I am on my way to the airport and my stereo system , not finding the artist I commanded it to play, chooses on it’s own.
Fresh beats hit the speakers and the sounds of a dance number titled “Breakfast in Vegas” by Praga Khan are reverberating around the panels of my Fiesta. That’s right , it’s a party on the road. I am a few hamsters shy of having a car commercial on my hands.
Since I am on my way to Vegas I find this whole scenario interesting but not worth much thought. Vegas as a force can put gravity to shame. The origins of Vegas is a well known story but it is hard to believe that a group of writers were not involved. The collection of characters that inhabit this city should insure that no writer ever passing through suffer from writers block.
From the neon signs that have been abandoned by their host buildings to the upside down check cashing sign and the house that Bugsy built there are tales clamoring to be told. Every corner turned and every hotel safe opened reveals a bit about the night or the decade before.
Checking into my room I inspect the functionality of the hotel safe. My laptop is old but it contains hundreds of stories and the thousands of hours spent crafting them. Once assured of it’s security I place my computer into it but discover an empty packet for some kind of endurance product named Rhino something or other. Wow,this person took their gambling serious, I thought. I flipped over the other side of the packet and read the fine print. A revelation popped into my head, oh that’s what they took seriously. I guess it was in the safe for extreme emergencies and I guess he had one.
Having locked up my dreams* for the night, I headed down to the street to join the characters that would inhabit my world for the next few days. I am in the downtown section of Vegas where things tend to be grittier. It has more of a state fair atmosphere than the strip. Less than a block from the hotel I discover a little bar that has a section exposed to the street complete with barstools outside so you can enjoy your drink and people watch at the same time. I make a note of it and decide to check out what is happening further downtown. I am meeting up with one of my oldest friends tonight and by oldest I mean he has been a good friend for a long time. He also just happens to be older than me.** His flight puts him in Vegas a few hours from now so I have some time to burn.
I head down to one of the stage areas where free concerts are always going on. Tonight it’s Elvis. I am now officially in Vegas. Truth be told, I could have done better but there was not a keg of beer and a karaoke machine in site. After a while I move past Elvis and make my way down the block to the next stage complete with band. I didn’t catch their name but they seem to be a hair band tribute. Which hair band? Apparently all of them. After listening to their version of Bon Jovi’s version of the Thin Lizzie song “The Boys Are Back In Town”, I decide that this is my cue to go back to my newfound bar because surely the boys are back in town
Getting back to the bar I sit down at the outside section . It’s the kind of a place where they may not know your name but are friendly enough to make one up for you.
I pick up a drink menu. It announces the name of this place as “The Park”. Strange, not a tree or blade of grass in sight, I thought. Glancing around I notice the only business sign attached to the building, a small unassuming neon job with an arrow pointing to the bar and the words “Park”. That seals the deal. With the sign and the excellent beers on the menu I decide this place is now my favorite bar in Vegas***. I have officially found my orbit in the gravitational field of Vegas. I obey the sign and stay for a while. I text my friend my location and settle in with a fine brew.
I people watch and continue to consume brews and time passes quickly. You know how it is when you are minding someone else’s business. I soon hear the familiar greeting of my friend and I welcome him to my new favorite bar. Seeing the “Park” sign he approves of my choice. We toast the visit and both agree that this will be a good time, tales will be told and new ones generated. Writers block should not be an issue for a while.
*Hey it’s a metaphor, I am trying to be literary here.
**Yes, its a smart ass shout out to my friend James.
*** When I am in a new town I feel that I have not officially visited unless I have found a favorite bar. It usually does not take long even in a large city. It gives me a home base for the current and perhaps subsequent visits.