Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Bitch Fist Weekend

Where do I start . . . I haven't been able to write in about a week, so my mind is full of adventures to share with you.

If you remember, the deal with LET'S MAKE A DEAL is that we would get a $60 bonus on our next job if we attended as costumed audience. Well, Debby didn't book me on the next job. We got an email that the next job was on Thurs OR on Friday. I had traffic court on Friday so it had to be Thursday. No answer. No booking.

So I called the casting line and jotted down all the details of the Thursday job. I drove in to Hollywood, hot, annoyed, broke, ovulating. I parked and crashed the audience line outside Paramount. Travis was there and checked for my name as I approached. Still high on Rage Against the Machine, I walked up and said, "I am not on the list. Debby didn't book me but I need the money from Let's Make a Deal ASAP." Travis nodded and the guy next to him said, "Got to appreciate the honesty." I smiled and shrugged my shoulders. Its not about anything but desperation. I was almost out of dog food and had no money in the bank.

Travis asked me to wait while he accounted for all the people that booked. So I leaned against the studio wall and counted the vouchers left in his hand against the people waiting in line. My chances were good.

He walked looked towards me and smiled. It was the kind of smile someone gives you one drink before they come over to ask you out. I smiled back using the 'I'm 10 at Disneyworld' smile men always like. My chances were very good.

Finally, he came over and handed me the voucher. *Cha Ching.*

I went in to the studio and found myself next to a very tall boy who was spreading himself out like he was at home on his couch. We were packed in, thigh to thigh, so I don't care how big his genitalia is, I needed the half of my personal space he was taking. I forced my leg to be parallel with my body, despite it having to be pressed up against his dirty khakis. There was taco sauce or something staining the crotch of his pants.

My leg touching his in protest of spreading out, was perceived as my wanting to spread out on him. All of a sudden, he warmed up to me, tried to make me laugh, and tuned in to everything I said for an opportunity to talk to me. He was kind of cute. Very young and not my boyfriend, so let's leave it at that.

The game was on its first day of production, which always means that everything takes twice as long. It was brutal, but Bill the audience fluffer was working.

Girl in the Audience: "Can you use your acute Gaydar to figure out if one of the Jonas Brothers is gay?"

Bill: "I don't know . . . I don't know, but I think the middle one. I have heard a few things."

We got out and I had $125 in cash to get food for the animals and pay my dogwalker for the Vegas trip the next day.

I made the mistake of calling my mother. They were driving down from Washington to Vegas, which they always do on the migration south for the winter. They stay with my sister in Vegas a few days before continuing to Arizona.

While in Vegas, my mother's ex-boss and her best friend was getting married. Let's call her Dorothy. Ok, why do I care that Dorothy is getting married? Well, my immediate family would be in one spot to meet Abe all at once, that's true. But Dorothy and I divorced around the same time. We had talks about it during that time. She is 25 years older than me, sure, she also had more to lose than I did.

She found courage in talking to me about it, and in a book I recommended called The Four Agreements. It shakes your mind up in a positive way. You can see the world through more control and faith. She later sent me an email stating that I was one of the 10 people that most influenced her life by just recommending that book. A year or two later, she found this guy on eHarmony, and now they were getting married. I wanted to witness the entire journey.

My mother was sick, of course. She went on about her sinuses for approximately 6 minutes or so before questions were turned to me about my life. I told her my rent was late and the landlord (who cashes rent checks late anyway) tagged me with a 5% late fee. Cunt.

Granted, I had been crying at the drop of a hat all week. I cried during Project Runway. I cried when the nurse at Planned Parenthood told me about her cat dying a few years ago. I woke up crying about my dead cat. I was just crying a lot.

So, my mother didn't really console me but just told me not to pay the landlord. My mother really doesn't know how things work since she has never been financially independent.

I told her it wasn't possible but maybe Abe would be helping me out with some of his money from the stocks. She said that she felt that wasn't right. She wasn't that type of person to ever take money from someone. Blah fucking blah.

