Saturday, January 30, 2010

Each drifted in its own way

"Doc got out and strolled under a Byzantine archway and into the seedy vastness of the main gaming floor, dominated by a ruinous chandelier draped above the tables and cages and pits, disintegrating, ghostly, huge, and, if it had feelings, likely resentful — its lightbulbs long burned out and unreplaced, crystal lusters falling off unexpectedly into cowboy's hatbrims, people's drinks, and spinning roulette wheels, where they bounced with a hard-edged jingling through their own dramas of luck and loss. Everything in the room was lopsided one way or another. The ancient bearings on the roulette wheels made them spin erratically faster and slower. The classic three-reel slots, set long ago to payout percentages unknown south of Bonanza Road and perhaps to the world, had since each drifted in its own way, like small-town businessfolks, toward openhanded generosity or tightfisted meanness."

— Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice, 236