Was the summer heat so relentless in Southern Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert, as it is in a Las Vegas set amidst the Mojave? Just as likely. Possibly even more so. The Sonora sits at a lower altitude. Its desert classification aside, it’s also a less arid ecosystem than the Mojave.
Youth, accompanied by more involved living, frequent insobriety, and greater disregard of nuisances like heat and lack of sleep, probably registered those Arizona Augusts on some lower discomfort scale. The escapades immersed in then must’ve somewhat negated the arduous climate.
Almost five years living in Las Vegas and I’ve learned to evade a trap that snares too many willing natives and long-time residents. I’ve managed to look through the transients, deadbeats, and bums littering the street corners and raised medians. Continue reading Distressing Displacements
Met one of the world’s most remarkable men recently. And he wasn’t drinking a beer after performing some incredible feat.
Arturo. Pudgy, balding, brown eyes the depth of infinite sorrow sat on a face that struggled and failed rising past sadness. A great achievement did not distinguish him. Noble, though? Yes. What separated him from our mass of humanity? Arturo had been able to forgive his wife’s killer.
So much so he intended supporting her murderer’s parole bid before the board. Continue reading Worse Than Death
Know a discriminating cabdriver in Las Vegas. He prefers avoiding collecting passengers on the Strip. Let me qualify that. He prefers not collecting certain kinds of Strip passengers.
Daytime fares are fine. It’s who emerges at night which dissuades him. Continue reading Drunken Mistress
Three Augusts ago I resided at ease in suburban splendor. So much so I took several vacation days to visit Kewpie in Miami. She’d been laboring on film shoot. Warren joined us.
When she wasn’t eye-rolling on-set shenanigans or prima dona outbursts, we treacherous three gamboled along South Beach. Had I known my carefree days were short, I would’ve behaved way more carelessly.
Hmmm. Just might suggest that as my epitaph.
Two years ago, Quarropas, the old hometown, remained somewhat recognizable. That was if a long-time resident squinted. By this time last year, it was less splendiferous since every soul making that loaded word “home” a desirable refuge had died away.
August 2014 marks my first year in Las Vegas. Continue reading Shoulder to the Wheel
Both women must’ve been epiphanies. There are no mirages in Las Vegas unless one is homeless or high.
At the bank to pay bills and withdraw cash, two uncommon sights filled my view. Uncommon for Las Vegas.
These visions were tall, slender, dressed in pleasant near peasant summer wear. Billowy dresses. Sandals only remarkable for their utility rather than bizarre design. Shades. Long and free hair bounced along the smooth shoulders of each.
Amazing. No wild-style coif that defied convention. No tinted tresses which burned retinas. Nor any sour couture that assailed good taste.
Neither had disfigured herself through ink, piercing, nor had succumbed to the apparent Southern Nevada female extremes – hypertrophy or obesity. These were normal women, no? Femmes I might’ve lent cursory views before relocating to Las Vegas. Now, though, they became revelations.
Each was a plain beauty. And I was grateful. Continue reading Saturated Flesh
Ideally this post would flog Properly Stirred, the 2013 Slow Boat Media short-story compilation. The three interludes feature Paul Knox, a man who enjoyed his pleasures (okay, more than his fair share of pleasures), yielded to the demands of age and status, believed himself to have contentment, then got bushwhacked.
Better than a redo, Knox reverts throughout Properly Stirred. While not indulging in irresponsibility, he must no longer conform. Paul Knox has achieved an enviable state. He’s been released. And he returns to situations and conditions which had earlier occupied him to happy ends.
Continue reading Down Time
Isn’t today’s job search akin to escaping a pitch-black labyrinth? Landing new employment challenges during prosperity. Prospective hires and potential employers are now further separated by debasing technology and muddied qualifications.
The latter can be overcome. The former fairly requires a semanticist. You know, a specialist who renders the fat around bullshit down to its bones. Continue reading Am Facile. Will Travel.
Any opportunity to slag ungrateful former employers should be exploited. What follows is one such instance. Continue reading Vacant Copy Desk
Consider this a Green Venom addendum.
After nine months of unemployment I deserted the idled ranks in July. My formless time was not a vacation. Unemployment insurance neither made me lazy nor enriched me beyond my wildest dreams.
Like the millions with whom I shared the same boat, I owe the American Labor movement a giant deal of gratitude. Without organized labor’s steadfast agitation throughout prior decades, enduring unemployment would’ve been Capital A arduous.
By the way unemployment benefits, subsistence provisions really, are a safety net segment the GOP eagerly intends to shred. Insurance. It never matters. Until it suddenly does. Continue reading Off the Mat
Second half of 2011 I wrote numerous posts about my former employers, the Mugwumps. They were the biggest fools I ever met. It’s no stretch stating they embody the American Nightmare.
Not an American Nightmare, the horror. So unique, theirs make the rest recoil. These people aren’t Snopeses living down in Dog Patch, but an upper middle-class clan anchored in one of the tonier Gold Coast Connecticut enclaves.
Who didn’t expect better from them?
On the plus side, without the Mugwumps there never would’ve been a “Rex Merritt.” He’s their creation. Continue reading A Short History of Willful Failure