Saturday, January 12, 2008

Maisy and I visit the Mohegan Sun

This year Maisy asked for a couple of chauffeured trips to the Mohegan Sun instead of a Christmas present. ( Chauffeured by me, I mean.) She can't drive that far anymore but loves to go for a half a day. It's something she wouldn't otherwise get to do. Since I am without pressing appointments at the moment, I agreed.

Yesterday we went off into a grey, low-light sort of morning. There were spots on Route 16 and Route 2 where low clouds, fog-over-swamp and water reflecting the winter sky all blended into one shade of white. Stands of dead and limb-less trees poked though erie white air. Despite the surreal scenery, it's a long haul, but we pulled into the garage around 11 a.m.

It's peculiar to me to visit a casino. I am not a money gambler, and am simply not wired for this particular thrill. In all my life, I have only played the slots once or twice for five minutes. Once, I tried keno and won ten bucks. Even the win seemed, well, uninteresting. So for me, a visit to a casino means people-watching, reading or scribbling down a poem or a sketch.

After we arrived Maisy got settled in the penny parlor, leaned her cane up against the machine, took off her glasses, put her gratuity card in the slot and started pressing buttons like mad. I took off on two laps around the circular building. The crowd was still light for the start of a weekend, and floor seemed thick with attendants.

One thing at the Sun, there are mechanical wolves, high up, looking down at you. Their heads move around and sometimes seem to follow you as you walk. Sometimes one will wag its tale as you approach, flex its ears, and seems to follow your progress down an isle. I figure there must be cameras in the eyes. I swore one was watching me as a sat cross-legged on a bench for half an hour watching the flocks of passers-by.

After a while, we had lunch, just sandwiches at the food court, then Maisy headed for the quarter machines to get serious. I went to the Birches, ordered an after lunch Amaretto and orange juice at the bar. I sat in a cushy chair by the walkway to read my new Harper's. I think I heard thunder several times that afternoon, though it was hard to tell over the hysterical beep and jingle of hundreds of slot machines.

I had checked on her several times, made two final laps around the casino, and she was finally ready to roll. Around 3 p.m. we left under a bleak sky and promptly missed the entrance from 395 to onto Rt. 2. We shot way north in the wrong direction without realizing it, then had to back track in the rain. Finally on 16 we drove out from under the clouds into a brighter, reddish sunset.

Merry Christmas Maisy