jack of diamonds:
The lock clicks open and I've got thirty seconds to make my way across the room to input the security code before lights start flashing and the cage comes rolling down the walls.
Thirty seconds before I am thrown to the wolves.
But this is all routine to me now.
Ten years in shops like this,
this town holds no surprises for me anymore.
All the faces the same.
All the streets, all the games these girls play:
I can't help but get sick of it.
The rocks are in the safe, I tell Jimmy.
They're always in the safe.
You think people would get a clue.
It's the first place you look.
Teenagers think of better hiding spots for their diaries.
Jimmy cracks the safe before I can dredge myself out of my thoughts and I'm punching the security codes in and we're out the door with a click.
I pull a deck of card out of my pockets and slide a joker underneath the door, face up, for the store managers viewing pleasure.
They won't know what happened until 8 am rolls around and they go to pull the product out of the safe.
Another job well done and I slide my leather gloves off of my sun deprived hands.
How about a drink? Jimmy asks.
And back to the club we go.
Another round of drinks for our buddies,
we've got enough money to drink ourselves in to a stupor.
Six shots down and I've got to go relieve some pressure.
When I come back to my table I am remembering a joke I overheard in the bathroom.
Something about a rabbi I start telling Jimmy.
Only when I get back to the table, he's not alone.
Sitting across from my scummy old pal is the vanishing girl I had been eyeing earlier.
"Now here's the guy I was telling you about!" Jimmy starts bragging.
The only other thing Jimmy is good at besides cracking a safe, talking people up.
Her full lips curve in to a smile
and the giggle that flows from her mouth sounds more like angels singing.
Her long brown locks curve around her collar bone.
Her eyes smolder and reflect all of my sins right back at me.
This girl is a god send, and she asking my name.
My confidence falters and Jimmy grabs the wheel before my voice can find me.
"This, my dear, is the man of your dreams."
I pull my voice out of the nest it's made in my throat.
"Mathias, and you?"
She smiled and looks down at her slender hands.
"Aethstetic. It's the only name you'll ever need to know."