In the very early hours of the following morning, Andy laid on his hotel bed, midsection carefully wrapped in bandages by the ER nurses, head swimming in painkillers. His friends sat around him, feeling guilty, amazed and in awe, asking questions, laughing at his nonchalant answers. Andy was the king of his world.
"All I know is that after all this, I better win big tonight!"
"Yeah, you better!" his friends agreed.
They all slept until the afternoon. Andy popped an extra pain pill, cleaned himself up as best he could with a wet washcloth, gingerly changed clothes, grabbed the rest of his cash and an expensive bottle of hotel water and headed downstairs for the free hotel drinks.
That night, at the same blackjack and 5-card stud tables, Andy turned five hundred dollars into ten grand.
It felt good. Really good. He regaled his friends again that night, into the darkest hours of the morning, and soon after the sun rose they made their way back to the Greyhound station.
On the way, they stopped by a 7-11. Andy said, "Grab whatever you want, it's on me!"
So they did.
And then they were headed back home. They filled their bellies with honey buns and Ho Hos and orange Fanta and slept better than any Greyhound passengers in history.