i rented a jacket for the night and wandered an elegant european casino. wiesbaden is one of the wealthiest cities in germany. their casino looks like it.
the art pieces, pagan entirely, line the marble halls. apollo, hestia, arthena and all of their signs and symbols and friends glow like sculptured constellations in the warm light.
inside the spielbank of the wiesbaden kasino, men in jackets and women in heels fondled chips.
the games of the day: roulette, blackjack, and poker.
i was with off-duty army officers who had just returned home from riyadh. they wanted to dress up in suits, eat an elegant meal, and pretend to be james bond for a while.
i gave them tiny ladybugs for good luck.
they told stories about life in kuwait and baghdad. they talked about how hard things were.
of course, their grandfathers probably said the same thing about the very ground where we came to relax.
someday, our grandchildren will wander the restaurants and casinos of baghdad, pretending to be rick from casablanca and try to unwind. they’ll wear suits, and flirt with waitresses and laugh while the roulette wheel uses up any luck they had left from their survival.