I had never seen a desert storm before but I hopped I will live through this one to tell the story.
My Camaro was swinging on the road like a baby toy and although it was just 2pm the sky was pitch dark and the visibility zero. What amazed me most, though, was that the rain had turned the dessert into a sea. Every time a lightning tore the sky up all I could see was water. It felt like I am floating in the ocean.
I stopped the car got my camera out and took some pictures. It was a scary and exciting to be alone in the middle of a desert storm.
I was on my way to Vegas, coming all the way from South Florida, tired but excited and full with great expectations.
I knew what Vegas was all about. Just 20 days ago I was there having the time of my life. At least I thought so. But one thing I had found out for sure: the strip clubs in Vegas had nothing to do with the ones in South Florida! I knew it from experience. Not that I was looking for a strip club when I got in the town, but as any tourist I asked the cab driver to take me to the best place for party and off course I ended up in Olympic Gardens. Five days later I had spent all my money there and I hadn’t seen much else of Vegas. But who wouldn’t have done the same with all the action I got in the club with Lynette.
…Lynette!! Man, the moment I told her I am Russian, not that I am, she got so excited she stuck her hand in my jeans and didn’t take it out until I asked her to give me a head. The girl was hot, alright, but she was also wild and kinky and before I could think about it I had spent all the cash I had in my wallet.
-Let me get some more cash – I offered, since I had no intentions of leaving the club.
-Forget it – Lynette whispered in my ear – just sit here with me.
By that time we had done some crazy things that freaked some of the other girls out so I was bold enough to ask her:
-Would you sit on my hand and I will finger you?
-Oh yeah, baby! – She did it in a second and we just sat and talked – I’ll be done in about an hour. If you want we can go together to a club and maybe a private party later on.
-Sure – I was so excited I was freaking out.
-Do you like to fuck in the ass?
-I love it.
-My guy likes while I’m giving him a head someone to fuck me from behind.
Was there an earthquake or I was shaking like a schoolboy on a first date?
I was thinking her guy must be one crazy son of bitch but who was I to judge him:
-Let’s do it!
That night turned out to be one of the craziest in my anyway crazy life. At Studio 54 we hooked up with her guy, normal looking middle age man and a stunning blond with blue eyes and legs that never end.
-Meet my friend Wendy – Lynette introduced her with a wink – she will come with us to the party because we need to be couples.
Couple of drinks later and very few words but with a lot of sexy dancing we got into a Ford Expedition and made a 30 min. drive to a big, nice house.
Those 30min itself were something to remember. While Lynette was taking care of her guy in front, Wendy was showing me what a blowjob expert means.
Inside the house Lynette exchange few words with the four couples and we went to a room on the second floor. For the next two hours the four of us did not only what Lynette’s guy liked but a whole lot more and by the time we left the house I was convinced that Vegas was the town I want to live for the rest of my life.
Five days later I was on the airplane back to Miami with one thought in my mind: I am moving to Vegas!
So, there I was in the middle of the desert, fascinated by the storm and excited for the future.
-Are you Bulgarian? – One of the guys at the near table asked me.
-Yeah, I am – it wasn’t hard to guess since I was laughing on their jokes. The company was four guys and two girls and they all looked like they were having a great time and easy lives. I on the other hand was already in big trouble and in a desperate need of friends.
-Are you from Sliven? – Another one of them asked and this time he really surprised me.
I was from Sliven or at least I had grown up there. He saw the surprise in my eyes and explained:
– These guys are from there and they know you!
That was no wonder. Sliven was a 100 000 residents town and the way I have lived my life there weren’t many people who didn’t know me. Usually I wouldn’t care much about that connection because I have learned not to trust people by their origin, but my situation was very unpleasant at the moment and I jumped on the opportunity of making friends quickly.
-For real? You are probably much younger than me, that’s why I don’t know you.
-Come and sit with us – the offer came from a third guy – I am Tony and my wife is Elena we are both from Sliven and we’ve seen you there. Our friends here are from Turnovo.
Tony was a cool looking guy and his wife although short and skinny was attractive girl.
-My name is Ned. Nice to meet you guys – I used the invitation and moved to their table – how long you’ve been here?
