Monday, January 23, 2012

Flashback Las Vegas

A homeless man is talking to his homeless friends, "I tell people from all over the world I am homeless but I have fun!"  He is very tanned, dirty and smiling.  He has cracked lips and hands, and he is surrounded by a smoky and briny crowd.

I continue to walk down Flamingo Road.  It is 15 degrees Celsius, sunny and blue skies. It is another morning in Las Vegas.

I stroll above the ground on escalators and moving walkways, propelling myself forward with the other hundred wanderers through marble paths and monolithic pillars.  Stumbling with elegance. “Don’t forget you have a f’n belly button.” A younger homeless man with blond hair shouts out.  He sits with a crew of similar statues, “These are my f’n family!”

Up, down, across, through - the world is scaled architecturally and labelled accordingly – Paris is written on a blue concrete and glittered balloon as the Eiffel Tower stands in its shadow. I lean back on my heels and sweep my view in a pirouette: the Venetian offers Gondola Rides through and around; Celine is Back! Banners and billboards show faces and expressions advertising what we are going to see, and what we have already missed; Blue Man Group, Magicians, and Jubilee are naked anticipation; Treasure Island is whimsical; the Wynn is inviting.  My neck spins with my eyes looking out for miles searching past ardent smiles, we are skating along flashing marble forums and floors in its cacophony of sounds.  It’s a show – a sold out, tickets on sale, sold out, on sale now, show.  I have no idea where I am going, I only know where I have been.

At the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo Road, black and colourful larger than life letters write the scene: Tiffany, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Caesar’s Palace, Flamingo Hotel, Bills Gambling Hall, Ballys, Paris – I am pressed down by their skyscrapers and beige manicured cubed concrete precision.

Day and night hold a different view. Last night and the scene was hypnotizing but as day time sunny skies cool the heat of last night's florescent streak, I flash my own scenes of remembrance.

I am a passenger on the stairs; a citizen of the view. 

Inside.  Decor resembling artisan’s ethnic, oriental and exotic mirrors are balloons like red buttons which fasten America to accents, places and things of expression.  These cultural flares on the walls, in the air and on the floors lead me through outdoor-indoor decor.  Play things are inside and reversible.

And in every room, for every function, are the poker machines and the levers which reach out and plead for you to ‘hold their hand’ as the chain smoking smoke screens cocooning the sick, curious and the foreign trap us all.


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