For the first time in my five years here in Nevada, the Yuletide has had a joyous feel. Not that the locals have brightened up the Mojave with glitter and approaches which correspond to the merriment derived from the period’s significance. After all, it remains bizarre seeing Christmas lights decorating palm trees. Continue reading The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Old Paint was wheezing harder than usual. After all the part swapping, repairs, and just general babying of that car, what finally forced my hand was a check engine light. Sure. It could’ve been a fouled sensor. Or maybe it might’ve been the first sign of the head gasket preparing to crack.
In any case, I read the yellow dashboard light as a clear warning from the gearhead gods. It became the straw which broke my camel’s back. Continue reading Old Paint Was a Lemon
Part of the job requires faking civility to visitors determined to be the biggest assholes as possible. It can’t be helped. It’s in their nature. Continue reading Schmendrick
Five years ago this week, I started the process which sped me to Las Vegas. Mine wasn’t a calculated move but one performed more through necessity. Instinctively I knew it time to leave New York because other than inertia were there any reasons to stay?
In 2013, the Quarropas I’d known, had spent my lifetime, the locale which had created me, had vanished completely. Or as I could glibly tell any Nevadans who asked, “Whatever I miss was already gone before I left.” Continue reading Dislocation or Resettlement?
This is how perception has re-formed amid the Mojave and the Southern Nevada mountains – bands like the Eagles and the Pure Prairie League sound more appropriate here than they ever did down in Arizona’s Sonora Desert and certainly back East in New York. Those guitars and keening voices cut through the Mojave’s harshness.
Although the poignancy of the bands’ ballads further emphasize the region’s emptiness, each offers relief to the barren horizon and the few figures populating it. Hmmm. Figure that out.
People often ask whether I miss New York, and if so what do I particularly miss. My pat reply is usually, “Whatever I miss was already gone before I left.”
Until recently that response sufficed because it was the only truth. Continue reading Saloons Instead of Salons
Of the three, shouldn’t Zygyac have been the most reprehensible? After all, dusted as he claimed to have been, he’d sliced and diced his lover, a la Sid Vicious upon Nancy Spurgeon.
An Iron Curtain émigré, Zygyac had always emitted an off-kilter vibe since his family’s arrival in Quarropas. Yet no one ever could’ve foreseen the doughy, pasty-faced boy growing into a hulking and heaving beast who behaved in such a mindless manner. Other felonies? Yes. Murder? No.
Alibi, though? Projecting him as a murderer, that image didn’t tax imagination. Who knew? Maybe he had. Intimidate as he did those under his thumb, knowledge of bodies rendered inconvenient might remain uncirculated despite his current incapacities.
No, Moret was the worst of this rogues gallery. His, unlike Zygyac’s and Alibi’s transgressions, have been worsened by discovery, time, and scope.
Sure. Zygyac took a life, while Alibi committed depravity. Nonetheless the law dealt with the former and karma, if it truly exists, laid the latter as low as possible.
All things told, though, that pair left small numbers of victims in their wakes. Even now, who knows how many people suffered through Moret? While women predominated, at least one man served as collateral fodder.
Betsy among the wounded, first and foremost. The ripples emanating from her are exponential and generationally tragic. Have there been others like Betsy? Certainly there were numerous unknown girls Moret shoved into premature womanhood. Continue reading Betsy
Now and then news from Quarropas, once my New York home, wends its way West and gives me pause to consider the arc of our world. Is it by design? Are there patterns in its seeming randomness? One beyond the ken of us simple mortals?
Two years ago, the notable event among locals which received widespread coverage was Eddie having stabbed Mike to death then in, oh, let’s say, remorse, or recognition of his heinous act, Eddie blowing himself up. As much as nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, who the hell could’ve foreseen real-life ending Grand-Guignol playing out in sleepy Quarropas?
This latest incident is bloodless, though pleasantly mortifying. Continue reading Girl Clash
A vintage sportswear retailer issued a baseball catalogue a short time ago. Its cover featured a forlorn boy amid the ruins of what had been the quirky splendor of Ebbets Field, one-time home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. They had abandoned the ballpark and borough for Los Angeles. Their old address was being razed for low-income housing.
The dejected boy toted a bat and glove. By his demeanor both destruction and departure confused him. Doubtlessly he had been a true-blue Dodgers fan.
Can’t imagine such devotion today. Sports franchises routinely extort municipalities for taxpayer funded improvements and fresh facilities. Free agency has broken once solid binds between players and fans.
Even our old baseball cathedrals are no longer sacrosanct.
There should’ve been an outcry and defense for old Yankee Stadium similar to that which spared Grand Central Terminal sharing the fate of McKim and White’s Penn Station. Instead, wrecking balls demolished the House That Ruth Built. And while the team simply moved across 161st Street, the old edifice’s aura remained put. Monumental as the new structure is, the Yankees’ glorious continuity is broken.
Ghosts do not travel. Not even in the Bronx. Continue reading Who Was Oisk?
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
Forsaking the East required me to pare possessions. Fortunately or unfortunately, I lack a lot of sentimental feeling so few precious heirlooms weighted my way West. Instead, I brought along plenty of memories. All of which bear greater substance than most of the dustcatchers dispersed or abandoned in Quarropas.
One item borne along means absolutely nothing to me. It had been father’s. Looking at it now foments all sorts of questions because having observed him the thing is inconsistent with who he was. Or at least the man he presented. Continue reading The Idol