Matters of Little Consequence

Vegas, May 2005:

In Vegas, everyone enjoys home field advantage, even if they hail from Connecticut. Everything is up for grabs and the rest of it is available for a price. I didn’t bother with the alias you’re supposed to wear once you arrive in Sin City. I went with my real name since the scene of any crime begins with a lie, and so it stood to reason that telling the truth was like hiding in plain sight.

A cross country jet ride is an experiment in the absurdities of time traveling, and no amount of preparation ever seems to emulsify the oil and vinegar composition of jet lag. I dozed in and out as the scenery flickered in piecemeal arrangements; from the dark green steeples of mountain ranges to vast plains which resembled oceans riding along with the top down, and then canyons and then dust, where the terrain can best be described as postcards from Jupiter. It’s a ghostly descent into what feels like the edge of the world, until you spot the flash of apocalyptic neon that lets you know you have arrived at the intersection of Christmas and Hell. Because this is the place Mr. Potter would’ve built if Quentin Tarantino had written It’s a Wonderful Life.

I was one hundred and eighty minutes in the black when my flight touched down at McCarran. I sliced through the slot machine cricket song and shit fashion sense of Sugar Daddies on loan. After checking into my hotel, I grabbed lunch and game planned the next few days: Hoover Dam, Gladys Knight at the Tropicana, the Bellagio Buffet, Gilley’s Honky Tonk, the Guggenheim exhibit of Egyptian antiquities and a dead president parade in honor of Bugsy Siegel. I hate giving my money away to worthwhile pursuits, much less a smarmy looking dealer who’s hopped up on Starbucks and reeks of menthol. But I had given myself a kitschy stipend for the toga party that is new age Rome. No camping out at tables or slots, no getting to know the waitress’s family history. Get in, win or lose twenty bucks and get out. If nothing else, I’d know what it felt like to rob convenience stores for a living.

I tugged on a Marlboro, sipped at my frosty hops and picked on a roast beef sandwich as my mind poured wicked intentions as if sugar on a spinning wheel. Life on the other side of marriage had proven less daunting than I’d feared before my separation. Online dating was a nice supplement to my old school sensibilities, where black books and long time female friends imbued my reconstructive efforts. Vegas would be a celebration of life on the B side, sans the rose garden and white picket fence existence.

A blog isn’t an STD

And in much the same way my eleven years of marriage had flown by as if it had been fitted with rocket boosters, my Vegas jaunt crushed hours into minutes and days into the rear view. Before I could get the cosmic license plate number, I was contemplating my last full day in town. I’d saved Gladys Knight for my going away song, because she was going to make me cry when she lit the fuse on “Midnight Train to Georgia”, and I couldn’t think of a better way to say goodbye.

It was the crack of noon when I arrived poolside with a mimosa in tow. The afterglow of a one night stand was laying siege to my senses as I dialed up the mystery girl. I’d invited her to brunch, in spite of the fact it was an outdated gesture inside the age of hit and run.

We connected in Gilley’s the night before, when our eyes kept running into each other as some clueless young pup in a baseball cap fed her drinks. Until then, I was contenting myself just fine with a steady diet of beer whilst enjoying the mud wrestling contests and bikini clad bartenders. And then the baseball cap went to relieve himself and then I swooped in and bought her next round- Absolut and Red Bull- and when our verbs began moving horizontally, we followed.

Wrong number.

The girl wasn’t the least bit interested in getting anything more substantial than the hustle and flow of a Vegas tryst. I respected the hell out of her game, which never would’ve culminated in a score if she hadn’t been packing the Trojans this discount Romeo had somehow left off his checklist. All that and she saved me the brunch tab.

I ordered another mimosa and contemplated whether I wanted to eat something or just nap by the pool when my phone chimed to life. It was Dan, my sometimes pal ever since he married my former jogging partner Emie. Me and Dan were polar opposites who shared an affinity for beer, and that’s really all that matters.

“How’s Vegas?”

“It’s like the garden inside Hunter S. Thompson’s head,” I replied.

“I’m afraid to ask,” Dan laughs.

“Oh yeah, and that jazz about dry heat is bullshit. It’s a fucking industrial microwave is what it is, which is why you have to be soaking in a pool or an adult beverage at all times. And really . . you should be doing both,”

“Hey, I’d like to get together when you’re back in town and toss around some ideas I’ve got about a blog,” Dan said.

