Friday, August 26, 2005

Vacation Stories: Sin City

Joseph K writes about sex. Sort of. I might as well have written, "Jospeh K writes Portugese love poems." I know probably as much about that as...enough of this self-depricating nonsense. Truth be told, I think I am the shit. And, generally, I am a pretty happy guy. And I don't talk that much about myself. Don't worry, I don't aspire to be an artist.

My friend A and I had been driving the various beltways and byways of Vegas on a surprisingly fruitless search for Red Rock Canyon. We'd just come back from LA, and points east. I was the Karma Chameleon King (another story for another day). There it was on the map. But, the roads didn't match-up. We were going in circles. Blasting on the rental car's stereo: "Push on Jesse Jackson" by the Pacer-Setters. Fuck, how did we end up on the 515? What was the 515?

I looked in the rear-view window. A guy in a Ford Tempo was behind me. Getting a blowjob apparently from his chubby girlfriend. I swear to God that at one point the Pace-Setters lead singer said, "Stand up if you are for freedom and justice," and the girl's head popped up. Right on, sister, me too. Me too.

Well, we gave the fuck up on hiking around Red Rock Canyon. It stayed a reddish spot on the map. We dropped off the rental car, and headed out on an entirely fruitful endeavor: the search for the best cover band in Vegas.

We hit about 10 casinos. Every one of them had some sort of mediocre house band. The worst cover/tribute band: Purple Reign, a Prince "tribute band" that was playing at the Boardwalk. They were so bad, I almost threw my warm bottle of Heineken at them. Pop Culture rocked the house at the Paris. Some point every night, some band would play "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" and make the frat boys feel alive. And, I'd be thinking, "No. Don't. Put the trombone down, chief. Put the fucker down and play some Neil Sedaka."

One band started playing "Brick House" at the Mandalay Bay, and all hell seemed to break loose. A large woman started gyrating in ways that are definitely illegal in the bible belt. A small thin guy made his approach. A and I shook our heads. I am not sure how it happened, but at some point, she was squatting over the guy's head as he slithered on the ground. Eventually, he got up and went up to a woman and said: "Help me. I can't help myself." I assume it was a friend of his. The woman led him a safe distance away from the dance floor. A and I retired for a double vodka and red bull.

A and me walked into the Aladdin around 1:30. Doesn't matter what day it was. They all blended together.

"Hey, man, is that funk?"

"Yeah, man, it is. I think its coming from up there."

We walked up some stairs to the mezzanine level.

At most, I've probably been around 2, maybe 3 prostitutes at one time. And I was always lost at the time, I swear. At least that many within a one block radius. I've never been in a high-density prostitue area.

Upstairs, at the mezannine level bar at the Aladdin, grooving slighlty to a bad cover of some Michael Jackson shit must have been about 15, maybe 20 hos. Sorry, is that not p.c.? More importantly, it that the proper spelling? Is it "hos" or "hoes?"

We ordered a beer from a shamed bartender. He didn't make eye contact. He seemed uncomfortable about it all. Seriously, I thought he might set the whole place on fire, he was so intense. Right as we got our drinks, some thick-glassed high roller took the hand of a young lovely and walked towards the stairs.

A and I spent the next hour surveying the scene, and exchanging awkward grins. The prostitutes were strategically spaced around the bar. We were at a table back from the bar. A couple of them turned around and sized us up as johns. I was wearing a 1972 Lee Trevino polyester brown golf shirt, olive cargo shorts, and flip-flops. Not exactly primo john-wear. In fact, I was surprised no one handed me a mop or kicked over a hackysack.

This kid came upstairs about half-way through our stint there. He was dressed even dorkier than me. Plaid button down short sleeve, khaki shorts and sandals. Too young to be real money. Didn't stop one of the girls from talking to him. He smiled, excited and flattered. Poor fuck didn't know.

Both A and I noticed her at the same time. The regal older woman sitting a couple tables away from us. She sat fully upright, wearing dark glasses, sipping what appeared to be Kir Royals while she surveyed the room. She focused on us and spent a long time looking at us with those dark specs.

The kid stopped smiling. He'd learned what was up. He turned away from the woman who'd talked to him. He was just sipping his beer staring ahead.

In the course of about 15 minutes, A and I had the same conversation over and over again. Should we stay? Should we go? What were we waiting for? We saw them, it was strange, whatt else. We stayed.

The kid and the prostitute he was talking too both looked at their phones. The kid got up and walked towards the stairs. He stopped. The prostitute got up and walked to the stairs. We'd missed something. They walked down the stairs together.

"Fuck, man." One of us said.

We got up and left. As we walked down the stairs, the older woman watched us the whole way, smiling slightly. She'd figured out something about us and who we were.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:27 AM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

Buy Cialis?!? Who the fuck told you.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done - love it...from a San Mateo Vet

12:48 AM  
Blogger Chemical Billy said...

J K, you're swimming in the soup where I was born - Las Vegas, the deranged, sleep-deprived, slicked-up place of my birth! Drink in every bit of it - you're feeding at the Source: the American id, in all it's feral glory.


2:48 PM  

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