Into the Vegas Void
I’m flying to Las Vegas for work and I can’t wait to be on my way home. I don’t feel very warm about Sin City these days — haven’t felt warm about it since I was newly legal to drink. But yes, memories of driving out to the desert city with no money, staying up all night with nowhere to sleep and riding the heater home before sleeping it off for a week still make me smile. But 2002 was a long time ago and I’m pretty sure that Las Vegas represents most things that make me uncomfortable: bachelor parties, lines, corporate everything, trade show badges, magicians and endless streams of strangers bumping and prodding each other on their way to big winnings and the free buffet. And these bachelor parties! What’s with dudes coming to Vegas for bachelor parties?
My disillusionment with Vegas aside: I am intrigued by the people who choose to go…like for fun. And as I look around the plane, it is no surprise to see who it is riding this tin jet headed to the cultural void of the world.
There’s a skinny 20 something hipster kid with faded blue hair and a “Zelda” hat on backwards — he was definitely not alive when that Nintendo game came out. I think he is a DJ. Or, better yet, I think he thinks he looks like a DJ (and could probably DJ) and would consider my observation of him maybe being a DJ a win.
There’s the four pack of balding 50-something-year-old men wearing navy blue blazers and penny loafers, carrrying small two-day leather carry-on bags, all seemingly on a business trip, but there is a smirk of creepy smeared across their faces that I won’t soon forget.
There’s a young family of three, the parents laughing and loving their 2 or 3-year-old boy. They seem sweet, but why would you go to Vegas in 110 degree heat with a toddler and a pregnant belly? Casinos are not the best nursery.
Oh, and like clockwork, because it’s Friday, and just in time for the weekend is the young-ish woman in a pink Juicy jumpsuit, face caked thick with makeup and provocative movements making the commute to work. She was the last one on the plane. She made sure of it.
Where are they going? What do they do there? Oh yes, I remember now:
Bottle service, spiked slushy machines, 24-hour pancakes, “put it all on black,” dinner at Emeril’s, innertube donuts around bodies like hula hoops, maybe take in some David Copperfield…Oh the possibilities!
Me, I’m gonna finish my work, hide in my hotel room watching HBO, and be excited that I get to leave back to the Pacific tomorrow.
Ah, fuck it. Who am I kidding? I’m gonna rage shoulder to shoulder with these freaks. Somebody order me one of those blue drinks in the yard-long cup and put in an order of flapjacks! I’ll pick em up around 3 a.m. —Adam Warren