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
Before gray hair conferred wisdom …
The path Beryl and Trevor shared was tricky. No, twisty.
Perhaps had he been upfront with her at some point about his dalliance with Lesley the pair’s course of events might’ve progressed clearer and simpler. This likely concluded with him curbside and Beryl going her own way. Instead, what the sophomores shared in March 1979, what they concealed from another, lingered improperly resolved over miles and decades.
Long before hindsight, Trevor decided fate, love, and trust had coincided to his advantage. Rather, Beryl hadn’t used his sidestepping to discomfort or expose him … had she? As he could only see what he presumed then, Beryl’s, um, gesture, as magnanimous as Trevor had ever witnessed in his young life, proved the extent of her affection. Or was it the most elaborate, selfless snare ever? Continue reading Strange Mercy
Night improves Las Vegas.
Hot neon, sharp jumbo LEDs, and happy drunks loudly snaking along sidewalks and across the Strip present running tableaux of infectious merriment. This is a much preferable image to what morning reveals. Despite rosy fingers of dawn heralding the day, sunrise skies above the Strip are iron gray.
The vault above matches the streets below.
Crowds have vanished. Traffic has evaporated. Evening’s dazzling illuminations have faded into visual irritants.
Derelicts who’ve been shooed to Las Vegas’ darkest peripheries return to beg, maunder or impose their schizoid existences on daytime visitors strolling Las Vegas Boulevard. After the previous night’s glad-rag promenade and procession of gaiety, hollow-eyed, matted haired, filth encrusted, flesh and blood specters are the gaudy way’s jarring contrast.
During this transition from night into day, a less acknowledged though certainly more alluring segment of the Las Vegas mosaic begins crossing other thresholds. Continue reading Refined Painted Ladies