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After the boom

January 23, 2017

I arrived at the casino town expecting the ringing of slot machines, the heartbeat-blink of neon. But boards blocked the doors, cars sat abandoned in valet lanes, and, at one outdoor bar, glasses of beer had been left to go flat.

In the neighborhoods, windows in a few apartments glowed dimly, but no one walked the cracked sidewalks. Potholes pockmarked the roads. I passed a lawn overtaken by weeds, their seedy tops silhouetted against a peeling building.

I had been here before, during the boom. I remembered the clink of glasses, the sound of coins falling into trays.

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