Las Vegas is a peculiar beast at 3 am on a Thursday. In the off-season. Man…I have wanted a reason to write that line for a decade. Now that I have, the accomplishment feels…hollow.
Fremont Street, most known for the pervasive and vibrant overhead deluge of spectral neon glooming, feels a bit hollow as well, this chilly February early morning, the “Witching Hour.” My Jenn Baby and I share a pervasive and unpredictable sleeplessness — one of many symmetrical traits between us — as well as a penchant for waking suddenly and completely around three most mornings. On this particular occurrence, and advantageous of our location this week, we felt the classic Vintage Vegas experience offered by The D, a bit of new packaging around the old heart of this city, calling to us from midway down the Fremont Street Experience.
Because nothing in the world says “Keep Vegas Weird” quite like a bearded man in a mismatched arthouse t-shirt and nylon-polyester cargo pants, covered by a knit beanie and tailored suit jacket (*cough* Hipster! *cough*) earnestly playing a vintage pin-ball horse racing machine with his gorgeous, classy-casual, sweetly sarcastic Boo and a group of Mexican businessmen sipping chilled Patrón with Heineken and shouting at the mechanical jockeys at three in the morning on a lazy winter weekday.
A genuine San Franciscan millenial in a t-shirt with art by Winston Smith blew by for a moment to chat Dead Kennedys and the history of the machine to which we were losing our ten spots. Apparently there are only two others operational in the country, says California, one at the MGM and the other in Reno. And like that, he is gone, his mission to proliferate random kitsch trivia complete.
Later, headed back towards Fremont East, the streets are all but barren. Only those with true grit, or those with no place else to go, remain. A red-eyed man with a dark, sagging face asks if we have a bus pass we might part with. Nearer our room, with the sun peaking over our Eastern horizon, a woman shuffles along behind an overflowing shopping cart, careful to clear out of the frame as I attempt a “selfie” with the vintage El Cortez signage. Vegas is a place that loves to embrace its clichés…
“Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run, but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant…”
Catch up on the first five chapters of Our travel log!
Part I – http://wp.me/p5maOU-7j
Part II – http://wp.me/p5maOU-7r
Part III – http://wp.me/p5maOU-7u
Part IV – http://wp.me/p5maOU-7y
Part V – http://wp.me/p5maOU-87
© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.