Damn I can be so polite sometimes and such an asshole other times. The three other guys and the girl I found out have been there for quite awhile and Tony and Elena have arrived in America about 7 months ago.
-Do you know someone in Vegas? – Tony asked and I could see that he was going to be my friend from now on.
-Not really. I just met another Bulgarian here, his name is Mitko, and that’s it pretty much.
I had met Mitko at the Star Bucks also because that was the place I was spending most of my free time, and I had a lot of free time. He was about 6 years older than me and made a good impression of settle down man with a wife, a kid, a house and couple of cars. The coolest thing about him was that he wasn’t even working at the time and didn’t seem to struggle as I did.
-A lot of Bulgarians are coming to this Star Bucks. There are about 5000 of us here in Vegas – Elena informed me.
It was true. The Bulgarians loved to sit on a coffee and chat with friends endlessly about anything and most of all rumors about other people. The Bulgarians loved to sit with friends, complain about their lives in USA and telling stories about their great time back in Bulgaria. Most of it was bull shit though, because if I offered anyone of them a one-way ticket back to the country no one would have accepted it.
Me? I loved America! Although I was without a job and out of money I knew I was going to make it, because I have done it before and in America it was much easier than any other country, as long as you stay healthy and alive.
I had come to USA a year ago without money and settled down in Stuart, Florida because I had a friend there. The town didn’t have public transport so I had to borrow a bike and start looking for a job. 28 years old man with master degree but broken English, if that, can’t expect much and I started at a grocery store mapping the floor and stacking groceries for 5.30$/h. I knew I’m starting at the bottom and it was going to take time and a good effort to climb the social ladder, but I was happy to have the opportunity to do it. The money from the store weren’t enough and I took a job as a busboy at the near family restaurant. Working 7 days a week was giving me 280$ and barely covering my living expenses. I knew that if I wanted to succeed I should be able to speak much better English and that was what I did in my free time. I studied the language and I tried to bring at least a little joy in my days by swimming after work or riding the bike to the nearest bar for a beer. It took me three months to start speaking and understanding enough so I can ask and get a server job at the restaurant and start as a cashier at the store. I was probably the worst server in the world as well as cashier but I was doing my best and I was learning. Three months later I had enough money and experience to buy a car and start looking for a better job. I am not sure I can call a 210 000 miles Mitsubishi Colt whose doors were falling when opened a car, but it sure gave me the freedom to move around and I was able to get a better job at Ballantrae Yacht and Golf Club and increased substantially my income. Three more months and I had a job in a fine dining restaurant located on the beach on Hutchinson Island, making 1200$/week, and driving a beautiful and powerful Chevi Camaro.
Everything was going great for me and I was so happy that I decided to award myself with vacation to Las Vegas…
Before we left the coffee shop we exchanged numbers with Tony and we agreed to meet again for a coffee tomorrow.
Driving back to my apartment I checked the day as semi successful. I had made two new friends but I hadn’t been able to find a job and that was my biggest concern.
The thing was that I didn’t want to work anything but waiter and not just at any place but restaurant on Las Vegas Strip. Almost all of the people I have met had tried to convince me that that was impossible but I was certain I was going to make it happen somehow.
Unfortunately my rent was due and I didn’t have money even for food. The situation was desperate but if I can say one thing for myself with certainty it is that there is no situation that could scare me. I had deal with tough problems many times in my life and I had always gotten out of it. Always!
It was a time for emergency response and I didn’t hesitate to take it:
-Nasko, what’s up my friend?
-Not much, Ned! What’s up with you?
-I am in deep shit with this move to Las Vegas and even thinking of going back to Florida – I almost cried the words and they weren’t far from my mind but I wasn’t quite ready to give up yet.
Nasko was a good friend, he had proven himself reliable and I knew I could depend on him for help. We talked and I explained the situation. He wanted to guarantee him a time frame to pay him the money back and I had a 500$ wired to my name the next day.
