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The Butterfly Had to Die

Submitted by Joe El Rady on November 11, 2010 – 9:35 amComments

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It hit my windshield with a bump and then, like a ballerina, hopped up, floating in front of me in a flutter before shooting into the slipstream behind my car. It must have been fate. The butterfly had to die on my way to Las Vegas.

I drove, in the shadow of the LA Skyscrapers—their lights dulled through the marine layer—and pulled into one of the Korean marked strip malls, through the thin alleyway. I idled there, fingers running along the leather stitching of my shift knob, feeling the resistance of sanity while watching the city lights reflect on my hood.

Maybe if it were fate, I would have made it to Las Vegas. Even Las Vegas proves too far an escape sometimes.

The click of the cards, the clack the chips—home in the most homely way. Maybe my fingers needed to feel the felt and call it a night. Not sure. I grabbed my chips to step away, but there she stood—

She looked like chocolate tastes and stared like Whiskey feels. I could have stood there for hours. No conception of time, locked on her eyes sparkling blue like jagged cut sapphires under a light. She asked, with her East European accent, “would you like to have a drink?”

Judging from my location, I hadn’t learned much in my life, but I knew at least two things: never play aggressively in a Korea Town back room, and never have a drink in a Korea Town back room with an East European girl wearing a watch that costs more than your car.blackjack

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