“What’s a blog?”

“It’s a website where you write whatever the fuck you feel like writing and people comment on it. You read their shit and comment back, it’s kind of like a community of storytellers,” He explained.

“And you’re asking me what?”

“To write with me,”

“How much is this blog?”

“It’s free,”

“Free is good,”

“I’m surprised you never heard of blogging before,” Dan said.

“Dude, if a woman told me she had a blog, I’d be getting tested. That’s how much I know about a blog,”

“So you interested?” Dan asked.

“I don’t know, you do your research and as long as it keeps coming back free . . then  maybe,” I said reluctantly.

“Did you get married for the hell of it?” Dan laughed.

“Because downsizing the hell out of my shit after one marriage wasn’t enough? Nah  . . you know who gets married for fun? Psychos, that’s who. And there’s the whole I’m still legally married detail to consider. And oh yeah . .  even amicable divorces ask for shit you didn’t know you even fucking had. So umm, no Chachi. But hey! I did bump into Andie MacDowell at Mandalay Bay and I’m pretty sure I’m pregnant now,”

“Dinner when we get back, on me. I want you to be in on this with me,” Dan said.

“You buying dinner means you really want me,” I laughed.

“I’m serious about this. Come on dude, what’s the worst that could happen?” Dan replied.

Famous last words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

65 thoughts on “Matters of Little Consequence

  1. Ha ha ha. Super stuff. Industrial microwave about sums up the weather. All my jaunts to Vegas were on the company dime and I never had the chance to score the three ways Frank listed above. I did get to sit with a client while she held Liberace’s hands. Yeah, I picked up the tab for that. The best time for me was leaving town. Thanks for a beautiful description of your trip and the founding of your blogging career.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cincy,

    I was never a fan until I bumped into her at Mandalay Bay. It was the eve of the Country Music Awards that were being held there and I was gawking in amazement at how much the industry had changed. Everyone was tall, beautiful and had teeth . . Jesus. And right in the middle of all that, I ran smack into her. The moment is forever emblazoned in my psyche. Her locks draped across me and she smelled divine and she possessed the most elegant sounding drawl when she apologized. To me!

    So yes, you settling for C? Wouldn’t be settling at all.

    Like

  3. B,

    I remember the heat in Vegas really well. It is so fucking dry!! And Hot like Hades. Nostrils stick together hot. One of the chicks in our group went through a whole container of ChapStick in the four days we were there.

    Now, fuggedabout me… I’m loving your writing in this series. It’s the Marco I “met” almost a year and a half ago. Your descriptions are delicious.

    And, Dude. You were NOT prepared? I’m shocked.Honestly. A newly free man with the intentions of sinning in every way possible in Vegas and you forgot the Trojans? Good thing she was exactly what you were looking/not looking for.

    And no matter how things turned out with you and Dan, we, your faithful readers, are ever so glad he got you into this blogging world…

    Keep ’em coming!

    Q

    Liked by 2 people

    • Q,

      You’re probably gonna understand this most of all because you kinda know the back story already. But I laugh hysterically at the memory of certain things and I cry at other points. Like, I’m talking cry.

      Sorry. Had to share that first and foremost as I was just reading back over this to cull and piece together a longer version.

      Imma get to your comment next. Promise.

      B

      Liked by 1 person

        • That passed. Apologies, but my manic episodes are duller than the”Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” episodes I sneakily watched when I was a kid who didn’t understand. And that’s a good thing.

          I know how to slow my breath, ease into a peaceful parking space. Years of trial and mostly error to get here, but I ain’t complaining.

          Imma say more. Much.

          Liked by 1 person

          • You know you don’t have to aplogise to me, right? Not for this stuff. I wasn’t sure which comment to answer first so I read the other, came here and will go back to the other 😉

            How could a kid understand Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (though I would not be surprised you could have, with the intuition you have.)

            Glad you have learnt how to do that. Some days I can, others… not so much.

            K… going back to where ya said more. Much.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I do.

            It’s just one of those things where I don’t know how to go about explaining certain things without sounding crazy or worse. And then there are things I can’t share, so it really comes down to sharing that which I can in the most fleshed out iteration. If that makes sense.