My other move was to get a job, any kind of a job, anywhere, just to keep me afloat until I find a better one. I was also spending all my time on Star Bucks making friends. Not that I got any offers for help or anything but it was still better than not knowing anyone. The only person that offered me support was my new friend Mitko. We drank coffee every day together and when I needed to borrow money again he loaned it to me. Mitko was good advisor too and he introduced me to some people who were useful in tough situations. Naturally he became my best friend in Vegas.
My opportunity for a job on the strip came with the opening of the Aladdin Hotel and Casino. Ark Las Vegas was one of the biggest restaurant companies in the city and they were about to open “Fat Antony” in Desert Passage Mall. We went through a 30 days training followed with a final test and I was the only one with 100%. Unfortunately when the restaurant finally opened it was a total disappointment. The whole concept was wrong; the management was new and unprofessional, the rest of the servers had never carried a tray before in their lives. By the time two weeks had gone I knew I had to look for a new job as soon as possible. I have always believed that if a man has to do something he needs to do his best or simply not do it. That’s why I was the best floor cleaner in the store, the best busboy in the family restaurant and now, although unhappy, the best server in Fat Antony. I also believe that if you do your best you should get the respect you deserve and if you don’t, you better find yourself another job, period!
I found my just across from Fat Antony:
-Hi – I approached the hostess with my uniform on – may I speak with the manager, please.
-Which one – the little blond girl was cocky and I sensed that I have to be firm or I won’t get nowhere with her. The hostesses are trained to protect the managers from people like me. They will make you fill application, smile politely and throw it in the garbage as soon as you turn around.
-The general manager, please.
-May I ask who is looking for him? – She wasn’t giving up easily, but I was already a master of the game.
-Ned – I replied staring her in the eyes
-Just a moment.
As she turn around and disappeared inside I smiled. The first round was mine.
-May I help you? – Italian accent, around 45, little overweight but energetic man looked at me firmly. My only chance was to match his energy. I offered my hand and shook his as hard as I could:
-Hi, my name is Ned. I work at Fat Antony, but those guys over there are total disaster. I am looking for a place where everyone knows their job so I can do mine – I smiled and pointed toward the restaurant – just like your place here.
-Well – he was hesitating too and that meant good for me – right now I’ve got all the servers I need…
-I know – I had to interrupt him or lose my chances – I know how it is when you open a new restaurant. You are always overstaffed but usually in a week or two some people will quit, some will get fired. I have opened 4 restaurants myself – I lied – and what I am asking is to give me a chance if you have opening. I won’t disappoint you, I promise.
-Where are you from? – He asked and I knew I have won another round.
When you know you can do the job better or as well as anyone else, why not lie to get it. You do yourself a favor but you do the premises a favor too because they will hire a good, reliable worker and that is exactly what they need. If he wanted to get rid of me, he would have told me “O’K leave your application here we will call you if we need a man” and that’s it, I would have never gotten the call. But I knew I had made enough impression since he was standing there asking me questions.
-I am Bulgarian – I said proudly like I am from Mars.
-I have too many of them already, Bulgarians, Polish and all kind of Eastern Europeans.
-I hope you are not disappointed from them. We are hard workers. If you give me a chance in 3 months I will be your best server – we both were smiling.
-Really? Hm, leave application and come see me next week. Maybe I’ll have something for you.
“Yes! I got it!” I was screaming inside but my face was calm as a fish, or at least I thought so.
-Thank you. I won’t let you down!
We shook hands and I turned around happy. That was the way I had gotten every job in America and that’s how I had succeeded in Florida. Now was time for Vegas. I knew this job will change my life…
The Player (posted 2/11/18)
Richie locked the door and jumped down the stairs forgetting his 50 years. It was a good day and if the week was to continue the same way, it was going to be a great week. He looked at the car and smiled. The license plate was “low key” but there was nothing low key about him.
Driving last model Corvette, covered with gold, and VIP in every club in Vegas, Richie was a big shot and nothing less.
The business was going better than ever and that, with the cops on his back. Richie smiled again “Out of the game, my ass!” he pushed the gas and the car sped up toward “Crazy Horse Two”. Couple of eight balls, bunch of ecstasy and he will be done for the night and ready to party with Monica. He grinned. Monica was making him do that a lot. A stunning 21 years old beauty she was his toy for the week. Not bad for a man who hadn’t had a job for the last 30 years.
