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Luis' Testimonial

On any given day, in any given month, I wake up at half past seven in the morning, tired, in a bad mood, fed up with everything, with work, with people, with life, totally bitter. Because yesterday I went to bed late again, at four o’clock in the morning, after gambling my last penny.

At what point did I decide that this was the case?

At half past six in the evening, I just got my salary, tomorrow I have to pay the apartment, 450.00 euros, I have to deposit money in the bank to pay the bills and I have to deposit 850.00 euros more to pay for the big blunder of my life. What if I go gambling? Maybe my luck will change today, at least if I manage to win 300,00.- euros, with that money I can invite my wife for dinner on the weekend. What do I do? I have time …. I would arrive in Vigo at seven o’clock in the evening and until half past eight in the evening I have enough time to get it.

I arrive in Vigo, I park the car, it’s half past seven, I go into the game room, I choose the place where I’m going to sit and I ask to change 100.00 euros and I start to play and at that moment I forget everything, the time it is, the time that passes, my wife, the bank, the rent, everything that happens around me. It’s ten o’clock at night, I’ve already spent more than half my salary, the phone rings and it’s my wife, I let it ring and finish the game.

I get up and go out to call her, I tell her that I am at work, that I still have an hour and to wait for dinner, I go back to the table and in half an hour I recover what I have lost up to that moment, I start from zero I tell myself, ten minutes ago I send a message to Maria (my wife) telling her to go to bed, that I was still at work, I have 200,00.- euros left, I change them and I play them. After another half hour I have 400,00 euros and the salon tells me that they are closed and that if I want they will save the place for tomorrow, I say yes, I play the last coins changed and I leave. I get in the car and start doing the math.

I am tired, cold, intemperate, I think of Maria, of what I have spent, of what I have to pay, of the excuses and lies I have to tell and finally I think if there is any place open in Vigo where I can try to recover at least what I have spent. I go into a bingo and find another roulette table and I sit down, ask for a change and start again, more like continue. Time goes by, it is three o’clock in the morning and they are about to close, I have 5.00 euros and two cigars left, I gamble the 5.00 euros with the excuse of having enough for a coffee and cigarettes in the morning and I lose them. I take the car and go back home, and I keep thinking about how late it is, how bad I feel, what a bad person I am, I’m not sleepy, not cold anymore, I don’t feel anything, just emptiness around me and in myself. Now I am thinking about trying to get another 100,00.- or 200,00.- euros more and try again tomorrow to change my luck. It’s four o’clock in the morning, I enter the house without making noise, I look in Marta’s purse for the bank card to try again. I go to bed and fall asleep thinking…tomorrow everything will change, tomorrow I will win for sure. End? Yes, END.

---- Luis