            The only thing I related to was the fact that Mary was as pissed off as I was at the world. The rest was guilty pleasure, sneaking a soda after bedtime stuff.

            Every day is different. I never get too cocky about things, that’s for shiz.

            Oh I mean Imma have more to say in this series. No “tell all” shite, nothing like that. Just the nuts and bolts of what life throws us. Emphasis on nuts.

            Liked by 1 person

          • No, You don’t. But accepted.

            You obviously have a desire/need to get this out so I can understand the need for discretion as well as keeping some things to yourself. Not all is meant to be put out there in the ether (though some are sooo not shy)

            You met for a reason. Guilty pleasure included. I believe that, anyway.

            Every day is a whole new story or potential.

            I get it. You are not the “tell-all” kinda guy. But you do have a way with the pen that is most wonderful so, g’head, throw us the nuts!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Gracias michelin.

            I wondered what might happen if the Dame ever caught wind of this series. The true believer in me hopes she’s happily married and would simply laugh it off with her gal pals over some Chardonnay.

            But the sum of all fears part of me always hedges the bet. Just because.

            And that’s as it should be. What we believe is what we carry. There ain’t no right or wrong to it.

            Sheryl Crow wrote a song about winding roads. A good ‘un.

            There has to be that line. Tell the story but don’t fuck with the person. Even if they fucked with you in a most fucked up kind of way.

            I don’t fear a fight. But I fear the emptiness that comes with fighting the mistakes you owned every bit as much as the other person.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Michelin? You funny boy.

            Why wouldn’t she be? It’s not impossible. We all have stories from before, so yes, why not laugh it off as something that happened when.

            And yeah, I get that hedging of the bet. We know how small the world is.

            Yes. There is no right or wrong. There is – IS.

            It is a good ‘un.

            Yes. There does. I have had something brewing and not sure if I wanna or don’t wanna share.

            Yes. You don’t have to look for a fight either. There are two sides, two participants and no way is anything ever one-sided.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Hey, my Nader skit is running on empty so I need another hook, Cut me some slack, Canada!

            If you can’t laugh it off, there’s always Applebees. Oh shit. Did I . . say that out loud?

            The online world is like fucking Smurf Town. It’s tinier than Trump’s hands!

            There is- IS. I totally feel that one.

            Well then.

            It’s the tip toeing through the tulips thing. Sometimes you feel like it’s a great idea to do so, and other times you’re like “No Vacancy beeattch.”

            As Dave Mason once opined, there ain’t no good guy and there ain’t no bad guy. There’s just a lot of disagreement.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Soooorrrrryyyyy!

            LOL! I don’t even loathe Applebee’s – whenever we drove down to the Jersey shore we stopped there – we were guaranteed to eat something half-assed decent…

            It is! Well, actually. Yeah, it is. Puny.

            Well then, indeed.

            I feel like I am pretty safe as no one in my entourage blogs and most of them don’t even know what a blog is.

            Well said, Dave.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Less?

            Like boneless chicken wings? Let me ask you something. You ever see a boneless chicken? Like . . . ever?

            That’s what SHE said!

            LOL.

            That was me, in what feels like another lifetime ago.

            Thank ya . . thank ya very much.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ha ha!

            I know, I know. Why don’t they just call them what they are? Chicken nuggets flavoured a la chicken wings…

            Actually, HE did!

            🙂

            Well, it’s still me. I’m a rarity around these parts.

            Dave sounds like Elvis…

            Liked by 1 person

          • I always ask for the chicken wings with a boner. And that usually gets me a free meal, just so’s they can get me out the door without the 911 call.

            Knew it!

            Most parts, I’d say.

            I know. I’m sorry Dave Mason, but I have no idea what your brand was!

            Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      Okay, deep breath and I’m back . . .

      WTF? Right?! It’s like all those peeps who were talking up this dry heat bullshit were getting caysh under the table from the Chamber of Commerce or something. ChapStick made a killing!

      Delicious works for me. Palenty fine, thank you very much! And yes, this open book done came to life. No help from Annabelle . . . that I know of.

      Dudette! I wasn’t looking to get laid. Seriously not. I was there to gamble, do touristy shit, eat and drink well and stay up until five in the morning. Since it is only two in the morning on my body clock. She was my guardian angel, if you will. Which really doesn’t say much for my life, but hey . . it IS something.

