Monday, October 6, 2008

Vegas* (Part One)

We never saw this sign.
Prologue

When someone tells you they’re going to Vegas you instantly picture that fucking sign. Then you picture fancy casinos, beautiful women, flowing alcohol, and assholes in suits. You do not picture yourself trudging down the shitty part of Las Vegas Boulevard in the midday heat with your belongings and an empty wallet.

Let me preface this story with some numbers:

The average lifespan of the American male is roughly 80.3 years. Let’s round that down to 80. That means you experience 4160 weekends in a lifetime, providing you die on a Monday. Of those 4160 weekends, you are in your twenties for 520 of them. I am a little over halfway through my twenties – almost 25 and four months.

I have 242 weekends left before I turn 30.

What does this mean – other than I use math for depressing reasons? I’m not sure. But it’s depressing. Especially after weekends like this.

“Do you want to go to Vegas next weekend?” Patrick asks me.
“Vegas? Why, what for?”
“Just to go.”
“Who’s going?”
“BDR.”

BDR stand for Big Dick Rick, one of Patrick’s gay clients. I dubbed him Big Dick Rick because it rhymes and it’s flattering and because he wears size fourteen shoes. He’s a good-looking Latin guy in his early forties. Lawyer. Real tan and friendly. Patrick got a hold of him a couple months ago, back when he was 180, and turned him into a 215 lb. powerhouse who is now obsessed with bodybuilding.

“Is he driving?”
“Yeah.”
“We got a room?”
“Yeah.”
“Do I have to pay?”
“No.”

Patrick has a knack for leaving out important details, so I’m always wary when he asks me to do something. Not because I don’t want to hang out with him – he’s a fucking brother to me – but because I’m never sure what’s in store. A couple months ago he asked me to help him move a couch. He neglected to mention the couch was the biggest, heaviest fucking couch of all time and that professional movers had failed to move it the week before.

“They’re professionals.”
“But we’re bigger than them.”

Through much sweat and many f-words, we did the impossible and moved the goddamn thing up three flights of too-narrow stairwell. I had never felt more triumphant, not even after the time I defeated a shit that had my toilet clogged for five days.

Another time I went to his apartment expecting to have a drink and talk shit about people I like and don’t like. I ended up playing a board game his cunty roommate and her cuntier friend.

“You didn’t tell me we’d be playing Scattergories…”
“Come on. It’ll be fun.”

And it was. That’s what I love about Patrick. You go in expecting something, you get something else, and then you end up with something of value – even if you don’t appreciate it right away.

“Yeah, I’ll go.”

Two of my coworkers went to Vegas recently. One had sex in a pool and the other won $3000. I could match that, couldn’t I?

A week before we leave I receive an email from BDR telling me he’s glad I’m coming along and that he’s going to CC me on a Barack Obama mailing list.

What?

I start to receive emails BDR is exchanging with a guy named Craig. Through these emails I learn the reason for the trip: we’re going to Vegas to spread the divine word of the almighty Obama. We will canvas neighborhoods, marching from door to door to make sure no one votes Republican. We’re not taking a trip to Vegas; we’re taking a trip that happens to be in Vegas.

We’ll be staying at Craig’s aunt’s house, by the way.

“Patty, what the fuck?”
“What?”
“We’re doing Obama stuff?”
“Just for a little while. Then we can go out and have fun.”
“Why didn’t you say anything about this before?”
“Because I knew you wouldn’t want to come.”

He’s right. It’s not that I’m anti-Obama. I’m anti-politics. Fuck, I’m anti-everything. If there’s a group of people telling me I should do something, I don’t do it. Mostly to piss them off, but also because groups are dangerous. Crips, Bloods, Christians. It’s the sheep-like mentality. Groupthink. Everyone’s drinking the same Kool-Aid without stopping to consider the backwash. That’s how people get sick.

I want to back out of the trip, but everyone is expecting me and BDR has already made arrangements to borrow his boyfriend’s Grand Cherokee so we can all fit. It’s too late.

I’m locked in.

