Instead of the usual run down of events of the previous year I want to tell you about a woman determined to live a little …to have fun no matter her condition in life, age or health. It uplifted me a little and I hope it will you …IMG_3936.JPG

To not sit at alone home on New Years Eve and the defeat of time for a day

By Royal Hopper

New Years Eve I came across a woman in a wheelchair playing a slot machine with all the intensity her aged bent frame could muster. Her fingers were bent into a permanent gnarled cup by years of a fighting losing battle with arthritis.
But there was a determined scowl ..one always worn and boasted by recreational gamblers as they endeavored to crack the secret of the slot machine with various methods and systems that never work.
She managed smile as she pulled a small wad of money from a paper envelope with great effort. Hitting the button of the slot machine with her cane held in her gnarled mitt of a hand she asked for help moving her wheelchair and the chairs in front of the machines around so she could play two of them at once.IMG_3947.JPG

The man many years younger though not young by most standards moves the chairs around and pushes the wheelchair to the machine she desires and she raises her cane to hot another button on the one armed bandit …another chances at riches and bragging rights…
“I just wasnt going to sit at home,” she said later managing a smile again _ “on New Years Eve..” This one was going to live on her own terms right to the end. She could barely sit up straight while she hit the buttons of the slot machine …sitting alone as the younger men and women around her indulged in that most decandent of holidays..Her clothes are older rumpled but she sits proud and unapolagetic if a little sad and lonely…
“I won two hundred dollars on this one,” she says pointing at one of the machines, “I spent three hundred so I lost $100 she said wrinkling her brow at the effort of the calculation.
Someone offers that that is not bad for a New Years Eve in Las Vegas says a casino passing by as he raises his hand in tghe air and says “high five” She smiles and raises her arthtitic apendage to greet the high five.
“My hands are not what they used to be,” she said stoping for a moment for a reaction. the man holds up his somewhat younger middle aged hand which boasts a few barely visible gray hairs and says ..”My hands arent exactly what they used to be ..no ones hands are ..”

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Two women waiting at a bus stop _Royal Hopper

“Did you have fun?” he asked. She shook her head affirmative. “That’s what counts ….have a great night…”
That seems to please her and she turns back to the machine as the man pressed by other duties goes back to his work adjusting his polyester uniform and heavy duty belt as he walks …”Happy New Year,” they both mutter as they part ways to their individual worlds…For one day _ one moment Father Time was defeated

I didn’t know her but I was proud of her courage and determination to live whatever life she had left and not sit alone at home

..and sometimes that too is life in the City of Sin ….

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There is a street preacher who hangs out on Vegas streets and lets his signs speak for him. I’m not terribly religious but you cant talk about the City of Sin without mentioning the other side – Royal Hopper

Love You Sinners

 

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