Okay, I rushed. Fuck. All of a sudden I feel pressure to be good at this, and inventive or something, like I'm taking a creative writing class. I don't like it.
Part the First
Part Deux, Harlot
Part Tres, Notion
The door slams behind me and I'm pissed. "Why is this necessary?"
"We're trying to avoid making a scene out on the floor."
I understand. Rassles would definitely make scene. Or make fun of me. I'm hungry. This would be far more enjoyable if they took me to the buffet. I follow the guard into a small gray room with two benches and a long metal table, and she sits me down. "Someone will be with you in a minute."
As the door closes behind her, I check my phone. No service, of course. Ludicrous. They could give me something to read, just to be polite. I decide that I will not cooperate. Especially if they make me wait more than ten minutes.
Ten minutes later, another woman with a clipboard enters the room and sits down.
"Hi, I'm Samantha."
"I'm with the gaming board. I'm just going to ask you a few questions, if that's okay." She has one of those metal clipboard boxes that has secrets inside. If I had a clipboard like that, it would be full of candy. "Name?"
"It's not okay, and I don't have to tell you anything."
"Well, yes. You do."
"Am I being arrested?"
I shake my head. "Then I definitely do not. Why am I here?"
"We just need to ask a few questions."
"You've been asking questions. Do you keep anything inside that clipboard?"
"Why are you here?"
"I have no idea. If I had that clipboard, it would be full of candy."
"I mean, why are you here at the casino?"
"Because you refuse to let me go home and eat dinner. Could you please tell me why I'm being held here?"
"We just need to investigate a few things."
"Please, could you cooperate?"
"Thank you. What's your name?"
"Social Security number?"
"I will not give that to you, and you have absolutely no right to ask for it."
"It's just protocol."
"And it's within my rights to refuse your request."
Samantha glares at me, visibly exhausted. How many hours a week does she deal with this? "Fine. What brought you to the casino?"
"My uncle is in town. We like gambling."
"Is your uncle a gambler?"
"He's a pit boss in Vegas."
Samantha perks up. "He is?"
She writes down something that I don't care about. I fold my arms. "Your last name is Rossi?"
"Is that Italian?"
"Is your uncle a Rossi?"
"No, he's a FitzPatrick."
"Oh. And he lives in Las Vegas."
"Did your uncle teach you how to play craps?"
"He did a good job. I heard you won a bit of money early on."
"I lost a bit of money too. You don't think I cheated, do you?"
"I'm just investigating something while they review the tapes."
"You guys are idiots."
The vagueness circles around for a little longer. She asks me if I have a job, if I went to college, if my family is heavily involved in the casino world, how often we gamble. If there was a clock, the hands would be moving backwards. Wasting my time. I look at my phone; I've been here nearly half an hour.
"I do not see how any of this is relevant."
"Honestly, we're just--"
"I will not answer any more questions. You obviously think I'm a member of some Italian gambling racket or something, like my family is the mob. We're just trying to have a nice little Sunday at the Empress. As a family."
Samantha gives me the "oh girl" head tilt, and there's a knock at the door. A tiny man peeks his head inside. "All clear. I'm sorry young lady, we've been keeping you here too long."
"So she's clean?"
"As a whistle."
"I can go?" I stand up. "Thank god. What were you going to wrongly accuse me of doing?"
"The fella next to you thought you stole his chips while he went to the bathroom."
"The haphazard chip guy? Jerk. He couldn't just do it to my face?"
"It's a pretty common scam, actually. Accuse someone of taking advantage of you, make a scene, we offer a free buffet to calm them down--"
"You gave him a free buffet?"
"What are you going to give me for being cooperative and law-abiding?"
The tiny little man grins in snarky surprise. "What would you like?"
"Five free buffets."
"One for me, one for my sister, one for each of my cousins."
His grin widens. "I think we can do that for you." He and Samantha escort me out of the room and back onto the casino floor where my sister and cousins are having a sit-in in front of the penny slots. So melodramatic. They trip over each other to stand as I walk over there.
"Well?" David asks.
"I got us five free buffets, bitches."
"Did they play Good Cop Bad Cop?" Rassles slams her car door shut and looks over at me with that mischievous, overly-enthusiastic face she reserves for when people get into trouble or mom bakes cookies.
I lean back in shotgun and close my eyes. "I don't know what that means."
"You know, it's like one of them is all, 'where are the other drugs going?' and you're all, 'I don't know man, I got a family' and then he grabs your collar and jams a Desert Eagle in your face and the other cop grabs his fist and is all, 'O'Malley! You're outta control, man, she's just a kid, this isn't fucking Saigon!' and then they hand you a Kleenex and give you delicious cake."
My sister is a fucking idiot. "I definitely did not get cake."
"Man, that's bullshit."
"They don't give you cake," David chirps from the backseat. Snidely. "And that's the most back-ass, convoluted description of Good Cop Bad Cop I've ever heard."
"Fuck you, and yes they do."
"Cops never give you cake."
"Every time I've been in an interrogation room I was offered fucking cake." She turns on the car and revs it a bit, like that's going to make her bullshit more plausible.
"You have never been in an interrogation room!" Sometimes I think Rassles is completely delusional.
"Irrelevant," she brushes it off, as if it's completely acceptable to tell blatant lies.
"Is this like that thing with CrazyLiz's cat?" I wonder, "Where you're all, he's got a half-eaten ear and one eye and the other eye's like THIS," I cross my fingers in an X over my eye, "and he's all mangled and limping and eats pureed fish out of a tiny feline syringe."
"I am somewhat prone to hyperbole," Rassles giggles to herself.
"I don't know how you have friends."
"I tell good stories sometimes."
"Are you going to fucking blog about this?"
"Ummm, duh. And I'm going to do it from your point of view." We pull out of the parking lot, headed towards the highway. And dinner.
My pocket is full of buffet coupons. So many coupons. I pull them out to look at them and silently gloat. "Just make sure you mention the part about keeping candy in the clipboard, because I would totally do that. Because then whenever I carried it anywhere it would make super-satisfying clinky candy sounds."