A Novel By Laurence Leiber
The disbelief was real. You always imagine it, talk about it. What someone would do if they win the lottery are stories told by family, friends, and bar rooms around around the world. Everyone has the idea of what they would do; buy a new car, a house for their mother, or some other materialistic immediate gain. When I hit that jackpot, I wondered if I would hold true to my claims.
After everything settled down, I had over $320 million coming my way. Truly life changing money. I had already hired a lawyer, an accountant and a financial advisor to assist with my new life. For privacy, a change of phone number and abandoning all other forms of communication for a while was necessary.
After fine tuning all the details, I was flabbergasted at the figure displayed on my bank statement. I looked at the screen for hours. The fantasy so real, obvious.
I always wanted to pull off an exotic car purchase like DMX pulled off in Exit Wounds. For those not familiar with the work of the great Steven Segal, (and shame on you if you’re not), DMX rolls in to buy a Lamborghini Diablo. Challenging the perception that a black man wouldn’t be able to buy such a car, he tosses a bag full of cash to the ‘cooler’ of the salesmen not willing to allow race to influence his car selling acumen and says “keep the change.” Bad ass I tell ya.
So, there I was rolling down the street in my Maserati. I always wanted a Quattroporte, a sedan that drove like a Ferrari, since I read in the NY times it was the one car a reviewer didn’t want to return.
It was cool, and only a bit over 100k. As I pulled out, I already knew I’d have hella nicer cars than this soon enough.
I did take care of my family. Mother, Father, brothers and sisters would never have to worry about money the rest of their life. In theory of course. Sometimes too much is never enough.
I walked up to the huge house, a four-level monstrosity over two plots on the cusp of the Colorado front range. Not for sale is a dumb term. There’s a price on everything and a week later I was moving in.
My wife was already shopping for homes on the Oregon coast and I had my eye on the Hawaiian Islands. We were transitioning into our new life as mega millionaires.
I told no one we won the lottery but when you roll up to your weekly softball game in a Maserati instead of your high mileage Volvo and buying the bar rounds after the games, people start asking questions. The “Good investment” argument can only go so far.
I had to organize a Vegas trip, of course. Spouses or lovers invited, no kids. Charter planes. One for my wife and I, another for the rest. The Bellagio set up an entire floor for us to enjoy. Funny what a couple million committed to gamble will do for you.
No, I’m not going to blow this shit frivolously. I have a plan.
It ended up being about 20 of us. The plane had a full bar with plenty of recreational drugs to fuel a rock bands full tour. Our plane also held my new handler, Agent PM20. An old friend, who better to handle my whims than him?
There was much on the plate for the handler. My days of opening doors was behind me. I needed someone who would open doors for me. Literally, not figuratively, open doors. Preferably someone cute to look at, but whatever. Just make sure the door is open.
My days of bathing myself are also in the rearview mirror. Having multiple arm injuries over the years, I discovered the value in being bathed. Not a sexual thing at all. Like a nice massage, some things add value in life.
Like I said, I have a plan. I invested half the bundle into an income strategy 10 years out. I’ll be fine.
I’m also going to have to have an entourage. Like the show. But at arm’s length. They will drive me around and lose to me in video games. Be my hype man. Be the handler’s staff. Probably open my doors, that would make good business sense.
I used a portion that’s left on the family. They good. We had a bit over 100 million left.
The Bellagio rolled out the red carpet. Rightfully so. I was spending a lot of money for this weekend. 20k in chips were sitting on each bed, along with a care package tailored for each room. I wanted everyone to remember this shit.
I had a hooker room. Not something for me, but you know if any of the guys, or the girls, wanted to partake the option was there. I don’t judge. Plus money brings power and that brings libido….you never know what i might get into. There’s only so many years left on this planet, and with the money, i might get real weird with this shit.
The hotel offered to send a limo caravan for us all, but I had them send a limo for my wife and I and Agent PM20, a shuttle for the rest of them. We ate sushi that night, overlooking the fountains. Their Korean octopus is to die for, and I say that knowing what a douchebag phrase it is. But it was that good.
