manny the gambler

his name was manny, he was mexican american. lives in mexico, works in altadena where he wipes an old mans ass.

a caregiver i picked up at LAX where it was dead all over LA so when the $41 ping came in asking if i wanted to haul him across town with an ETA of an hour i said hell yes.

not sure how he was an american citizen but he said he was one, not a super thick accent but it was there. fucked up teeth. laid back style. happy. comfortable. we immediately got to talking.

manny was making way more money than me. the old man paid him $300 a day to live in the house with him and his wife in a big house north of pasadena. no days off during the week, but every three months he was allowed to fly back down to mexico to see his wife and son, freddy.

freddy had just turned two.

after little bonuses, manny was paid $100k a year to do the things this man needed which was mostly to lift him out of bed, clean him, help him poop, feed him, and do some light housework for the old lady. the boss was an executive back in the day. plenty of money but got parkinsons in his late 50s and was quickly falling apart.

i hate to say it but it sounds like a boring job, manny.

it is. and its led me to gambling because i sit next to him as he mumbles and i study the horses.

oh at santa anita? (which is nearby)

everywhere. los alamitos, belmont park, i even bet on races in Japan.

what’s your system? i used to read a lot of Charles Bukowski who would drive from San Pedro to Santa Anita and he’d study the racing forms in the passenger seat as his wife drove.

i dont have a system, he said, i lose a lot. but i try to stick to betting on hot jockeys and trainers.

he then admitted he has a bit of a gambling problem where he’s lose $300-$500 a day on bad days, break even on good days and win on very good days.

it’s the app, he said, it lets me play all day, all night. i have to cut down in 2024.

when things turn sad only halfway through a trip, i try to redirect it to happier paths.

what was the best day of gambling you had in 2023?

manny perked up. i won $5,000 on a daily double. i put down $100 on a long shot and a favorite and it paid off.

what did you do with the money?

well im saving for a bar i want to build in mexico in my hometown. so i put $1,000 into that account and i bought some clothes and went to the strip club and fucked the hottest girl there.

wait what.

her name was selena.

was this in mexico or here?

in East LA amigo.

wait wait you can fuck the strippers here?

many laughed so hard he started hiccuping. yes amigo!

how much do you have to pay?

$500, $600. she takes you to a little room. theres no bed, no couch. its just a little platform with some cushions. but its enough privacy and safety that you can do what you want to do. and i did everything.


everything, ass, mouth, i ate her out. it was exelente.

i paused and said, manny, am i a germaphobe? am i a prude? i dont think id go down on a stripper. ive kissed a stripper once in vegas because she had this tongue piercing and i kept staring at it and she said buy me a glass of champagne and you can kiss it. so i did.

same thing, my friend. these girls are no dirtier than the ones you’re already kissing. i ate her out good and id do it again.

so what kind of bar are you saving up for?

a strip club.

are there no strip clubs in your hometown in mexico?

yes, but they’re all crowded. we could use another one.

and your wife would be ok with this dream of yours?

she knows who i am. just last night i was fucking her and my son was on one side of her and i was behind her but i didnt care. she knows im wild. i am wild. but she likes the money i make here and she likes the house i built for her from money from that old man. and she knows this bar will be what gets us a bigger house.

but you just built one!

si, but to be honest tony we learned a lot building that house and i will never start from scratch again. the next one will be a house thats already built and i will just add little things to it and rent out the house my wife and son are in now.

we were going to the mall next to the race track. manny was hungry.

where do you want me to drop you off?

the cheesecake factory.

but of course.