      That’s the sticky part of the label. Because this story has so many laugh out loud moments. But there is such a profound sadness to the whole thing as well.

      That said, I prefer to see it as a blessing. It introduced me to the me I didn’t know. And to a world that gifted me people I probably don’t deserve, but who I’m better for having known.

      Oh. To the M and G. It’s gonna get strange. Just warning you.

      B

      (Muah by the way, for the fab comment. I usually include it at the tail end of our scroll, but it belongs here)

      Liked by 1 person

      • B-Marv,

        Inhale, Hold. Exhale.

        Of course, depending on when you go… I went in April the first time and it was hotter than hell and not of the terraces were ready and they were scrambling because the heat had come earlier. Um. Nkay. In October, the second time, we had to walk on the sunny side of the street otherwise we froze!

        Delicious better work for you. Not only are you opening the book of you, you are doing so in such a fabulous way. Annabelle? Is she the prepared one or some reference that is way over my head – again. Damn.

        Yeah, yeah. You weren’t looking to get laid. But. VEGAS! Anything can happen. Stawp it. She was there for a reason.

        And I do get that laughing through the tears. Too well.

        And yes, do see it as a blessing. Every experience we live opens more doors or at least cracks ’em open. And don’t give me any of this deserve shit.

        Looking forward to your strange.

        Q

        (And hey. Mwah (or Muah – since you are so partial to the “U”) is good any time.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Q-licious,

          It works. Seriously.

          I would have chosen frozen. Yes, I meant to rhyme on that. But really, it could have been worse. There could have been a blackout, in which case I would have taken to the pool and probably been drowned by all the fat ass sonsabitches who copied my game plan.

          No, it’s that creepy little bitch of a doll that has demonic powers and is being released in movie theaters this week. I loves me some Vera Farmiga, but I’m done with the Annabelle horror series. Probably . . .

          I ain’t complaining. Not that I remember her name. Because all I kept thinking is, “That’s not your real name”.

          You know what name I gave her? Marc. Because why not? And I didn’t specify the C, so she was probably assuming a K. So yeah . . it really kinda WAS an alias.

          I know you do. Every bit as much.

          You Canadians are tough! And no, I don’t mean just Raptor tough.

          You are? Because even I don’t look forward to my strange. But thank you so very much. That’s a true friend right there.

          B

          (How’s about MUWAH?)

          Liked by 1 person

          • I believe you that it works. I would have committed murder by now had I not figured out to stop and breathe first.

            Some so love the heat. I just find it way too much. Oy. Thankfully we don’t have to worry about that. You were not drowned!

            Right. Being a fan of horror (not), I only know of Chucky and haven’t watched a single show in eons so have not seen any commercials… and Vera is in it? You’re going.

            I know what you mean! Maybe it was her real name, maybe it wasn’t.

            And I’m not surprised you gave your name. And besides. You knew it was a one-shot deal so who cares if you used your real name or not?

            We understand.

            We are tough. Well I am tough. Which I always worry means I’m also hard…

            I know you are not because it is your schtuff… but I know you are gonna write it in such a way…

            I’ll take MUWAH! 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t know how the penal system looks up North, but down this way it’s peach in comparison to most other parts of the world. Three meals, and if you’re prison guard’s pet, you even get a fourth meal plus cable and smokes. Which, even if you hate the shit, you’re gonna want.

            I can’t get the image of being drowned by somebody’s fat ass cannonball out of my head now!

            I’m watching Vera on Prime. No theater going for me on this one . . . probably not.

            I know it wasn’t one of the Kardashian girls because I’m still here. Those girls are baaaad juju.

            That’s what I figured. It was all reverse psychology.

            Nah, you ain’t fooling me. 😉

            Schtuff is a favorite word ‘o mine. How’d ya know?

            I was kind of hoping you might.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Lemme tell you this… we keep saying to send our old folks to prison because they’ll get better care… 3 square meals, a bed, medical attention when needed.

            Now I have that image!

            Thank gawd for Prime.

            They are. Every single one of them. And I’ll never, NEVER understand their fame, whatsoever.

            LOL!

            No? You KNOW I am hard, then? 😛

            Coz we have a few things in common.