-Hey, Joe, what’s up? What’s cooking? – He slipped 20$ in the vale-parking guy’s hand
-It’s busy Richie – The man took the money with a smile and parked the car first line to the door.
-Boby, how you doing? – Richie was polite and generous with everyone at Crazy Horse; most of his clients either worked or visited the club. It was all business.
-Good Richie, how you doing?
He was doing very well indeed. Monica was dancing on the main stage and he slided into a chair, taking a roll of 20$ out.
-Hey Richie, what’s up bro? – A guy took the sit next to him and put a dollar bill in Monica’s g-string – You got the stuff?
-Yeah, yeah, but it’s going to cost you 25 bucks a piece, man. This shit is good and tough to find.
-Common, Richie! The deal was for 20! – The man was sweating and looking nervous.
-Yeah, man, I’m sorry – Richie knew he will make the extra 100 and was enjoying the firm tits Monica had stuck into his face – my guy charges me more now, because he says this is top quality.
-Do you have it with you?
-Yeah, man, but got to go to the bathroom. You never know who is hanging around here.
Richie knew better than dealing drugs in the open, especially since he got busted from LVMPD just few months ago. The only reason for him to be free on the street was his promise to cooperate. The good thing was that the cops haven’t bothered him ever since, but he knew sooner or later he would have to deal with them. For the past 6 months the business didn’t suffer from the arrest but he knew it would be better not to wait for the cops to call on him. He had a plan that would give him another 6 months worry free time. He was going to give someone small to the cops and they were going to be happy and off his back for awhile.
-You smell good, babe.
Monica was sitting in his lap playing with the gold chain.
-Thank you sweetie. What are we doing tonight?
-Don’t know. What you want to do!
He knew what he wanted but the young girls didn’t like just to go home and fuck as much as he wanted. They wanted to go out, drink, dance, get high and he had to give it to them. Richie didn’t mind to show off around town with a beautiful girl on his hand either; at least not while the business was good and the money kept coming.
-I want to go to Drai’s. I’ll be done at 3 and we can go for a couple of hours.
Monica was a brunette, five-ten, 110 pounds with fake but not oversized boobs and hypnotizing blue eyes. She was working out every day, wasn’t smoking but snorting coke and taking ecstasy was something she could never give up, at least not until she was keeping that job.
Richie was an easy source for both but that wasn’t the only reason she had hooked up with him.
-Sure babe – he agreed. Drai’s was his favorite place anyway. There was always business there. It was The Club in Vegas where everything happened. After hours bar where all the party animals spent the rest of the night – we’ll go there. I’ve got to see some friends now.
Standing up Richie bumped into a skinny girl in electric red bikini.
-What’s up, tell Erick to call me – he yelled not looking back. -Hey, Bob, how are you? – Richie approached the man at the bar and shook his hand.
-Oh, Richie! All right, all right, how you doing? – The man had a heavy Italian accent and looked annoyed.
-You know, what you doing, checking the babes? – Richie sat in the chair next to the Italian.
-Fuck the babes. Got some business going on and I’m going to the Venetian to eat something. You hungry?
-No I got to meet someone in an hour and I’m going to Drai’s with a new chick.
-Good, good, how’s business these days? – Bob didn’t seem interested in Richie’s business he wanted to get out of here but he didn’t want to eat alone. Plus Richie owed him money and a favor and should’ve paid for the dinner too – You sure don’t want to come have some food with me?
Although Richie understood it was more of a request than a friendly invitation he had to take his chances and reject it.
-Yeah, Bob, I’ve got to wait for my lawyer, I’ve got some stuff for him , but I’ll hook up with you tomorrow for dinner.
-Lawyers ah? Hate lawyers! I’ll see you tomorrow – he got up slowly from the chair – call me.
-Sure, Bob – Richie mumbled and saw his lawyer entering the club.
Dressed up in a last fashion gray suit, Italian leather shoes, and a white shirt Tony Motola was looking more like a playboy than a lawyer but he was both.
The only business they had tonight was to exchange two eight balls for cash and Tony was on his way back to the car.
