board was on the fritz. This would continue to happen throughout the evening. For me, it meant that I would not be able to see what numbers had previously come up, and would have a harder time predicting the numbers that were yet to arise. No matter, there were drugs to be done.

Elvis would palm off the bullet to me at intervals and I would go to the bathroom stall to toot up. I was not the only one in the casino who had this idea. I couldn't have been. Why else would there be people making huffing and sniffing noises from a bathroom stall? Oh God, perhaps it is best if I just think they were all doing cocaine. After running back and forth to the bathroom a few times, we were both increasingly thirsty.

It's imperative that I state that at this time in my life I did not drink bourbon. I drank gin, only gin, and I drank it with zeal. This day however, I felt that by ordering a gin and tonic and trying to speak on my own would alert the authorities that I was out of my mind and I would be thrown out or arrested. Elvis was ordering Jack Daniels by the shot. Following suit, I did the same. He told them that I didn't talk much, they probably thought I was a retard with big sunglasses and Elvis was my handler. Being about the same size and having just shaved his head as well, we probably looked like to Neo-Nazi goons. After waiting for a half hour for an ordered drink, giving the waitress a dollar when she took the order, another when she returned, a third immediately upon taking the shot, and asking for another, Elvis was very unhappy with the service.

"Payne, take your money off the table. We're not going to play. BOSS! Pit Boss! We came here to drink and spend money in your casino. If you want us to spend money, we need shots. We'll take good care of the ladies, but we won't be thirsty while we play roulette."

The boss understood, the ladies, returned, and they remained at our beck and call for the evening. We were tipping rather well, but we were also doing very well at the wheel. My mind, having been in such a negative space, was stuck on Martina. I was playing her birthday, my mom's birthday, my birthday, and my sister's birthday: 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, and 16. When I play roulette I always play 9 numbers. When I get up I start to play more, but I always play 9. The other number I would play were the ones that appeared to visually rise off of the table. As I was vividly hallucinating, the numbers appeared to be growing and shrinking. The numbers that grew the largest with the brightest halos encircling them were the numbers I picked.

Four hours, twenty one shots of Jack Daniels, and three Heineken later, Elvis and I were completely fucked. I however, being on copious amounts of LSD, did not appear to be nearly as drunk as him. After spending our time there, we asked for our buffet tickets, and made our way to the opposite end of the casino. En route, Elvis detoured to the bathroom where he spent 20 minutes throwing up. I practically carried him into the buffet area, where we both filled up plates, and he then went back to the bathroom to vomit some more. I went to the casino gift shop and purchased some Alka-Seltzer tablets. After dragging him back to the buffet area, I gave him the good ole "plop, plop, fizz, fizz" and he was able to hold down his meal.

I am unlike any person I have ever met when it comes to cocaine. Cocaine will stimulate my appetite and I can ravenously eat several large portions without hesitation. Being the American that I am, I ate until I could barely walk. Elvis and I stumbled out of the casino and he began to drive us home. It was at this point I discovered his psychological illness. He began to tell me about his trials and tribulations with Zyprexa after having been diagnosed schizophrenic. I did not have my glasses, it was night time, I was wearing sunglasses, on too many drugs, and I was lost. I however, was not bothered by this. I was more concerned with my driver's ability to color inside the lines and not go off the page.

After an hour and a half we make it back to his house near Lamar. Elvis immediately passed out and uttered the phrase, "mi casa es su casa" before collapsing on his sofa. I certainly did not have the capacity to sit there alone on a head full of drugs in his house without any form of entertainment. I had to get out, but I didn't have a vehicle and there were a few miles of dangerous territory between his home and mine. I set off walking in the direction of my home, at midnight, wearing sunglasses, having nothing more for protection than a pocket knife, and too many chemicals coursing through my veins to have the sense to be scared. After getting lost in Orange Mound and finally recognizing Cooper, I made it to the Young Ave Deli. Upon arrival I called Floyd who didn't mind my calling him at 1:30AM to pick me up and bring me home safely. I guess he figured an annoying room mate who paid the bills was better than a dead room mate who did not. I would say I gambled quite a bit that day and was very happy to return home to the safety of my own bed.


  1. You sure do have a gift for telling your stories. I love reading your stuff. Keep it up and you will have enough for a good book!

  2. Ha. I also remember after picking you up that you treated me like a god. You were even more grateful when I decided to stop by Taco Bell to get you something to eat. You looked haggard, and I now know why. You also had barely any idea what to order, so I got a shit-ton of burritos. You inhaled them like they were oxygen and you were on the surface of Mars. I helped you out and you went in your room to try and sleep it off. Oddly enough, this was not the craziest thing to happen to me while in the old apartment. Not by a longshot.

  3. I too am glad you returned safely to your home. And no more gambling like that :)
    I love you