Friday

I start packing twenty minutes before we’re supposed to leave. Shoving shit into a duffel bag is actually a better term for it. I tend to overshove, if only because I want options. I know I’m not going to wear five t-shirts over a weekend – unless I manage to spill lots of shit on me, which is entirely possible – but what if the shirt I pack today is not the one I want to wear tomorrow? I’d rather have more than less, even if I’ll regret it later (which I always do).

There’s a problem though: my white going-out shirt is wrinkled. Both of them. So is my black going-out shirt. And my roommate forgot to leave his iron out. I panic for a moment. What am I going to wear? What will make me look good and show off my torso and get girls to look my away? I consider a stretch polo for a second and then feel like slapping myself for doing so. I rifle through my closet. No, no, no, maybe, no, no, why the fuck do I have this?

I decide on my brown going-out shirt because it matches my eyes and my hair. Yes, I know I’m gay.

I also pack pillows because I’m a finicky sleeper. Two shitty throw pillows from my couch back home. Pillows no one but me would find comfortable. MY pillows.

Patty picks me up in his new car that makes him feel like a G. I explain the pillows. He laughs his hearty, Patty laugh.
Translation: “you’re fucking strange.”

We go back to his apartment because he forgot something. What he forgot I don’t remember. Har har. From there we head over to BDR’s house in Hancock Park, bumping our heads to the new T.I. and talking about shit that would make you think we’re horrible, disgusting people. You know the saying “be yourself”? That doesn’t apply to us because our heads are so fucked up. If I ever get to create my own TV show, Patrick is going to write for it.

We get to BDR’s around 3:30. We were supposed to be there at 2. BDR comes out to greet us sans shirt. I notice that he has long nipples, almost like the tip of a bottle you’d feed a newborn kitten with. I’m not sure if he’s shirtless because he’s proud of his physique or if it’s because he wants to impress me. He’s made some suggestive remarks in the past, all of which I shrug off and say “Oh, BDR…” to. Perhaps, in his head, this is the weekend of my seduction. The weekend I realize that cock should be a healthy part of my balanced breakfast.

Gay guys love straight guys because we present a challenge. We are the hardest difficulty setting in life’s video game and therefore the most rewarding. If a gay guy bags a straight guy, he may as well chop off his head (you know which one) and mount it on his wall, because that is a fucking achievement.

“I love this cock, Chad! Where did you get it?”
“Well, I was out in the woods one day when I heard a rustling in the leaves…”

BDR ushers us inside his nice, wooden-floored, central air-conditioned house to meet the people we’ll be stuck with in a car for at least five hours. A short, mostly-white guy with black man’s hair rises to shake my hand, a lascivious grin on his bony face. He wears a ringer t-shirt that says Obama ‘08.

“I’m Craig. Nice to meet you,” he says in a stereotypical gay voice.

Craig. From the annoying emails I’ve vanquished to my spam box. I shake his hand and decide he’s only mildly flamboyant. It’s not until later that I realize he reminds me of Chris Kattan’s homosexual doppelganger.

Laura, a fair-skinned woman with reddish hair, remains seated. Wan smile, weak handshake. She’s librarian-quiet with an air of silent judgment, like she’s keeping score on a chalkboard in her head. She reminds me of one of those average-looking housewives you’d see in some amateur picture gallery on the internet – one with an asshole that’s too brown and a pussy that’s too red.

Either way, I want to fuck her.

It’s 3:45 and I’m eager to get the show on the road. Unfortunately the law of meeting new people dictates you must bullshit with them, so I’m forced to listen and smile and agree with everything. Craig spends an unhealthy amount of time talking about Obama and half-jokes about how our hard work this weekend is going to turn Nevada blue. I smile and nod, all the while thinking about how me and Patty are going to get fucked up and gamble our asses off. Should we get hookers? No. That’ll cut into our massive winnings. Besides, women will be all over us anyway. Will the brown shirt look good on my floor?

We leave at four. Patty sits up front with BDR. I get crammed into the back with Craig and Laura. I have to hunch myself in like I’m flying Southwest.

It takes us forty-five minutes to get to the freeway. This is normal in Los Angeles.

