Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Vegas, baby! Vegas!

I spent this past weekend in Vegas. It is now Tuesday afternoon and I am just starting to feel recovered, just starting to feel like I again have a fully functioning brain, not fried by sun, booze, and lack of sleep. I arrived back in New York around 6 A.M. on a redeye that I barely slept on, took a quick two hour nap at home, and then shuffled through my workday, counting down the hours and minutes until I could go home and get some sleep.

We flew out on Friday morning, had lunch at Lotus of Siam, and then discovered that the same random strip mall off the Strip housing this Thai restaurant also had a couple gay bars, a transsexual bar, and a couple of gay bathhouses. We did a bar crawl through them and the partying never really stopped from that point for the next three days save for a few hours of sleep each night. 

The whole purpose of the trip had been to see Mariah Carey perform, which we did and which was amazing. Really, really good. The peak of the concert for me was when she performed “We Belong Together.” I had forgotten what an amazing song it was and how important a role it played in my life during various heartbroken moments, moments when I thought the same thoughts as the song, singing the chorus as loud as I could, imagining that if only this person could understand, that it was so clear we belonged together, that we, that I, could be happy. And so all of those moments, of anguish, heartbreak, and lovesickness, they came all washing back over me in this theater at Caeser’s Palace. I was deep in my feelings and Mariah’s voice was the vehicle carrying me, zooming from place to place, feeling to feeling, memory to memory.

From there, we continued our tour of the dive bars of Vegas, hitting up Charlie’s, from which I was 86’d - the first time in my life I have ever been officially 86’d from a bar. The bouncer barged into the bathroom stall I was in, caught me sniffing something, started yelling at me, and chased me out of the bar. From there, we went to another divey gay bar in another random strip mall, before heading to the transexual bar, before heading to the bathhouse. It was a night spent hurtling along the edges of Vegas, exploring all of these fun places. At some point in the early morning, we left the bathhouse and headed back to the hotel.

A few hours of sleep later, we had to check out. We spent the day at a gay pool party, lounging in chairs, and looking at attractive men in cute swimwear until it was time for our flight to take off.

I played a lot of roulette while in Vegas, too much. The trick is knowing when to walk away. It’s a life lesson and yes, it cost me a few hundred dollars to learn the lesson, and whether or not it will stick is another matter entirely. The lesson is this: Leave the table when you are ahead. Know that winning doesn’t last forever. Leave while there are still chips in front of you. It’s all a matter of intuition, timing, and suppressing the voice in your head that says to keep going, that the good times will last forever. It won’t. Move tables. Walk away.

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