she’s a girl with glasses

little bribes
October 13, 2010, 8:01 am
Filed under: blog | Tags: , , ,

The first night, my husband swore he would enjoy sleeping with the shades open. At three in the morning, he got up to draw the black-out curtains across the blinding lights of the Strip.

Two weeks later, my memories of Las Vegas are colored by insufferable heat, the blinding white of faux ancient statuary, the inescapable clatter and flash of the casino floor, and the groove cut into the back of my foot by a new pair of red high heels.

I don’t know if the brain can properly present a chronological display of an experience in Las Vegas. My own flashes like a montage, like something from a home movie without sound, badly edited and cast on the wall.

Our hotel only opened last December, one in a series of glass and steel between the white plaster and stucco and water of the Monte Carlo and famed Bellagio. Perfume is pumped into the circulation system and I sustained an allergic headache for the first day and a half before buying overpriced anti-histamines from the Walgreens down the block, though I could still taste the scent at the back of my throat every time I breathed in.

We stopped at the bathrooms at the back of the Plaza casino floor. When I came out of the stall, I washed my hands, then reached for paper towels under the disposal bin for hypodermic needles.

We walked two miles down the strip after dark, drawn by the crack-boom of the Bellagio water show. Instead of a photo of the water, I took pictures of the crowds holding their cameras over their heads to catch a blurry frame of the experience.

Perhaps more accurately, our trip started at the airport in Denver when a man sat down behind us in the waiting area, wearing head-to-toe purple, including a fedora riding low on his forehead. He spoke loudly on his cell phone, and kicked at my seat, but when he was collected by a friend and headed for a different area of the concourse, I actually mourned my chance to sit beside him on the plane.

In Madame Tussands, my husband realized his dream of posing with Snoop Dog. The artifice of the wax museum was strangely lesser than that outside, from the Eiffel tower at Paris to the robot show in Cesar’s Palace. The figures didn’t look as though they’d start breathing, but they were more likely to than it was to rain in the Venetian.

The shuttle driver regaled us with stories about how many ambulances show up on the Strip each day, and his trips all over the world before settling in Las Vegas. His accent was thick and the van roared in such a way that I could barely hear him, but when he hugged me at the airport, I hugged him back.


2 Comments so far
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Totally love this, Lorrie. You should use this post as your cover letter to sell your book!
By the way, I felt the same way about San Francisco, which seems somehow false to me. I ended up taking about 50 photos of people walking while talking on their cell phones.

Comment by Kathy S

I’m going to LV in December; not sure how much time I’ll spend at City Center… Ashamed that I may actually buy the Harrah’s all-day buffet pass. But that city in December is just amazing to me.

Comment by Chris

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