In the concrete block, the club, among the drug stuffed couriers with flat tires and the garbage men with crashed trucks, Benny feels he’s with friends. Dripping slicked back black hair, vacuumed in acne torn face with blown up crimson whiskey nose, blue cream football jersey, and thin slit water eyes. There’s paint on his shoes and pants, even though he stopped working twenty years ago. His carer has washed his Hawiian shirt with the blossoming lotus on it, and it’s been layered on for warmth. The pension came through today, no problems, so she’ll be stocking the shelves with baked beans, sardines and packets of snap dried macaroni cheese. Max is always on time when he gets paid, and he’s already bringing the full hilt spilling beer tray over. Benny’s shout.
They’ve drawn to two sticky bar seats up to the machine. Smiling pirates grin neon white teeth. Blackheart’s Stash! Jackpots! Open treasure chests flash orange. Blub birthed whale swims backed by blue LCD. Ahh, Ahoy Me Maties means a win. Thar She Blows means a maxi win. Benny’s out of date invalid expired unpaid plastic card is jammed into shiny orange bet button, holding it down as his pension pennies cycle through. He sips, Max sculls, the cheapest beer available in dirty steam washed schooners. The lager battles hard with Benny’s heart, brain, guts as they try to process it and his medication simultaneously. The lights keep rolling and twitching over. Flick, fluck, flack, crash. He’s on the floor foaming. Seizurous.
Max moves to get an ambulance. Thar she blows. The maxi win slides up on the screen. Excited fingers clutch and drag the Hawiian shirt clad man a few machines up. Max goes to get an attendant for his win. Benny can wait, but his pockets can’t.