I am sitting in the Las Vegas airport, holding a paper Starbucks cup and munching on trail mix. This is what I eat in airports. Everything else is disgusting. Veronica chows down on a gigantic piece of pizza housed in a triangular slice-shaped box. I think there is pepperoni involved. She finishes, closes the lid, and moans an “I wish I didn’t do that” moan. I peck at the remnants of raisins and almond bits. This is what it’s like to be a bird.
Walking towards us are “S” and “M”. For lack of a better alias, this is what they will be known as from here on out. Neither has slept, not really slept. M took an hour-long nap after gambling until 8 am, accompanied by her friend “K” and someone else’s money. These are the kinds of things that happen to beautiful people. The girls lament about having won $3,000 a piece and only having been able to keep $1,000. Bummer. I gambled once with $100 of per diem that was supposed to be for food and strong-armed my way through a game of craps. I came out $600 on top, which I attribute to dumb luck and being coached by a girl who actually knew what she was doing. I kept that money in my underwear drawer and used it to buy produce from the farmer’s market for nearly five months. Think of the damage I could do with a $1,000. Organic kale for a year, courtesy of a Middle Eastern man with too much money and a taste for pretty girls.
It is unclear what S has been doing since I saw him last, dancing under rows of scantily clad borderline prostitutes at 2 AM. But from what I can tell, he hasn’t slept either and when he walks towards us he continues to dance the way he did last night as he led us from dinner into the club. The fun never stops, only halts temporarily during sleep or blackout.
As the group reunites, we bark the events of last night louder than anyone in the terminal cares to hear. No one else wants to relive our evening but we willingly subject others to our tales. I look to my left at a woman my age reading The Economist. That used to be me, I lament, …before this weekend. Seeing this former vision of myself, I also know that this woman loathes us. Our obnoxious and self-absorbed banter, the high-pitched and shrill giggles, the tales from multiple degenerates. I know she hates us because I would hate us. In fact, I sort of hate us even while being part of the group. That was always my problem; I could never take being naughty or bad that seriously. I lacked dedication and form.
The girl with the broken toe stumbles in laughing and wearing flip-flops. Her name is “A”. She broke it the night before I arrived in a freak tub accident involving, well, I won’t go there. Her legs are covered in bruises so bad she looks like a hemophiliac, not your run of the mill Las Vegas partygoer. Your average drunk will have one, maybe two, gnarly bruises on the knee, maybe a cut above the eye. This girl looks like she’s was thrown down a garbage chute and came out the other end with a Jack and Coke still in hand, begging for more. She is everything I am dumbfounded and intrigued by in life but never want to be. “Most Fearless Partier” is not something I imagine will ever end up on my resume, however boring that may be.
Veronica and I had gone to bed comparatively early – a respectable 4 AM. Our night ended in the bondage suite at the Hard Rock Hotel with a musician Veronica had met in Mexico the month previous. Having connected with him over rock and roll, Veronica (and subsequently, myself) were invited to join his entourage of Whoever the Hell back to his hotel. He had been provided a party bus complete with a stripper pole and hepititis. Although Veronica eyed this pole during a Vanilla Ice song that she was eager to perform to, I gave her an “Oh, no you don’t” glance and killed the buzz.
Upon entry into said suite, we were immediately greeted by a white leather spanking table (paddle included). To the left was a bathroom-sized room with what looked like a very tall birdcage and a wooden cross with shackles. Veronica and I immediately took the opportunity for a photo shoot. After all, we are models [insert arrogant, terrible person laugh here].
In the bedroom there was a wall-sized projection of an S&M instructional video. Whip here, behind the knees. Don’t let them turn their head to see you. Contort face in pain. Voila. Our musician friend claimed to not have chosen this room; the hotel insisted he take it. I believed him. I don’t know how many people can actually get off in a place like this knowing how many other people have gotten off to the same exact thing in the same exact room. It makes your fetish feel so…pedestrian and unoriginal. And you thought you were the only one who liked to be hung from the ceiling by meat hooks. Lame!
Veronica and I danced alone while the others quietly and tamely sat and drank some more. The evening was mild and aside from the hotel room décor, not terribly rock and roll by any stretch of the imagination. My dignity would have to be defiled another night…unlike some people I am currently waiting to board an airplane with.
The Southwest intercom makes an announcement and we get in line to get home. People keep their distance from us so as to protect their ears from more terrible conversation. I feel hung over from lack of sleep and uncomfortable proximity to debauchery. The last girl in our party, “J”, is still not here and we board without her. But that’s Vegas, baby. Vegas.