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2.09.2006

Las Vegas [1] : Sex and the City

«cabbie» "You've never been to Vegas?" he asked, in the way that one would ask an Oxford boarder to clarify whether or not he'd been to Walmart.

«me» "No. This is my first time" I said, getting used to the shock in their voice and often having to explain that I've been on Mars.

«cabbie» "Have you figured out this city yet? What it's all about?"

«me» "Gambling?"

«cabbie» "Of course not! People can gamble anywhere. They can gamble at home. Vegas is about one thing: SEX." he explained as the cab passed the biggest Hooters I'd ever seen and a billboard for a show that looked like it could be good!

«cabbie» "Take away the gambling, and people would still come. But take away the sex-"

«me» "-and no one would cum?"

«cabbie» "Exactly! When they say 'Hey, I'm gonna go to Vegas... have some fun, play some slots-"

«me» "-They really mean it!"
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Jake took me for my 31st birthday. I'd never been to Vegas before and as Peter pointed out; "At 31, avoiding Vegas took concious effort." I have no explanation, but the city hit me like a neon hammer and before long, I was hammered too.

Flying over the city, it felt unreal - or hyperreal, like some "Sims" game; A concentrated, vertical world of buildings each clamouring to be seen and heard like baby birds after your worm. *(SEXUAL METAPHOR #1)

It was morning and we reached Treasure Island *(or "TI" as they are now called) four hours before check-in, so what else was there to do but check off two things from:

THE VEGAS LIST:

1) Buffet
2) Gamble

check
check-check

Yes the buffet was amazing, but I've had good food and I've seen lots of food before, so the idea of a buffet doesn't make me hard. It was nice to have A sausage while waiting in line for my omelet though. And gambling... I'm not a gambler so watching people sit at a machine and press buttons while it eats their money depresses me somewhat. There's nothing more distopian than watching people furvently grasp at the horizon of hope knowing full well they're losing... until someone wins.

So we meandered through the crowds of middle-americans, coastals, businessmen and housewives, rich and poor, young and old, all humping the American Dream.

Jake whipped out a twenty for me and motioned to a slot machine.

«j» "Don't go into this expecting to win. If you do that, you'll be depressed every time. Think of it like a game. Play a game and enjoy it for what it is."

In went $20. Out came $62.75

«j» "Oh my god, baby, you just paid for breakfast!"

Hey, this is easy!

But that's the thing about Vegas. It's deception - or rather, over emphasis of remote possibility. It's all designed to fool you *just enough* to keep you there long enough for it to suck you dry. *(SEXUAL METAPHOR #2)

There are no clocks. There are no windows. Signs point to the least direct route. You don't play with money... you play with "credits". The casinos are pumped full of oxygen. Nothing is real. Everything is 24 hours. There is no beginning and no end. TIME HAS NO MEANING. In the restaurant, no one was smiling. They were just... there. eating. looking around. lifting fork to mouth and talking... like "normal" people, one would think. But there wasn't the sense of excitement or happiness that Vegas so desperately tries to convey with it's colours and shows and smiles.

«j» "That's because these are all people waiting for their plane. It's the old crop. They're done. Spent. In about two hours a whole NEW cropload will come in all smiles and expectations and the casino will be pumped FULL of a million gamblers. It'll trickle off over the course of the week and then it'll all happen again. It's an endless cycle."

And sure enough. In a flash, the casino filled like the heart with a million blood cells - each man a platelet... all here to pump life into the industry... each planeload feeding this famished city.

It was Superbowl Weekend.

«m» "It's football season?" I thought. "Why are they here?" was my next question.

«j» "Honey, they're here BETTING ON THE GAME." My baby explained calmly, attempting not to underscore the shear stupidity of the question.

Oh dear god. FOOTball fans! This looks NOTHING like the Abercrombie catalogue! They had all arrived and the check-in queue was packed with cattle to the feed so we decided to wait for it to thin.... by gambling some more.

I tried another machine - this one was "Monopoly"

$20 went in... but this time nothing came out.

«m» "I don't like this machine as much."

...because somehow Vegas convinces you that each one is different. "Pharoahs", "Monopoly", "Wheel of Fortune", "Stiptease", "Cyclone", "Wisdom of the Ancients", "Astro-spin", "Lucky Strike", "Diamonds"... If "Three Kings" doesn't pay off, try "Lobster Catch"... it's progressive and therefore HAS to pay off more... Or how 'bout that one with the big ticker showing you that grain of sand to build your hope into a pearl.

And where, by chance, are these fabled waitresses with the free drinks? If my ass slides onto a slot-seat, there better be a cocktail in my hand. *(SEXUAL METAPHOR #3 - just because I used "Ass", "Cock" and "Hand" in the same sentance.)

«m» "Baby, we haven't slept... can we check in now?"

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I smoked a cigarette INDOORS *(did you hear that?) while Jake argued with the front desk clerk on the other side of the room. He put his ID back in his wallet and walked towards me. He was mad.

«m» "What's wrong?"

«j» "Nothing."

«m» "Baby, what's wrong?"

«j» "... It's not a big deal, but it is to me."

«m» "What?"

«j» "They were supposed to have two dozen roses in the room waiting for you and they forgot them."

«m» "Oh, honey... I don't need roses. Roses die."

«j» "I know you don't, but I wanted to do it for you."

«m» "It's OK."

«j» "No, it's not... I'm pissed at them."

«m» "It's fine. It's the thought, not the thing."

«j» "I know..."

«m» "I love you, baby."

«j» "I love you too... but at least our room is on the Penthouse floor.... and there's something else waiting for you, but we have to be in the room to receive it."

«m» "What is it?"

«j» "I have no idea."

«m» "...honey...."

«j» "I'm serious. I have no fucking clue."

«m» "Did you hire a stripper"

«j» "I'm serious.. I totally have NO IDEA what it could be."

«m» "Who else knows we're here?"

«j» "Everyone last night was asking where we were staying. Did someone from the party send something?"

«m» "No."

«j» "Well, who?"

«m» "How should I know?"

«j» "Did your family send something?"

«m» "Yes. I'm sure my chrisitian parents ordered something to be sent to the hotel room where their gay son and his gay lover will shortly have gay, hell-bound sex."

«j» "Well then, who could it possibly be?"

«m» "Did they say what it was?"

«j» "No. Just that we had to be IN THE ROOM."

«m» ".... we're not gonna get shot, are we?"

************* TO BE CONTINUED ***************

2 Comments:

  • Uhm, like I know I shouldn't be greedy and all - especially after reading such a long and entertaining post...but...hello...finish please....uhm...like...now please.

    By Anonymous ThatGuy, at 6:40 AM  

  • So, what was in the room???

    By Anonymous Dutchimport, at 9:17 AM  

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