June 16, 2003

The Graveyard Shift

By Senor © 2003

I had never worked the graveyard shift before and I wasn't looking forward to it. To be perfectly honest with you I wasn't exactly sure how I was gonna handle it. Since I started working in the Hospitality Industry I have either worked the 7AM - 3PM shift or the 3PM - 11PM shift. My body was used to waking up early and going to bed early. How was I ever going to stay awake for an 11PM - 7AM shift? Coffee would be the obvious answer, but I don't drink coffee or any caffeine for that matter. Back in the day I've pulled many all nighters. However, going to work high on LSD, shrooms or ecstasy doesn't seem to be a smart move. So what should I do? My shift was not due to start until Tuesday night. I decided I would stay awake all night Monday, then sleep all day Tuesday and be good to go for work Tuesday night.

Ok, great. One problem settled and now I had a new one. How the fuck was I gonna stay awake all night on Monday? Providence is a great little city. The downtown is safe and clean. The suburbs are beautiful. The atmosphere is laid back and the people are friendly, but Party Central Providence it’s not. The bars close by 2AM and even the whorehouses shut down before Midnight (not that I have ever been, but I did call to find out the hours. Let’s just call it research for my story)! Providence is about as far away from the city that never sleeps as one could possibly be. How was I going to entertain my self through out the night? Well the answer was simple and lay a mere 44 miles away. FOXWOODS! What better place to go to while away the wee hours of the morning than a casino. A few months earlier a McGrupp introduced me to a game called Texas Hold’ em in a poker room in Las Vegas. Since then we tried our luck playing in rooms in Atlantic City. Now it was Foxwoods time. I enjoy Hold ‘em, but I'm not addicted to it and felt no need to play it on this particular evening. However the greatest thing about Hold ‘em is that if you play super conservatively you can play for four to five hours, have a blast and not lose more than $50.

By 11:30pm I was seated at a $2-$4 low limit Texas Hold ‘em game. I was not there to win money. Hell, I wasn't even there to have a good time. I was there for one reason: to stay up all night. The first few hours passed by rather uneventfully. I actually played pretty well. I was never down more than $20 and was up as much as $60. I enjoyed the comradery that one can only establish with one's fellow players while playing Hold ‘em at 3:00AM on a Monday night/Tuesday morning.

And then she showed up and everything changed. Her name was Nga and she was gorgeous. She was our dealer and I was psyched. For the next 45 minutes I completely blocked out the other nine players sitting around the table and focused all my efforts on flirting with Nga. She's Vietnamese and I recently returned from a couple of trips to Vietnam, so we had an instant connection. Chemistry was in the air and I was suddenly thrilled to be at Foxwoods. Sadly, Nga's shift game to an end. She smiled at me and then walked out of my life, perhaps forever, or so I thought. After Nga left, the Hold ‘em game just wasn't the same. I decided to head over to the cashier and cashed out my winnings of $31. But it was only 4:00AM and I was not ready to head back home just yet. So I walked over to the bakery and lined up for some lemon meringue pie.

Before I made it to the front of the line Nga walked by. I caught her attention and the flirtation picked up right where we left off. Before I knew it we were in the employee's lounge chatting away. Nga spoke lovingly about her three children and told me about her husband. I told her about Angkana and our baby on the way. It was all very innocent until Nga began to get a little touchy feely. Fist it was a simple touch of my arm, then she caressed the hair away from my eyes and then her hand was on my thigh. This was a beautiful, sexy and very cool woman. Angkana or no Angkana, I was turned on! Nga grabbed my hand and whispered in my ear to follow her. Her hand was so soft and seemed to fit perfectly into my own. Without thinking I followed her into the ladies bathroom and we headed straight to the third stall from the right. Her kiss was magical. Just as I was about to be completely swept away and lost in the moment, I pushed Nga away. I told her as much as I wanted to, I could not do this. Nga cried hysterically and collapsed into my arms. She told me that she never cheated on her husband before, but they were going through an awful time and she hadn't felt chemistry like she felt with me in a long, long time. I explained to her that I felt the chemistry as well and what could have been if we had only met under other circumstances. She thanked me for stopping things and kissed me on the cheek goodbye.

As I drove home to Providence I was confused. Was I proud of myself for stopping things? Was I a compete idiot for not taking advantage of one last hurrah with a beautiful woman before settling down forever? Bottom line? Who gives a shit! All that mattered to me was I had accomplished my goal: I stayed up all night. Now I’m ready for the graveyard shift.

Senor is currently living in Providence, Rhode Island.

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