It’s a displeasure crossing paths with certain kinds of ex-Metropolitans in Las Vegas. Not those who’ve self-exiled themselves to Nevada rather than Florida from the Bronx or Brooklyn after careers in the trades, lifelong housewives in tow, both of whom lovingly lament forsaking “their New York City,” yet on a dime can recite chapter and verse complaints about how the modern boroughs now resemble strange worlds populated by aliens.
That group has earned its loud plaid pants, white shoes and belts, as well as teased-to-giggling blue rinse coifs. The vast majority of them are to be revered. Their generation raised mine.
Pampered as we growing Boomers were, especially compared to parents who endured the Depression then won World War II, they also gave birth to the consumer society by indulging us their children. Nonetheless what gift can replace any nurturing parent? Continue reading Dreadful People
After a year of aimlessness, nearly two of mourning, and seething daily for three because of gross negligence and utter imbecility, the restoration of lucrative, less emotionally burdened life may have begun. Exam results bring on this optimism.
Between crazy events beyond my control and life’s inescapable occurrences, I left my hollowed out Quarropas, New York, home for Las Vegas. Nevada, not New Mexico. I don’t gamble, but I’ve always been willing to take a chance.
Whys and wherefores are threaded throughout Green Venom. Read them. They’re terrific.
About two months ago I finally shook off the lethargy weighing me and started aggressively pushing my resume. Naturally most positions which fit me never gave in to at least cursory responses. On those rare few that did and interviewed, the HR knob seemed intimidated that I possessed a work record longer than he or she had been alive.
The decline of American labor in a nutshell. Dumb young managers who settle for hiring inexperienced employees. What better example of the stupid leading the blind? Continue reading Reentry
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
Here’s a question that indelibly colors its speaker: “Where you at?”
Having lived in Metropolitan New York, I’ve doubtlessly heard it. Now relocated to Las Vegas the phrase echoes frequently. It insults my ears. It diminishes the level of regard the speaker will be held.
“Where you at?” sits among the worst of first impressions. Continue reading Bloody Mouth
Those Metropolitan Museum of Art bulletins are having an insidious effect. They remind of what’s been left behind. That’s why I’m already looking ahead to August 2015 for a return to New York.
Of course one upside regarding this move to Nevada is finally being able to enter contests whose grand prizes are all-expense paid trips to New York City. Before, sponsors never failed stuffing my inbox or mailbox with entries. For trips to New York City. Maybe if I lived in Buffalo or Plattsburgh the excursion offered might’ve been worthwhile.
Instead, had I entered and somehow won, travel would’ve consisted of catching a commuter train to Grand Central Terminal, then, depending on the hotel, taking a subway or cab there.
That sojourn wouldn’t have provoked any bug-eyed, screaming gratitude. That just would’ve been another weekend downtown.
Strangely enough now that I live in Las Vegas, I’m receiving pitches whose big prizes are Vegas vacations. Like I said, strange. Continue reading New Start at New Address
“There but for the grace of God go I.”
Who hasn’t at least heard John Bradford’s phrase? Usually uttered by some drip who believes he or she avoided catastrophe by the skin of his or her teeth, but actually missed misfortune by miles.
Now that I reside in Las Vegas, Bradford’s expression bears zero currency. Maybe when I lived back East one could’ve spoken or thought such in true, though heightened, honesty. There, fate at its most capricious could’ve convinced the devout that disembodied powers managed their destinies.
Here, personal calamities are manmade. Often after heedless headlong rushes. (Guess what topic I’ll occasionally bear down on through 2014.)
Decades ago during an particularly bereft of cheer Christmas season, a bunch of us congregated. In a bar. Oh, without a doubt.
Continue reading Another Camus Christmas
Before relocating to Las Vegas I considered resettling in Southern Arizona instead. An Arizona graduate, the university I proudly attended had been considered a gem in America’s higher learning crown. Now lorded over by a blithely unaware administration, alma mater is just overpriced and being overbuilt.
Hmm. Maybe this post should’ve been titled Leave-taking.
Only intuition kept me from reestablishing myself in Tucson. With rue let me state Homecoming 2013 proved my hunch and subsequent detour correct.
Continue reading Homecoming
With severe apologies to Andre Gide …
Does distance improve perception? Well, in my case perhaps 2400 miles have clarified a few escapades.
Relocated now to Las Vegas (too early to claim “settled”), several scenes and the actors upon those now far away New York stages stalk under brighter light. Those acts having concluded years ago, they can today be reckoned through lengthy contemplation.
Nothing has prepared me for the last two years. Disruption. Demise. Dislocation. Ready for such life occurrences as we swear, aren’t we forever caught out by these upheavals? Maneuver as best we can, coping is the best one can hope.
Continue reading The Amoralists – Part One
Ladies and gentlemen, the wages of sin are fairer than honest compensation. Years ago, such bombast might’ve been an exaggeration. Today, it’s not even laughable. In fact, such recognition deserves rueful acceptance.
Any following these posts know the writer has decamped across America; from Northeastern suburban splendor to the Mojave Desert. As chronicled, abject neglect beyond my control has transformed me into an involuntary economic refugee of sorts.
Imitating conquistador Hernando Cortez and his particular New World conquest, I’ve burned my boat. Truly, stranding myself was easier than Cortez’ and his band’s self-inflicted marooning.
Continue reading Burn the Boat/Marginal People