Richie was done with the business for the night. Relaxing on a couch in the corner of the club he was watching Monica giving lap dance after lap dance to a bold, fat dude who was sliding his hand from her boobs to her ass and really enjoying himself. Monica was good at making money. If he was some cheep ass red neck for one dance she would have kept his hands in check but a drunken executive from the big convention in town was allowed almost everything. No wonder that she was making 3000$ a night tax free cash.
-You got a boyfriend, babe?
-No sweetie, it’s hard to find a boyfriend with this job – half of the job was to know how to talk to the clients. Make them think that they might get something extra. Pump their hormones up and they will keep putting money in your bikini with pleasure – they are all jealous and protective and I can’t do my job like I want to – she whispered in his ear suggestively sliding a hand over his manhood.
-You want to go for a drink later? You know, have some fun?
-It’s dangerous dating clients. It’s against the club policy and also I’ve got to be here for at least another three hours. I don’t know if you can wait that long.
He was all hers. In the next three hours she would make another grand. She felt his fingers slipping under her g-string and touching her vagina.
-That’s fine! I’m not going anywhere! You are all mine tonight!
-I would like that very much – Monica whispered – anyway I like your touch. But you got to be careful you can get me fired if someone sees us. Better leave it for later.
“Sweet! It’s going to be a great night!”
Richie was bored. He wasn’t about to spend the next three hours waiting for Monica there. He was hungry and he could use the time to make some arrangements or even some deals.
He finished his drink and slowly approached the exit not taking his eyes from Monica. The moment her eyes met his he gave her a sign to call him, she smiled and Richie left the club.
The night was hot but the Corvette was there and he plunged in turning the AC on.
(added on 19.03.18)
I was a happy man. Not that I was making a lot of money on the new job but the restaurant was well organized, very busy and all the servers were young, cool people who knew their job. The money was just a matter of time. As every new server I had to start working lunches but I knew I was good and it wouldn’t take long before I was promoted to dinners.
I woke up not understanding what was going on at first but my cell was ringing and I picked it up.
-Hallo? – I checked the hour – 5:45am.
-Hi, bro, what are you doing? – The happy voice of my sister angered me. She could never learn that there was exactly 10 hours difference between Bulgaria and the west coast.
-I’m sleeping; it’s five in the morning here!
-Oh sorry! Me and mom were talking about you and decided to call you – she seemed carefree but I knew what was this all about and I didn’t like it at all – are you alright? How is the new job?
-It’s alright. I’m not making good money yet but it’s coming. I should start dinners soon and that’s guaranteed 150-200$ a night – I explained but I knew already it was to no avail.
It’s not that I don’t love my sister, I love her to death, but I wasn’t happy to hear her now because I knew why she was calling and I just couldn’t help her at the moment.
Deni is two years older than me and a lot of the things I am I owe it to her. She lived in Cyprus and for the last 8 years has been saving my ass every time I’ve been in trouble and that was a lot of times. The rescue operation usually involved money and now I owed her more than 3000$. Now she definitely needed money because she was on vacation in Bulgaria and she, just like me, spends money like it is the yesterday newspaper.
-Listen, little brother, I am out of money and George won’t send me any. I understand you are having difficulties but we here don’t even have money for food.
I wanted to say “me too” but it would have not been fair to her. I should have sent her money long time ago, instead I was busy having fun:
-No problem, Deni, I’ll find a way to send you at least 500$ if that is O’K.
My money situation was a total disaster but I couldn’t let my sister down no matter what.
-It’s fine, but make sure you send me at least 500$. I already borrowed some money – she finished and I knew it was true. We were never shy to borrow money from friends.
-Sure, sis – I said enthusiastically, although I had no idea where the hell I’ll find money for her, for the rent, for my car payment …. – how is everybody there?
No wonder I woke up with headache that morning. I still owed the 500$ Nasko had given me, about 1000$ for rent, car and bills, and now 500$ for my sister.
On top of everything my damned tooth was swollen and hurting like hell.
I jumped in my clothes, got in my car and headed toward StarBucks.
-What’s up Mitko? – I needed money and he was my only option
-I’m cool. You are going to the café?
-Yep, are you coming?
-Give me a half an hour.
