In that moment i saw fireflies and cherry blossoms...'
it just so happened i was playing dominos at "Mings"
in the basement, past the coolies and the vats of boiling bubbling laundry was an undescript door through which i had crampingly passed.
inside, the roar and the raucuss comrodery greeted my senses and the sweet and sour aroma of jasmine insence permiated the room.
loo loo greeted me and took my hat overcoat, and holstered sidearm, under the everwatchfull eyes of Chan, sat seated in the corner with some kind of blunderbuss, whatever it was i wasnt supposed to take notice. Chan easily reclined kittycorner to the silk screened entrance that occluded the inner maelstrom of whiskey and whatnot within.
"Chan" i affirmed, as i strode in past his very large and subtley threatening presense.
He stared but did not acknowlege, which rasised a hackle as i passed.
in those days, polite society owned the streets and all that occured above. corruption nestled and festered beneath. it was not seemly to drink and cavort on sundays or sabbaths and so , such as this found it's own level. below the sidewalks in this case, deep under the workings of 'Ming's' chinese laundry.
cards, games of skill, games of chance all manner of vices, anything had for a buck or a toss, it was here to be found or gained or lost. ladies to be had , or in this case their cards and maybe invites, since this type of action was to be found on the 3rd floor above, these were the gratouities to the judges and lawmen within.
i had come, that early spring day, for a round or two of 'jacks and threes', my favorite game and one that came close to my name.
Harold's poke was my wager, he being just buried in his rickety now lifeless claim in the foothills. rest in peace dear prince, and i was topped off with hope and just a little thimblefull or two of whiskey. ( it's best not to drink until one take's the big pot) was my rule and my testament.
on this day, i had bad luck scaring up a table of snooks, (unshorn sheep) and so i settled for a game of dominos and sat down next to the duchess.blue dragon printed silk and her hair tied in a top not, she made an amazing presence. an ivory needle held her satin black tresses tight to her brow, and if there was a single strand out of place i couldn't find one.
"Silk sheets and satin tonight?" She whispered looking towards the door. Chan sat apprehensively gazing subtley our way. ( the duchess belonged to Chan, this was common knowledge, and until last night, she was his alone.)
Subtley, and with little inference i smiled as she rearranged the dominoes on the felt table. the gesture, my knee to hers i thought was ours alone to share but Chan's unknown friend had quickly tipped him off.
And then there was the clatter of his chair and his very meaty fist behind my ear and fireflies and cherryblossoms and darkness....
Roads and trails and backwash and coyote tracks had led me to this place, and as i dreamed my sweet jasmine scented dreams i recalled these roads and these tales, Humidor Tales i will call them.
And for those who wish to share read on, in time read on, for i will recount them one by one
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