i’m in an airport.
i’m in an airport that smells like sbarro pizza and a hint of cigarette smoke, and the sadly overweight middle-aged man with a horrible comb-over is having an awkward phone conversation with his elderly mother about whether or not he has a gambling problem.
he doesn’t because he doesn’t go to the boats in the chicago suburbs, but she needs to understand that he comes to vegas to spend time with his buddies…gambling is just part of the entertainment. vegas provides other things to do. no he doesn’t go to shows because their getting so expensive.
the most repetitive slot machine ringer begs attention in the background and recieves it from a tough young man covered in tattoos.
the very old, very tired looking gentleman to my right asked me ten minutes ago for something sharp to cut some string off of his piece of luggage. he’s still looking at that piece of string with pensive defeat, unable to let it go and apparently unaware that we just took our belts and shoes off to ensure that no one brought sharp objects to where we’re now waiting to leave this godforsaken town.
the frayed and worn white string is crushing an old man’s soul in a town that’s been doing the same thing since he got here. i could probably snap the string off of the handle it’s wrapped around, as he’s very frail and it’s very thin string, but i’d surely break a sweat in my state of total exhaustion and when it comes down to it you really can’t save everyone.
i’ve been outside twice since monday, and when i write that depressing revelation i do so with the caveat that i spent most of my days working and most of my nights looking at everyone swimming from club to club or casino to casino with that look on their face like the best was yet to come. that look i had on my own face once or twice during past visits when my stay was short enough to warrant the assumption that i wouldn’t be near suicidal more than a day before my flight home.
to the upside i ate a multi-thousand dollar meal next to martin siegfried, who by the way is quite certain that he’s important and apparently enjoys twenty dollar caprese salads and steaks the size of your left buttcheek. i had a monsterous suite in the palazzo hotel all to myself, and although not my favorite on the strip (that honor goes to paris), it was nice to spend the week upscale rather than right in the middle of a frat party.
that frat party can stay here, and i can’t. my flight just started boarding and it’s the brightest moment i’ve had since monday.