            You knew I would.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’d pay three grand a month for that kind of deal. And you’re telling me the state will give it to me gratis? I’m in.

            It doesn’t leave you very easily. That’s all I’m saying.

            God was doing lots of business on the eighth day.And Prime was involved.

            One word. America.

            Buff.

            You could say that.

            Of course I did!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Marco! Where do I begin…

    I am laughing because you can truly spin a tale that is engaging and witty even while you are putting your heart out there for us to trample.

    Crying because I personally find the concept of one night stands to be the loneliest act of mankind. There is no emotion, no wooing, no sharing of one’s heart and I find that to be sad.

    Weeping because divorce is brutal and places you in such an unexpected vulnerable place.

    Thankful to Dan for introducing you to blogging…although I fear this too is going to take me down a rabbit’s hole.

    Solid writing, my friend!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chitown,

      I’ve no need to sugarcoat. I realize we ain’t all lucky enough to be George Clooney and I’m plenty fine with that.

      It’s strange. I had never engaged in one before, and haven’t since. I’ve met women in bars and eventually did the mambo, sure. But not this. And it was a genuine stroke of luck that she gave me a wrong number, because in the light of day . . . what in the blessed hell WERE we gonna talk about?

      It’s the gift that kept on giving, and taking and . . . and mine was amicable!

      Oh, you called it. And that is ALL Imma say.

      I appreciate the sugar shake!

      Like

      • Even George Clooney has his ups and downs, as we all do. But yea, it’s George Clooney so I ain’t disagreeing. 😉

        LOL…the weather I suppose, but it was sweet of you to want to try. And no judgements here (although it probably came across that way, sorry!) I was responding to the feels your writing has on me and thinking in general on how I would feel after had I chosen that path and think I’m just too needy. I like the getting to know you part of the relationship too much to forego it.

        I imagine even amicable divorces have intense emotional moments. My parents had an amicable and much NEEDED divorce and I watched them struggle though how to be one without the other. In the end, their are better versions of themselves on their own, but yikes there were some ups and downs until they got there.

        Waiting eagerly for the telling of the tale!

        No sugar coating. I am loving the way you are unraveling this story.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I believe in reincarnation, which means Clooney had a shit for past life, because mango! Is he making up for it in this one.

          Don’t be sorry, at all. I am a most self deprecating fella who doesn’t take himself too seriously. I appreciate my mistakes for having taught me something. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing, because the mistakes gave me the perspective I gots now.

          Oh me goodness, it’s incredibly wrong to say this but I wanted my mother to divorce my father in high school because I was going to match her up with my history teacher. Yeah, things were never good with mom and dad. I feel ya.

          Me too! I have one in draft and am just figuring out how to divvy up the stories over the next nine weeks.

          I appreciate the love, truly and much.

          Be coo Chitown!

          Liked by 2 people

  5. When I toiled at the law firm for the Devil, one of our public finance clients was McCarran Airport Authority. I had to go out to Sin City 3-4 times a year for closings. The Devil told me I needed to go out the day before and leave the day following the closing (my roll was mostly mule schlepping at first). It was hell twiddling my fingers while waiting on Fed Ex to deliver my documents for signing by authority big wigs and underwriters. After doing a few closings, I figured out how to minimize time in that empty vessel of a town. I decided to fly out the day of closings (only having to wait maybe 30-45 minutes for Fed Ex and get everything else ready), work my ass off and leave that night. In and out with no Andie MacDowell sightings. Every single minute was sheer torture though the local folks at the authority were the nicest peeps and my rooms at the MGM Grand were well appointed. I never understood why anyone would live in that vapid place draining water they didn’t have for hotel landscaping. And don’t get me started on the bing-bing-bing cacophony on the D concourse. On the plus side, your buddy Dan gave the rest of us a major gift for which I continue to be grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Monika,

      It IS an empty vessel of a town. Vapid and soulless in its bing and bling crush of jackpot losers and sequined followers.

      It was the kind of respite I needed though, if only to prove to myself that the ‘game’ of single life was no thing. I really felt ancient at the tender age of thirty eight. Because that’s what divorce does to you. And no matter that I’d had a few flings before venturing West, I still wasn’t feeling totally in tune with the times.

      And yes, Dan had a few good ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

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