Craig asks me what I do and I tell him I’m a personal trainer like Patrick. I don’t tell him I’m a writer because the same shit always happens when you tell someone you’re a writer. They ask you what you write. You tell them. They ask a follow-up question that neither of you care about. You answer. They mention they know somebody that’s a writer that’s more successful than you. You smile and tell them that’s awesome. They say something along the lines of, “Yeah, writing’s tough. I hope it all works out for you.” You tell them thanks. End of conversation.

This happens every fucking time. Every. Fucking. Time. Plays out like a script.

Traffic is just as bad on the freeway as it was in the city. We could have dodged it if we left on time, or even just a little earlier, but the universe is never on your side when you have somewhere to be.

Patrick and I start to text each other to pass the time. He tells me he hates Craig’s voice. I tell him I hate Craig. I text people I wouldn’t normally text and ask them how they’re doing. Only a handful text back. This bothers me because I make it a point to always text back unless I’m mad at the person or trying to spite someone who hasn’t answered my previous texts. It’s just good textiquette.

BDR announces it’s time for his next meal and we need to find an In-N-Out. We passed an In-N-Out truck earlier and it made him hungry. In-N-Out sucks compared to Burger King, by the way. All of you non-California people who have only heard about it can take it off that pedestal you’ve placed it on because it’s nothing fucking special. California people, eat a Whopper and shut up. The only good thing about In-N-Out is it’s open late and cheap as fuck. The milkshakes are decent too. But that’s it. The French fries are shit, no matter how much garbage you dump on top of them, and the burgers are tiny and unremarkable. Like Asian dicks (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Craig busts out his laptop and gets on the internet to look for the closest In-N-Out. He has some expensive, mega wi-fi thing attached to his USB port and can apparently get internet anywhere. Good for Craig. Not so good for me, as I will come to find out. He can’t find the nearest location, but he does find the number to the In-N-Out hotline. I call it up. A real person answers. No shit.

“Hi, I’m looking for the closest In-N-Out.”
“Where are you?”
“On the freeway.”
“Which freeway?”
“I don’t know.”

BDR tells me where we are and I relay the information to the In-N-Outperator (clever, huh? I just came up with that). The operator tells me we need to stop in Azusa.

Being from the east coast, California was always a magical place in my mind. Land of sunshine and opportunity. Home to beaches and bimbos. Then I’d meet the occasional fat white trash bitch who said she was from California and it’d confuse me. How was this possible? It wasn’t until I traveled to some of the outer lying areas that I realized how trashy some of these SoCal towns are – one shitty burg blurring into the next.

And that’s what Azusa is. Rednecks and Mexicans. It’s likely our nation’s inevitable race war will start in a town like this.

What really sucks is Azusa is only 30 miles east of LA. At this point we’ve already been in the car for two hours and it feels like we’re halfway to Vegas. My shoulders hurt and my ass and back are covered in sweat from the leather upholstery. Leather, I’ve noticed, is one of those things that’s nice to talk about but a bitch to deal with. I’ll spare you a simile.

(more to come...)

8 comments:

patrick nilsson said...

“Oh, BDR…” post more. now.

mom said...

You are a brilliant blogger, my son. I reposted on my blog today so you should get a lot my eyes viewing it. BTW, I was told recently I made the top 100 blogs of MySpace, for what it's worth. I didn't know they had such a thing. Anyway, I hope you get a lot more fans. Just remember, I'm your biggest one. This is a work of art.

kelly said...

i cant wait for more

mom said...

My favorite line:

"Well, I was out in the woods one day when I heard a rustling in the leaves…"

Ha ha ha ha!

Anonymous said...

I love this!!! WRITE MORE!!! I am your biggest fan!

Anonymous said...

Great read man! :=)

James Martin said...

don't hate me for finding a typo!


Another time I went to his apartment expecting to have a drink and talk shit about people I like and don’t like. I ended up playing a board game his cunty roommate and her cuntier friend.

'I ended up playing a board game WITH his cunty roommate"

Anonymous said...

needs moar pt 2