My plan was to borrow 500$ from Mitko, then ask the restaurant to give me some extra diner shifts and try to make it.
I parked the car, ordered double espresso, left 1$ tip and sat outside on the patio. I loved this place. The time I was spending here was my favorite of the day.
-What’s up? Do you want something? – as always Mitko offered to buy me a drink although he saw that I had already one.
-Hm, no thanks. I just realize that you always buy drinks for both of us when you come here first and I never do it. Shit! I am such an idiot!
He just waved with his hand and disappeared inside the shop.
-What’s happening? Is everything ok? – holding two double espressos Mitko sat down and pushed the one to me.
-Well, I need some help and I’ve got no one else to ask but you, so…
-Talk to me – he was calm and in control as always.
-I still don’t make enough money on the new job and the bills are piling up…I need some 500$ for couple of weeks.
-I’ll see what can I do – he replied quietly – I don’t think that’s a problem.
There’s no more talk, explaining or anything. We finished our coffees and Mitko asked me to call him in an hour!
I knew he will give me the money. Now I had to arrange the things with the restaurant. I was at Lombardi’s for little more than a month and I thought I was doing a good job. There wasn’t going to be easy to get an extra dinner shift tough. I had to find the right excuse and make sure they don’t deny my request.
When I got there I saw Yatzeck was the shift manager and that gave me some encouragement. He was from Poland and he was more friendly and cool than the other guys.
-Hi Yatzeck! Can I talk to you for a second?
-What’s up, brother? – he led the way to a table inside the restaurant and we sat down.
-I know I am new and it is just normal to work for lunch but today I was to the dentist with excruciating pain and he said I need a surgery to pull it out. 500$!!! I don’t have even 5 bucks in my pocket. So I am asking for some dinner shifts to make the money if that’s possible?
I had not planned this with the tooth but I had problems recently and it was a good improvisation that I believed will do the job.
-Off course my man! I just have to talk with Scot if you are ready for dinner. You know how busy we are and I don’t want you to messed up and get yourself fired.
That was as clear as it gets: I get the shift on my risk. If I screw up I was done but I was ready to take my chances. I had no other choice anyway!
-I am ready, boss! I won’t let you down! Talk to Scot. He knows I have never had a problem till now.
-What is your schedule? I’ll try to get you couple of shifts this week.
-Thanks, man! You save my live.
That was all I could do! It had to be enough to get me through the month and then with the dinner shifts I was going to be just fine!
I had nothing to do and plenty of time so I decided to go back to the Starbucks and get another espresso. For my surprise Mitko was also there with a friend of him.
-Have a sit, buddy! Just get yourself a chair, cause this one is for the kid and if he sees you taking it, it will be a mess here!
-I’ll get me a coffee first! Anybody wants something?
Two hours later I was sending my sister 500$ and I was happy to be of help.
The day was still young but I had my dose of coffee and I had nothing else to do so I drove to my apartment with the intention to spend the evening there. I had rented a one bedroom apartment just few minutes from Las Vegas Boulevard. The community was on the downside but it was cheap and that was what mattered most to me. Inside I had only the mattress and the stereo I had brought with me from Florida! I opened the fridge and took the mayo with two hot dogs. That was my diet for the last few weeks but I wasn’t complaining. I was at the bottom once again but the sky was the limit and here in Vegas the sky was pretty high! The most important thing was to land a good job on the strip and I had done it! The money was just a matter of time! I was good at my job and I was certain I was going to make it!
“Two more months and it all will be different! Two more months and life will be beautiful once again” – with this thought I fell asleep just to wake up in the middle of the night with terrible pain in my tooth. Couple of pain killers and I was back to sleep. At 8am I was at the dentist for real and the news was bad. I needed a surgery with anesthesia and the cost was 780$! There was also one “good news” though. The surgery had to happen after the swelling disappear. That meant I had a week or so to make the money!
The pain was bad but I took some serious pills and went to work. I needed the money and I had to borrow even more cause there was no way I could save 2000$ in a week!
My move to Vegas was turning into a real nightmare but I was already here and I had to manage somehow. That wasn’t the first time I was in a mess and I knew I was going to make it out somehow