Reflections from the urban desert

So let’s discuss the ‘fish-out-of-water’ theme, always one of my favorites. I literally feel like an ocean fish (a mollusk maybe, from Long Island Sound) in the middle of the desert: flopping about, dried out, exhausted and not inspired to write much of anything yet. It’s all so strange: the dry air, the line of dusty gray mountains (real mountains, not those cute little hills we have back East) on the horizon and the weird greenish sky at dusk. Too weird for a girl raised in the Connecticut River valley and transplanted to lush and humid New Jersey. I’m actually missing that humidity now.

We are staying at one of those ginormous themed resort hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, complete with over-the-top architecture and overbearing grandiosity, with little spiritual dimension. What really moves me is simplicity and nature, so I’m not really impressed. What saves this place for me is the pool area, since I love to be immersed in water whenever possible. That, and the Subway outlet out back, which means we can eat in a fairly healthy way without taking out a third mortgage.

So, not sure what we’re doing here, since we’re not into gambling…although I might try the penny slot machines in the casino. I’ll use the proceeds from the Kindle borrowing scheme which gives me half a cent for every page of my novels that are read. My husband has found ways to amuse himself: he aptly describes this place as a fusion of Disneyworld, a Jersey boardwalk and the ‘old’ 42nd street in NYC (circa 1970). Last night he took a solo walk up the Strip (while I remained in the hotel struggling to stay cool) and returned with a handful of trading cards he had collected along the way. But instead of sports figures, these cards feature naked ladies advertising their physical wares–yes, prostitutes, but fetchingly advertised. He was quite amused by them, and spread them out on the table for me to see. I could only gape at them in a kind of ¬†astonishment, wondering what drives a woman to pursue such an occupation. Obviously it must be quite lucrative. But what can it be like, to be intimate with so many strangers–strangers who know you only from a card they picked up on the street?

What a place: where selling your body and throwing your money away are considered a good things. Tough for a old-fashioned New England girl like me, but novelist’s paradise.




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