I’m sitting at the bar in my off-strip hotel – a Best Western dressed as the ‘Mardi Gras’ but hey, it was cheap. I didn’t know you could smoke indoors in Vegas. It’s a bizarre sight to my googling post-regulation eyes.
I can’t gamble because I don’t know how to. So I threw money away on the LCD slots. A few dollars.
On the way here I saw …
…A huge donkey pump drilling oil in a graveyard
…Towns with welcome signs bigger than they were
… How I’ve changed since the last long drive alone
And such unimaginable beauty in the dessert dollying by, which was unexpected because Vegas.com derided the drive as boring, scenically.
Abandoned. There’s a lot of these – you could see them as evidence of failure, or proof of someone’s dreams lived out. A story in every one.
I’m on my way, apparently.
Leading up to this: a series of quoted 10 Commandments on signs.
Guff. Aware. What does it mean?
I am happy when I am traveling.
This is not ugly.
- There’s a weird glow in the sky opposite the sunset that’s just as beautiful.
- Vegas. Aaah. LIGHTS. It’s hard to describe until you’ve driven in off the darkening desert into it.
Now this is sorta ugly… I fed all my $1 bills into it and won nothing. It happened so fast, I was amazed… haven’t gambled since I was 12, when I had to drag my parents away from the slots in a Sun City in Lesotho. They let kids wander around in the casino back then.
What I don’t want to become. This tiny little lady was drunk and crazy and feeding the machine, feeding the machine… she is about 60 and I swear everybody in here is chain smoking. I didn’t know you could still smoke indoors in the USA, but in Vegas, everything goes it seems. People bring their tiny dogs in too.
I feel so strongly for this Land after three years here. I realize I’ve become sorta American. And yet not quite. And when I’m home not quite there either. Perhaps I’m destined to really belong nowhere.
Having planned to simply stop and sleep in the cheapest place possible, I wound up having a couple of beers, throwing about $5 into the slots and ordering some food from the restaurant (which, like the hotel, is pretending to be something it’s not – the menu is clearly Chili’s). Anyhow, it’s bedtime soon. I can’t wait.