Spending money they don’t have
With people they don’t know
Just trying to make it big before they go home
But leaving and wishing they never had come
Keep going just to get the starting sum
I grew up in this place
Lost three hundred dollars
It’s just not her night
But she said that we were only spending twenty-five
It makes me sad
It makes me mad
This place should know they’re a disgrace
I grew up in this place
Stealing from the sick
Who need a buck real quick
They’ve almost nothing to lose
And anyway they’d spend half the money on booze
I just want to catch a snooze
I grew up in this place
Vowed every single day it would never be me
I would never give money to a place with this much deceit
If I won any I’d stop while I’m ahead
But I’m afraid it’s in my genes
Wanting nothing more than for my parents to be proud of me
If I won the lottery
As I slip in another twenty
I hope I will get back plenty
I pray to the god I don’t believe in
Please let me win
But I should know how it ends
Always just a waste
Because after all I did grow up in this place
On May 25, 1997, 7-year old Sherrice Iverson was lured from an arcade into the bathroom of a Primm casino. She was taken into the largest stall, where she was sexually assaulted, strangled, and her neck broken by then high school senior, Jeremy Strohmeyer.
Because of laws surrounding gambling in the state of Nevada, Sherrice was not allowed to stay with her father on the casino floor. However, she was also not supposed to be unattended in the arcade, and casino staff continued to bring her back to her father and ask him to attend to her. She ended up in the arcade alone every time. Her 14-year old brother was elsewhere in the casino playing games, while her father played slots.
According to him, the family did not have enough money to rent a room for the children to stay in, and he only planned to stay and gamble for a few hours before returning home. They had apparently done this several times.
Sherrice’s murder took place around 3:48 am, just after casino surveillance caught her walking into the bathroom.
Jeremy Strohmeyer, now 38, was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole for murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault. The murder sparked conversations about whether or not casinos should be expected to provide childcare to avoid situations like this in the future.
Fireworks on New Year’s Eve, heavy woollen knitwear, red sky at night and orange sunsets, hot metal, warm noodle soup, firm handshakes, lights in the passenger saloons on the train, the smell of burning wax, bruised knuckles, walls covered in graffiti, volcanic eruptions, fresh paint, martial arts, the nick of pages against your thumb as you flick through a book.
Pollen in the air, old, twisting staircases, brass instruments, cracks in the earth, old houses covered in wisteria, gears & cogs, cosy living rooms with crackling fires, an old song you remember from your childhood but could never remember the title of, icebergs, pumpkins on the doorstep on Halloween, moss growing over bracken.
Glittering jewellery in the jewellers shop window, fresh sheets on the bed, an enthralling documentary, tornados, sneaking into the cinema, conversations heard through walls, the first time on an aeroplane, tangled wires, extravagant desserts, telecommunication towers, gardens with fountains, brand new shoes, migrating birds, long Skype conversations.
Long walks down the pier, baby’s hair, footprints in the sand being washed away by the tide, old fashioned seashell trinket boxes, overcast skies, hilarious comments made out of the blue, coming home to the smell of cooking, heavy books full of esoteric knowledge, long walks with friends, coral reefs, sticks and rocks thrown off bridges into rivers, a hand clasped tightly in yours.
Bonfires, family albums, waking up on your birthday, shopping trips, purring cats, protective mothers, movie marathons, panoramic views, rollercoasters, lighted vanities, warm summer nights, the excitement of a new episode of your favourite show, conversations late at night in the kitchen, torn jeans, skipping stones over water.
Harvest moon, studying in the library, fresh cut grass, playing on swings late at night and drunk, 24 hour stores, candyfloss/cotton candy, gig posters plastered on walls, phone boxes in the middle of nowhere, the sound of trains in the distance, pressing gum onto the underside of school desks, crickets in the night at summer, talking in the dark at sleepovers.
Gossip written on bathroom walls, hourglasses, messy notebooks, tyre swings, passing notes in class, deep conversations about your past with friends, fairy lights, paper cranes, aeroplane smoke streaks in the sky, hot air balloons, rosebushes, abandoned, overgrown farm machinery by the roadside, fireflies, letting friends copy your homework.
Constellations, black plumage, silent movies, hospital waiting rooms, sleeping in your car, quiet graveyards, silhouettes, deep pools of water, secret societies, cities lit up at night, old sepia photographs, cookie-cutter sharks, cloaks, black clouds before the storm, venomous animals, heavy black boots, butterfly knives, studded belts.
Ferris wheels, lanterns on a string, shooting stars, skydives, nomads, see-through elevators, winding roads, friendship bracelets, the dawn chorus, spicy food, hazy blue skies, clouds around mountain peaks, casinos and arcades, lollipops that make your tongue turn blue, hot springs, cherry blossom, cacti and succulents, dynamite.
Cobbled streets, second hand shops/thrift stores, hollowed-out oak trees, book store coffee shops, mushrooms, moths, sunlight through blinds, crystal caves, dark, mysterious forests, owl calls at night, cracking joints, geometric design, animal skulls found in fields, stalactites and stalagmites, rocking-horses, marble statues, dinosaur fossils.
Hypnosis, weather balloons, cool techno music, metallic texture, the pyramids, morse code, mazes, neon signs, black holes, ‘fashionably late’, robots, Salvador Dali paintings, political protests, elaborate cocktails, satellites, ancient castle ruins, conspiracy theories, freshwater springs, rooftop parties.
Tie dyed shirts, aquariums, grunge music, underwater volcanoes, bioluminescent deep sea creatures, hookahs, sand dunes, manta rays, witches’ covens, pub crawls, ambient sounds, celestial white noise, psychedelic art, boats on the horizon, storms at sea, lava lamps, natural hallucinogens, seaweed tangling around your limbs.
He wasn’t drunk. No, really, he wasn’t. Buzzed? Maybe. Tipsy? Most likely. But definitely not drunk. Because drunk Nicholas couldn’t walk in a straight line, and right now, he was doing a pretty good job of walking in a straight line and not dropping his girlfriend off his back. He was giggly though. He couldn’t stop laughing at anything and everything she said, and while he usually always did that, right then it had more to do with his inebriation than what she was actually saying.
“Ames,” His voice, mixed in with laughter, came as more of a sing-song than an actual spoken word. “A-me-li-a.”
He bounced her up a bit, his grip on her thighs tightening a bit to get a better hold on her as they headed down the famed Vegas Strip, deciding on their next stop.
A stop in Vegas hadn’t been in their plans. They were supposed to head back home as soon as they hit Disneyland. But adrenaline, a little too much happiness (not that it was a bad thing), and a quick Google maps search coupled with a bank account check and the appearance of a delayed graduation present from his dad had sent them both on the four hour drive from Anaheim.
So now here they were, less than sober, and more than attached at the hip, as they explored Sin City, trying to figure out what they were going to do next after having spent the first part of the evening bouncing between casinos, arcades, and the bars that had them so giggly.
“You won, I get it, but you need to pick already,” he told her, turning his to place a wet kiss to her temple. “I can do this all day, but you still need to pick.”