We gambled. The ladies shopped, some golfed. The men golfed and hit the race track and took laps in Ferraris. Some enjoyed their time poolside, others at the tables. Helicopters to the Grand Canyon were available. Dinner that second night was a Brazilian Steakhouse. You know, as much meat as you can consume. Not really a vegetarian’s delight, but I’ve always felt restricting your diet is your problem. I was sure they had salad and that shit is gluten free, so one door closed another opened right?
My wife and I took ecstasy and went to the Price is Right show at Bally’s, gambled some with dealers wearing lingerie. Scantily clad ladies are always a nice bonus when you make money. A bonus when you lose too, but we won that night. She was tired, but I was in a mood and met some at the strip club. Didn’t stay long, I may be a millionaire, but I know a terrible investment when I see one.
That said, we found some high-class poker games with scantily clad women in a lounge area. Money opens doors, and so does my door opener. Cards didn’t run my way and I found out you lose a lot more when you have more money to lose.
Other parties presented themselves, it was near dawn when I passed out.
I had rented one of the restaurants for our lunch. A time intended to cap the weekend off, share the stories of the weekend party all on my tab. Estimates for just under $2 million spent, but who can put a price tag on a great story?
After lunch was served, I stood up, joined my wife on the top of some steps in the restaurant, tapping a glass, the universal toast sign. Everyone settled, expecting yet another riveting speech from a great orator. I would not fail their confidence.
“I hope you all had a great time this weekend.” I started. “It was great we all have the opportunity to come together and have fun the way we did. Give it up to Burning Spear for the private show Friday night right? Killer show huh?”
The room had an air of the day after party gone wrong. We had even lost one. Hadn’t been seen since yesterday, but the rest that were there had that dead look of absolute exhaustion. Fact was, we weren’t that young, and the weekend tested our capacity for debauchery.
“You like that surf and turf?” I asked Mark, seeing him stuff a last bit of lobster. Never ask the guy what he wanted for dinner, it was always surf and turf.
“Good shit.” He acknowledged while wiping the butter from his mouth.
“I’m glad you like it. Look, we all had a great time. Some you certainly enjoyed Cheetahs a bit too much the other night. Am I right Jeff?!?” That comment drew a lot of laughs from the guys, who were there when someone got a little bit out of control.
Turns out Jeff hit it big on the craps table, putting a ridiculous amount, not his money he said, on the hard 12 and hitting it at 30-1. Then he ended up at a strip club with cash hanging out of his pockets. Anyone who knows the man knows that’s a recipe for a good time gone wrong.
“I don’t know what the fuck happened to Jesse,” I continued, “anyone see him since Saturday?”
A bunch of heads shook. Who could keep track of a person incapable of control when they themselves were out of control?
“I hope you guys enjoyed the plane trip down here. Never been in a gulfstream myself, but that was a good time. I have another one waiting on the tarmac as we speak. I hope you all enjoyed the $20,000 in chips I left in your room. Anyone have anything left?”
A quick scan of the room was met with mostly nods of yes, a couple of nos. Some held up a stack of cash to show they had done well.
“And dining, entertainment, I hope you all enjoyed it?”
Again, smiles and nods. A couple of claps, a few “thanks.”
“Thanks for the Bellagio to take care of us. Thanks to Fatburger for honoring Ice Cube by delivering at 2am last night, right? That hit the spot.”
I looked around the room, I wondered if I would miss them. If anyone would come up and rival my new Brad Wesley lifestyle. If you don’t know the glory of Brad Wesley in Roadhouse, then you haven’t lived properly. It was time for the main event, something they would always remember me by.
“Alright then,” I paused, “hope you all had a great time on my tab, cause this is all you’ll ever get from me. A weekend and a story.” I raised my middle finger to them, “and you guys can all go fuck yourselves. You have tickets waiting for you at the bus station.”
The silent shock in the room was quite satisfying. “But for now, my wife and I shall bid you adieu. We have money to spend.”
We had over 110 million sitting in cash. Everything else taken care of, we had planned to spend it all. How long would it take? Agent PM20 was already on top of things as I didn’t even have to open the door on my way out. A limo was waiting out front, which took us all to the waiting gulfstream, destination tbd.