Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Uncanny Vegas Valley

Last night I returned from a trip to Las Vegas, that bright-light city, my home-away-from-home. Perhaps it was the interval itself--it hasn't quite been a year since I moved away, not including my 20-hour layover on my way back from Amsterdam--but there was something rather uncanny about the whole experience. Everything was the same, except slightly off.

Might have been the weather. It was overcast and cool the whole time. Contrary to popular belief, the temperature in Vegas is often cool in the winters--but it's usually sunny regardless. I wore a jacket to Shaun's wedding on Friday night, but I had to bundle in one of the fleece blankets they so thoughtfully provided nonetheless. To top it all off, on my flight back to Chicago, we flew through dark clouds that sparked and glowed. "Just sit back and enjoy the lightning show, folks," is not a comforting thing to hear from your pilot, for the record.

The wedding itself was uncanny. Shaun Leonard is married! How did that happen? Not that I didn't think he was the marrying type, or that he and his lovely bride Rachel aren't wonderful together--they absolutely are. But it was all so sudden. He only texted me about it in early February. I'm glad I was able to make it. The ceremony was surprisingly traditional, considering Shaun's natural boisterousness and both parties' theater backgrounds, but it was very sweet. During the reception, people read letters from Shaun and Rachel's relatives who couldn't make it, and then the rest of us told stories about how we knew they'd end up together. I guess that's what happens when you throw a bunch of writers into a wedding together. Aside from the cold, it was great--although I'm sure even that will become a charming memory as time goes by and nostalgia kicks in.

Other strange moments: applying for a Vietnam tourist visa from a Las Vegas post office while using my Chicago address; stopping into Supercuts for a quick haircut (I know), only to find the same stylist who used to cut my hair there, and realizing that she doesn't realize I moved out of state; visiting Lulu and puppy at my old apartment, but knowing it's not my apartment anymore; having my usual artist add to my passport stamp tattoo sleeve, but at a completely different shop; partying in a suite at the Stratosphere with a bunch of people who are very into improv comedy (I still think I made the better banana); drinking pink champagne with LeeAnn in a jacuzzi tub at the Palms, into which we've dropped a glitter bath bomb; running into Doug and having him ask me if I've sent out my book yet; catching up with Maile and having to leave the room every time a student arrives because I'm not her student anymore and don't have any real claim on her time.

It was a fantastic trip, of course--I got to see pretty much everyone I care about there, at least briefly. But I was feeling a little melancholy by the end of it, probably because I'm still in a weird transitional period and it's hard seeing that a place which was once my place isn't my place anymore, not in the same way. I feel so much better now--yoga helps. And I'm excited to rest and be introverted for a while before I head off on my next adventure: to Denver, to visit the one and only Leta.

Well, she's the one and only Leta to me. <3

1 comment:

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