Inside the lounge of a swank Las Vegas hotel sits a couple. Pier Paolo and Virna, both are on first glance unremarkable. Not invisible or undeserving of attention, but so absolutely placid neither grabs the eye instantly.
How unlike so many visitors to Vice City. And these are visitors.
The place, time of evening, marks them as out-of-towners. Rendering them conspicuous is their comportment. Neither revels. In fact ennui almost squeezes their compact table.
Night has deepened. Clubbing glad rags nor any increasingly acceptable casual into slovenly styles mar them. Although casually attired, their garment labels are high-end. These they wear with elegance equal to their bearing.
Observers could assume Pier Paolo and Virna a married couple. Around each other they exhibit almost a certain lassitude, an indifference, towards one another. Isn’t that common of long-settled pairs? Besides, wedding rings encircle the proper fingers.
It’s hard to determine who looks the most bored. Perhaps they are distracted or seek distraction. Continue reading Annual Discretion
Not only does Las Vegas facilitate transience, the city also encourages wading into life’s wild sides. Some visitors plunge in yet escape unscathed. A few who get in over their heads drown.
The adventurous, the curious, those thwarted elsewhere visit Vice City to conduct themselves in manners frowned upon at home. Here, they escape prying eyes and those judgmental acquaintances who squint through them. Since the city caters to inhibitions like few others, visitors can indulge among the similarly-minded and not fret about earning much, if any, opprobrium.
After all, everybody being immersed in some hip-deep misbehavior by choice should limit hypocrisy. Continue reading Black Tail
Stumbled upon the most cynically affirming tableau just before Christmas. Coming home from work, about a block from my address, four Scripture screamers had clogged a corner of a major Las Vegas intersection. Continue reading Neither Merry nor Bright
What sort of pleasure does one derive from sex with a seven-month pregnant prostitute? Until moving to Las Vegas that thought never would’ve obsessed me.
No need to enter the gooey particulars. Let it suffice that both parties fulfilled their ends of the contract. A pact which has been extended up until her due date.
Kink aside, a matter of decorum needed maintaining. The client hosts these exchanges.
He resides in one of the many money parts of Transient City. His is an address where one should wonder whether the high walls surrounding the properties are meant to exclude intruders or contain acts outsiders may judge as unsavory. Continue reading Vegas Arrhythmia
What am I thankful for? Two years residing here in Transient City and some personal circumstances have improved.
When I settled in Las Vegas the housing market had bottomed out. The city sat poised for a rebound. Fortunately, I bought just before the spring sprung.
My address sits on the fringe of downtown. Unlike the Strip’s clamor, bustle, and crowds, to a lesser extent Downtown as well, this neighborhood, much of Vegas is quiet. Regard these environs as an expanded Mayberry.
I slipped the Mayberry reference onto a young woman with whom I’d been chatting and it zoomed over her pretty, vacant head. Doesn’t it just spoil the shorthand reference when relevance must be explained? Like who Mel Tormé was and his meaning to this city and the American songbook? That’s always somewhat disheartening. Younger audiences only know of Tony Bennett from his duets with Lady Gaga.
As my conversant blithely answered, “It must be a generational thing.” Continue reading The Flotsam Society
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
The first two weekends of September were prime times to observe a Las Vegas peculiarity.
During workweeks the city hosts conventions which attract the expense account crowd. There will be other visitors as well, of course, however business people predominate.
Weekends, though, the focus shifts away from serious travelers. Las Vegas becomes the purview and playground of “Vegas for Vegas!” types. Young coastal Californians account for the greatest portion of these hordes.
No doubt the overwhelming majority of these youthful adults comport themselves inconspicuously. But this isn’t about them. This is about the oblivious boobs and braying cheapskates jamming Las Vegas Boulevard when they’re not cutting the fool inside the thoroughfare’s establishments.
I don’t know what service personnel and hoteliers call them, but I see them as chumps and busters. Continue reading Chumps & Busters
What visitor doesn’t arrive in Las Vegas believing its “What happens here, stays here!”© slogan? O.J. Simpson did. Where’s he now?
Those weighty limiting inhibitions out-of-towners have dragged along from Boise, Iowa City or Little Rock get stored at McCarran International upon arrival and are barely, or in some cases gratefully, retrieved just in time for the return trip to real life.
In between seeing slot machines and liquor stores at the airport, and later regretting busting the holiday budget at casino table games while developing monstrous hangovers through overpriced Strip drinks, the sober comportment which defined them at home dissolves. That probity probably winds up somewhere in the Mojave.
Likely in one of those San Berdoo meth oases across the border in California. Continue reading Niggling and Nettlesome
Las Vegas may be the last true union town in America. Not a great union town, though perhaps one of the last. The locals are too polite. Forget about breaking any heads or a persuasive fire bomb smashing through a window. Hell, it would be tough here to find any natives who’d roll a car.
Chicago, Detroit or Cleveland Las Vegas isn’t. Continue reading Neither Shaken nor Stirred
After exhausting themselves through Strip shenanigans, many visitors swear they could never live in Las Vegas. They imagine the rest of the city, if it possible for them to grasp precincts beyond the neon, noise, and lures, just as draining.
Worse yet, a good number of these mildest of mild hedonists also must compare the narrow band of Las Vegas Boulevard to the enormity of New York City. Sigh! Never fails. This always from revelers who desire someday but have yet to set foot in civilization. Continue reading A Poor Devil’s Pang