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The Asexual journal is an independent platform publishing work by asexual, aromantic, and agender authors.

Blackjack

Blackjack

"Is your mom a stripper?"

"Is your dad a dealer?"

"Do you live in a casino?"

"Is there fruit in Las Vegas?"

"Do you go clubbing every night?"

"I bet you know how to show me a good time."

 

If by a good time you mean

sitting in your bed

with calculus textbooks

and all 987 pages of Tom Jones in

bible thin paper

then sure

 

My mom isn't a stripper

but she used to be a blackjack dealer

            my parent’s meet-cute was in the casino

they both worked at

 

I don't live in a casino

            but my debate partner's uncle

            owns all the Station Casinos

            And I had my proms

            in ballroom suites

 

Is there fruit in Las Vegas?

            Are you a dumbass?

 

I don't go clubbing every night

            I barely leave my house

 

And yes people live here

            there is more to this city

            than just the strip

            you saw in the Hangover

 

Living in Vegas

Is constantly trying to prove to people

there is more beauty beyond the strip

There is a fire breathing praying mantis metal sculpture down town

we have our own philharmonic orchestra

there are soup factories that make your nose burn

mountain ranges that graze against coral brandished skies

 

Living in Las Vegas

is constantly cursing the palm trees

that lie about this town being a tropical paradise

 

Living in Las Vegas

Is treasuring the few stars I can see on my balcony

Orion's belt is home to me

when nights are 30 degrees colder than the day

I shiver while I wait out loud nights

 

Living in Las Vegas

is wrought with confusion

Because the only ace up my sleeve

was me

the only counting I did

was not of cards

but of conversations

where I was called

a prude

innocent

It's being confused why

people want to “hook up” so badly

It's having my bra size questioned

in front of guys I did not know

by girls who laughed when I balked

It's having my ass slapped

by nerds rope

It's people's shock

when I say I wouldn't kiss a hot stranger

that I don't know what hot means

Other than the 100 degree weather

But I guess that’s not what they meant

It's being desensitized

to nearly naked girls on billboards

not understanding why there was one for a golf course

It's not understanding

why my friends were hanging on me

why my friends weren't nervous

sitting on each others’ laps

and kissing each other on the cheek

but calling each other "gal pals"

It’s having friends

who could understand liking

boys or girls or anything in between

but liking no one

made no sense

so I pretended I had crushes

that were meant to be crushed

I did not have language to describe my absence

so I folded my hand

gave in

pretended I was just innocent

so I wouldn't have to deal with rumors

got called a dyke once that was enough for me

I learned to play everyone else’s games

but was hurt

to find that there was a bet on my sexuality

because I didn’t have a boyfriend at the age of 15

and it hurts because they were right

for the wrong reasons

they were all right

for the wrong reasons

when I thought everyone was right

that I just needed the "right person"

I clung to the feeling

for too long

I think

because I wanted

to be normal

 

Living in Las Vegas

Isn't just trying to say your city is defined by more

than sex

It's saying you can be

I don't know how to get you laid

but I do know

how to read books in Sam's Club and save the book number in your phone

the only gambles I make are the ones I take with my food

because I'm allergic to half of them

I can show you the ironies hidden in streets

we have wedding chapels across from divorce courts

our street names

are the things we have

the things we wish we had

what we regret having

namely

mountains

water

western colonialism respectively

I am not the person who can show you strip clubs

but I can show you the handful of stars in the sky

take you to a parking garage

then show you the sea of stars that is my home

Seven of Wands

Seven of Wands

Finding Identity

Finding Identity