Steam collected in beads and slid down the glass shower door. Coffee lit the air. Shoes got tied. The day began.
Breno and Cauê were two of twenty-something male, nondescript and sober to start this one. They met out. September was getting hot.
Interlocking hands. “Vamos fazê-lo.”
They drove a borrowed, worn out Volkswagen for an illegal casino in a small favela down Rio way, stopping only to dip in a Guandu pool and drink Breno’s grammy’s rum out of a cloudy flower vase.
At the waterside they reviewed.
“Pode apostar a mil. Você ganha, nós dividimos. Você perde, eu aposto a mil. Eu ganhar, eu te pagar a mil.”
They arrived in the afternoon. The place was four leaning lengths of fence loosely capped by scraps of corrugated iron. It was dark inside, but two streams of light split it up. Half of each was got by dust.
Cruzados weren’t worth what they used to be. Nobody could keep up with them.
Cauê put his last thousand down on a wheel – black.
“É sua vez.”
Then Breno, down for his last thousand – red.
They drove back in silence, pained.