Vegas After

I have no idea what’s going on.

I also have no idea how to approach this post. I mentioned last week that I was going to capture my thoughts before going to Vegas and then write something up upon returning about my thoughts after Vegas but that idea seems laughable now; I can’t remember my thoughts before and I have no idea what I’m thinking now.

I keep hearing slot machines dinging in Do, Re, Mi’s and chips clacking in my hands. Everything else is a blur.

I know I arrived in Las Vegas. This fact is concrete. But when I think back to walking into the casino and finding my group of friends at the blackjack tables this seems like something that happened maybe forty years ago. And possibly to someone else.

I know I did things like pack enough socks and various t-shirts but I’m not even sure when my bag finally made it to the room and when I unpacked last night around 90% of my clothes were unworn. My favorite was the shaving cream I brought.  That didn’t exactly make it out of its travel pouch. In fact, upon looking at my packing in reverse, I think I could have gotten on the plane with a stick of deodorant and a three-pack of boxers and nothing would have been different.

There’s a long list of things that I expected to happen that didn’t. Sleep, for instance, was iffy. The first night I spent catching cat-naps next to various slot machines due to a missing room key and a security guard who insisted on doing his job way too well. There was a nap in there somewhere that afternoon after I finally got back upstairs and then a meal, but these are hazy. And that meal, it’s worth noting, is the only thing I can recall eating. And it wasn’t a steak. Eating a nice steak was one of many things I had on my list of things to do that never materialized along, apparently, with shaving.

I did buy a pack of gum at one point. This still makes me laugh. I always carry around gum but at one point I, despite having a full pack in my pocket already, purchased a second pack. There are maybe two or three of you out there who understand the significance of this. Casinos don’t sell gum. Gum is like kryptonite to them. I, as mentioned, always like to have a pack on me and so I’ve come up against this lack of casino gum tons of times over the course of my gambling career. Ask for a pack of gum at a casino and it’s like you’re asking about some mythical beast that the villagers are too terrified to speak of out loud. Gum, it would seem, can do so much bad shit at a casino in the hands of someone who wants to do bad shit at a casino that it’s contraband in gaming establishments. From gumming up slot machines to gumming up chips to gumming up cards to gumming up god knows what, enough individuals with enough sticks of gum could bring Las Vegas to its knees. No casino will stock gum in any of its shops. Sufficed to say when I pulled a fresh pack out of my pocket I stood there for a long moment wondering when in the hell I had entered a non-casino store.

I still haven’t pieced that together.

One other thing that sticks out in my head is that I played the card game War. At a casino. For money. Having that game at a casino is literally a joke in the movie “Vegas Vacation” and playing it was the most mindless activity I’ve ever participated in. Two cards, high card wins, ties result in a war. Wow.

Other than that all I know is that I played craps, because our table got on such a hot streak that they had to close it down when we colored out at the end, and I know I had a ton of fun.

That’s about it for cohesive thoughts.

Oh, and here’s are the two pictures that were in my phone.

A man dressed as a muppet:

And a blurry shot of the skyline:

I’d say that was successful first trip to Las Vegas.