Sitting in a red leatherette booth, we could hear the bling-bling from the main room of the casino above the Muzak and the tinkling and clatter of glasses and plates and utensils and the rough parlance of gamblers taking a break to sop up some grease and carbohydrates, edgy hookers waiting for their pill man, lonesome hillbillies wearing black jeans and thin gold lamé belts and fancy cowboy shirts, their eyes shifting like nervous money, wasted on coffee and bourbon and uppers, and the rest of the assortment of losers that collect in such places. Therese had an upset stomach. She ordered the Big Jackpot Waffle and milk, and when our waitress brought the waffle, Therese stared at it as if it were a newspaper with an end-of-the-world banner headline. I knew what her mind was doing. After years by herself, getting chased by every clown who passed through Pershing, here she was giving it up to a mail-order ex-con - though she had already made a commitment, she couldn't help having reservations. Just to break the silence, I said, "Better eat that before it gets cold," and she laughed dismayingly and said, "Is everything a metaphor?"
--Lucius Shepard, "A Handbook of American Prayer"
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