In Las Vegas.
Why is this place called The Meadows anyway?
I walked about 3 miles around town and another three in the hotel. In the HOTEL. This place looks like the Sistine Chapel. One part of the hotel is lined with high fashion shops with a river running through it and gondolas floating couples around just like in Venice, except that instead of an open sky (which would be something) it’s roofed. And painted to look like a blue sky with clouds, and is lit. I had a dizzy moment there while my brain adjusted…it was pitch dark outside but it looked and felt like late afternoon in there. My room is split level. It definitely outshines my home. It outshines my heavenly home, too, I think.
This place is really wasted on me. I walked around thinking those words Jesus once said, “Now is the prince of this world coming, but he’s got nothing in me.” This place has no hooks in me. No attraction. I have no desire to gamble, get drunk, take a hooker, go to an all night party, or have a lap dance. I’m not mad at anybody who loves it here, and I don’t think they’re evil or weak or (most of all) wrong. And I’m glad two and a half million people are just as happy as they can be living in the middle of an ugly desert. It’s just got nothing on me.
The reason Vegas doesn’t do it for me is because I’m too much of a realist.
And as I walked around, I wondered if it would work without the billions (strike that) trillions of dollars spent to hype it up. I think if it weren’t for all the lights and bells and whistles and sound and carnies and free drinks and free food and free rooms and free skin this place would flop. I think most people would think rationally and decide not to spend a minimum of TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS for a round of poker or craps or a spin of roulette. But when you look around and there’s a hundred thousand people shelling out twenty-five bucks a hand, it throws your reality check organ for a loop. I think there’s a frenzy that people get caught up in. That people PAY to get caught up in. I see entire groups of people that clearly came here together to lose their minds all at once. Like this bunch of women wearing Burger King crowns and drinking tequila shots and pinching eachother’s butts as they scream their way to the dance floor at an outdoor bar. And then there are the tattoo parlors right there in the casinos, people laying in there half naked, glass walls, so everyone can see them get permed.
Now that I’ve seen how people pay to come here, I have no trouble at all believing that people would choose the Matrix.
Did I mention that the porn star convention was at the other end of my hotel? Actually it was called the Adult Expo or something like that. A lot of them were walking the casino and hotel in living color. Everyone who was ever in a porno, and everyone who wants to be in a porno is here I think. The ones who are already stars walk around with an entourage like they own the place. The wannabe’s have a single escort, an older man who wears a badge, and they talk real loud. I guess it’s to make a splash. In the meadows.
There are a few dark spots, though. Two things that gave me a little smile. Some guys were standing around enjoying some cigars together. That looked real. And then I got hailed by two prostitutes in the casino. They were young, dark-skinned, had pretty eyes, and nice smiles. They looked like they were having fun. And they didn’t curse me when I smiled and walked on by.
I want a respite.
I want a place where the sun lightly bakes my cheeks while the cool breeze folds my arms.
I want a place where the rhythm is not a painted woman pounding my lap but careless ripples slapping my dingy.
I want to hear birds and crickets and fish and trees.
I want the night to be lit up with billions of lights billions of miles away, and watch some fall.
I’m so tired of having and so bereft of wanting.
Help me get someday back.
Help me to ache.