I find myself in a silent, syrupy funk, staring off into the distance out the huge plate glass window from my 10th-floor suite at the Flamingo. At night, the lights outside are always on. Bright, neon spectacles to dazzle and daze – and that they do. Eventually, I turn away with my back now at the glass barrier. And there I am on the edge of the bed, holding my two little plastic bags of toiletries waiting for my son to get out of the bathroom. The only color I can muster is blue.
You see, this is (was) the week of the IPCPR Convention in Vegas. And here I am in one of the most captivating, chaotically charged cities in the world, sitting totally still on the edge of my bed. My mind deep into the thoughts of last year’s show. And I must tell you, that was a time I will never, ever forget. A well-crafted puzzle where all the pieces fell into place. No friction in between the curved edges that, once assembled, would eventually create an image, a memory of fantastical fantasy that will never be duplicated or repeated again.
As I look back at the last five days in this series of blogs that I will publish in order one week after the event, I’m finding Day One to be nothing more than mismatched pieces of an abstract puzzle that are all over the place. Some pieces I can clearly see, others are face down – revealing a nondescript shade of brown and a fuzzy image of anxiety.
I’m looping. I can’t help but contrast these thoughts with last year’s smoothly engineered shapes that have become embedded in my mind and continue to draft fond memories bringing a longing for a return to that year-old reality of surreal excitement that so quickly dissipated into a make-believe world that would unfortunately be real for only a sparkle of an instant. Oh, if only for Brigadoone.
And I said to myself, “Christ! It’s only Monday, The fucking show hasn’t even started yet!”
But there I was, sitting motionless musing over what would never be again. Thinking so intensely about how difficult it is to hit a nail on the head in the exact, precise spot each time the hammer strikes the hardened steel. Nevertheless, there I am desperately trying to do just that – an impossible feat of childlike make-believe – Mister Rogers. Fuck you!
Why this year? Why was I projecting such dark thoughts when I could just as well have been ecstatic, anxious, thrilled about the prospects of a show that usually sets my heart aflutter at its very anticipation?
Because this year is markedly different. The show is north at the Las Vegas Convention Center. “Miles” from the constant scuttle of soused tourists, temporary lovers, clearly defined whores, nipple-capped teases, fake Elvises and too many baby strollers all who generate the electricity and erotic eclecticism of what makes Vegas – Vegas.
It’s that energy that gets under your skin and begins to create a scintillating crawling other life inside your being that never stops as if an army of marauding dorylus ants were slashing away with their maniacal mandibles nipping, crunching, squeezing, scratching, prickling every inch of your skin. No, this year would have none of that, 2017s is a frail fallen flower petal gently floating to rest on your wrist without your hardly feeling it.
The air-conditioned monorail would whisk me away each day from the Flamingo up north of The Strip to a quiet, barren, taciturn – dare I say – antiseptic, landscape?
As my son dallied and my mood began to darken further into #191970 – the hex code for midnight blue my pen quickly inked these words onto my notepad. I ached for last year’s thrill of palpable pleasure, real romance, and elevated excitement.
Instead, I began to feel oddly constricted by a psychological web of inky-black, sticky tar-like strands of thread that seemed to tie me down even tighter onto the edge of the bed with the chance of fluid movement becoming increasingly difficult.
(To be continued tomorrow in Day Two.)