Which is tougher? The anticipation of arrival in Tucson? Or the melancholy brought on when leaving that Southern Arizona city? Continue reading People Will Talk
No Nevada buddies, no Las Vegas place to call a hangout should such even exist. Life’s dispersal has reduced the number of friends and associates remaining in Tucson, a k a the Desert Margaritaville. This same mortality has also shuttered many of the premises where we caroused while attending Arizona and afterwards.
One of those few elbow-benders which matured with us shares a Las Vegas connection.
During the days and nights of Sin City’s glorious mob rule, the proprietor of a vital, well-known Tucson establishment often gambled away fiendishly in Las Vegas. Away from the tables he proved himself a successful businessman. He headed franchises his family owned throughout the Southwest.
Who remembers what game of chance had buried him? The boys would’ve taken his marker. Doubtlessly both parties would’ve worked out a repayment plan to the outfit’s onerous advantage. However, the businessman defied the inexorability of his losing streak. Convinced the next hand, the next roll held the start of regained fortune he finally put up his enterprise as collateral and continued playing … only to lose everything. Continue reading Inside the Assisted Drinking Facility
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?
Certainly we’ll all notice Islam has frightened a good portion of Anglo-America. Until the attacks most of those now afraid couldn’t have named a Muslim outside of Muhammad Ali. Today the quivering and trembling can list chapter and verse every depredation Islam has prepared for the Christian West.
Especially the ones which only exist in the most fevered imaginations.
By the way, after the attacks one of the reasons presented for the date chosen was an in your face gesture to the nation’s emergency service responses. Who does 911 call on 9/11?
Islamists are nowhere near as witty. Instead, the date commemorates an important battle between Christianity and Islam. A conflagration more vital than the Crusades and the Reconquista combined. One persevered faith. The other was thwarted for all time. Continue reading Meet the Strangers
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
Thanksgiving is the perfect American holiday. It involves no organized religion and doesn’t commemorate any national event. Pretty much a civil feast day, Thanksgiving allows Americans to enjoy our one singular unifying trait – mindless gorging.
Strange how diet gurus quit hibernating and emerge en masse to inform and warn Americans about the perils of overeating on this single day. Really. Setting aside one day of the year for sanctioned mouth-stuffing won’t lard on that much tonnage, will it? A month? Yeah. One day? Please. Continue reading Less Thanks
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
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
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.
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.