For too long I was put at that card table to eat my family dinners. For too long I was cast aside with 3 others, put in a separate room even, during the Porter family gatherings. Shea and Sarah grew older and left us; it was then myself, JP, and Mickey. We found ways to manage though, from the time the Jell-O was put in Sarah's milk, to all of the childish humor we took part in. We bought squares of Grandma and Grandpa's land in the big pines that encase the yard, and we called them home. Even through all of the responsibilities of owning land, coordinating our own family dinners, and taking initiative to entertain each other, we were exiled to that separate table.
I'm much older now, and not a whole lot wiser. All of my friends are turning 18 right along with me; we're adults. Adulthood brings not a whole lot of difference when you're still in high school. Water still tastes the same, books are just as difficult or easy to get through, and you do not get all the girls you want. Contrary to popular belief, it's not that great. Dr. Seuss said it best when he said, “Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them." We get older, but we still hold on to the child within us.
So back to the friends and I. We decided to put our considerable coolness to the test and hit the casino. After all, we're of age, how cool. So four of us packed into the car and took East Coleman Rd to Leaton Rd, the trip was set. We talked about a lot of stuff on the way there, but none of it was really about gambling. By the end of the night, I think we all realized that we enjoyed the time before the Casino more than the pit itself.
The skies were lit on fire. Light after light rippled through the dark starry sky. Signs blazed and told of all the entertainers that were to be at the establishment. Bill Cosby, The Romantics, Grand Funk Railroad, all illuminated on that blinding sign on Isabella, or M-20, or Pickard. The time was 10:10, hundreds of cars poured out of the casino parking lot. A single car pulled in; our car. We were so cool, all four at the ripe age of 18. Armed in hand with about $20 apiece our motorcade came to a stop, and our militia poured out. We walked through the 26 degree night, from parking square C8; one of us was without a coat, why?
Because we were cool.
This cool wasn't just like 'hey I saw a cute girl" cool, it was like John Belushi or Chevy Chase in Saturday Night Live cool.
Through the valet parking we walked, not caring where we walked, walked in front of moving vehicles just because we could. After all, they'd stop for such cool kids...adults, right? We hit those glass doors and with them we hit a wall of smoke. Person after person armed with their death sticks, puffing them down, stopping only to put their next quarter in. The place reeked of alcohol. Fearing for our hygiene, we decided we didn't want our coats to smell like smoke, so we checked them in at the door. It was like valet parking for your jacket. They take your jacket, probably for a joy ride not caring if they scratch it, and they hand you a ticket. We had our Alice in Chains Tees, our Rage Against the Machine Tees, and even a Polo shirt, each was about a size smaller than we normally wear; we were cool.
All four of us hit the floor without even being checked for ID; the race was on. We sat down at mostly nickel machines, a few two centers, and a few pennies. I had lost five dollars on nickels within about 10 minutes; "This sucks", I said to Corbin, as he hits 50 credit, and then 25 credit. However my luck turned around when I found that Salmon Run penny machine. I hit a 500 credit, in which I bet 3 credits apiece on; good for 15 bucks. I cashed out with 30 dollars on my ticket - 10 dollars ahead.
We tucked tail and ran out of that place; with our winnings. One of the friends came out 30 bucks ahead, the other two were minus 10.
In the end, adulthood isn't what it's cracked up to be. It's the only phase of your life when you add a lot of bad, and practically no good. However, it's just another part of life that humbles you from your considerable "coolness."