The Vegas Illusion
July 21st 2011
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
My mind is running slow. Dried by abuse. I realize now it’s been nearly a week since my last entry.
Came in late Saturday night (16th), into the Las Vegas bowl and heat.
On Sunday first pool party at Tao Beach (the Venetian) – couldn’t have started with more class. Beautiful girls, priceless (priceful) cocktails, the USA women’s soccer team defeated. Into the casino-resort: gondolas streaming under the scattered-sky-blue-painted vaults, mock Euro-style cafes and terraces.
Friends got drunk early on an empty stomach, soon had to retreat to local Korean BBQ. Feasted. Later that night met with another friend, despite exhaustion. Night ended at four, early night: welcome to the Vegas lifestyle.
On Monday I checked in to a hotel: first time since I left in April! The Excalibur, one of the cheaper ones of the MG group – with MG owning the South of the Strip, up to the Bellagio, and Caesar’s owning the northern half, starting at the eponymous hotel.
I wasn’t too unhappy. I napped in the clean sheets. I walked the Strip, discovered the mid-section, Bellagio and Caesar’s, Venetian and Wynn: grandiose simulacrums of a civilization’s wildest dreams.
The next morning I lounged at the pool of the Excalibur. It was pleasant, though already I was growing weary of the atmosphere in this city, on this Strip, in this hotel in particular.
It takes its toll. Vegas. The industry that carries it. It’s a window on our desires. On who we are. I can not think of that now.
I met two French Canadian girls, from the city of Quebec. I spent a part of the day with them. One of them wasn’t too cute, the other one was more attractive and slightly bucktoothed.
They’re both simple girls, and modestly aware of it. They were travelling to LA for a well-earned vacation, and decided to see Vegas. A common story. They make a living as they can, as we all do. We leave the pool sunburnt, get a burger across the street, at the MG. The prettier one says something funny about getting her picture taken with her childhood idol, a kitty cat with a red ribbon (or someone dressed as such, whose hands were a little too close to her hips), and having her childhood imagination shattered by the fact that Hello Kitty turned out to be a Mexican man who smelled really sweaty under his costume.
Met with them later on, we went out. A club at the Ceasar’s. Tourist thing. With a terrace and a view.
They stick together for the night. It’s past five when we walk back South, the skies of dawn are pretty. The un-prettier one didn’t want to get left out. We say good-bye in the elevator. Whatever.
Wednesday, it must have been, yeah, yesterday morning felt terrible. Hated the place. The hotel felt grimy as ever. Did not want to spend another night there. Besides, it turns out the Southern locations are a long walk to the nicer parts of the Strip under Nevada’s unforgiving sun.
There are a bunch of crumpled credit card bills in my otherwise empty pockets. I get a mild taste of what hell it must be like for people who get trapped in this mess.
Checked in to Bill’s Gambling Hall for the night, a much nicer setting, at an affordable price. The rest of the stay uplifted my spirits, I got around to some pictures, but still feel worn down.
Maybe Los Angeles will give me some strength. I’ll try gather thoughts later about this stay in Sin City’s artificial paradise.