I told her she didn't know what she was talking about and reiterated the above fact that she has lived with combined income her entire life. She said, "That's not true. Sometimes one of us wasn't working." (My eyes are rolling)

I told her I had no other option. Now . . . I tell people I am poor. I even tell them I have paid for gas in quarters. That ONE DOLLAR can make the difference between no meal and a ramen noodle meal. It never really locks in with certain people.

My boyfriend still will say something like, "You should really try to make the sacrifice to pay off the smallest credit card." Or my mother will say, "Treat yourself to something." They don't fucking GET IT. The only difference between me and the guy on the side of the highway holding a sign, is THAT guy is on the side of the highway holding a sign.

So. My mother said, "Well you can be whatever type of person you want, but I am just not that type of person." I said, "Then you would be EVICTED!!!!" And I hung up.

I called Abe crying and said, "Can we cancel the trip?"

Abe said, "Why?"

I said, "Cause my mom is a BITCH!" We couldn't cancel the room reservation for Sunday night so we were screwed.

This is when the downward spiral took effect. I came home the night before I had a shitload of stuff to do, and drank a bottle of wine crying into the phone to Abe, to Em, to Mr. OTR and I tried Jaq, but she is more like a wet slap in the face than a warm cup of tea.

I got drunk and shit talked a whole bunch on Facebook.

Things like:

"I am not talking to her again until I am stoned out of my mind. And then, I better have a glass of wine in hand. Its really hard not to seek my mother's approval, even though I have made more money (in salary) than she ever has on her own. Fuck her. I AM CONVERTING TO JUDAISM!"

"Hamsters are better moms."

People intervened and tried to speak reason with me. I had no food in my stomach, my face was swollen from crying and I kept belting out the insults:

"Yeah, your right. Its my period telling me to take money from my rich Jewish boyfriend. NOT THE TOTAL LACK OF MONEY! I HAVE NO OTHER OPTION ASSHOLE, YOU WILL LEARN THAT IN YOUR NEXT LIFE AS A BLACK PORN ACTRESS!!"

"The point is (anonymous FB friend), when you have money, you have the luxury of refusing money. I HAVE NO MONEY! I know you have absolutely zero life experience with the matter. So I respectfully ask you to SHUT THE FUCK UP!"

I really should be ashamed of myself. I am only human afterall. Its hard being broke, but its even harder trying to love someone that doesn't believe in you or want to help you. Have you ever tried? Its really hard. Its like the way I love onion rings. I miss them, I find them delicious for the first few minutes. Then they make me sick and I learn to stay away for a very long time.

I lashed out at Abe via text for wanting to get a cheeseburger before calling me. He did call, but at that point I was passed out.

Traffic court was in Long Beach the next morning. I woke up at 4:30am to take care of my unemployment papers, take care of some stuff for the pilot and put together instructions for animal care while I was gone.

My face was swollen from crying. I didn't even look like myself. My stomach was ruined. The place was a mess and I wasn't even packed for Vegas yet.

I got my shit together but was still 20 minutes late for traffic court. I came in. 10 minutes later I was called up. My police officer wasn't there so the case was dismissed. I ran out to purge whatever was left in my stomach in the employee restroom and headed back to Pasadena. I looked terrible. I was noticing wrinkles on my face I never noticed a year ago.

Then Abe & I took off to Vegas via Honda Civic.

Conversations included . . .

Abe: "I saw this movie once where all these guys were fighting with brass rods. Brass rods are a bad ass weapon. They are short like a yard so you can move it fast. If you were fighting something like a staff with a big blade on the end of it you would . . . probably do well."

Abe: "I am kind of psychic, and I think he was fucking that dog."

Abe: "The guy died and they had to go in and get the papers for the house. They found all of these old photos of people fucking animals. It was a farm animal whore house."

Abe: "Three rules for the road: pass on the left, don't turn into someone's blind spot and get the fuck out of the way."

Me: "Did we pass Barstow already?"
Abe: "Yeah. You have been orgasming for 50 miles."

Me: "It's the world's tallest thermometer."
Abe: "Its . . . digital."
Me: "What? That doesn't impress you?"
Abe: "Not really. It should at least perform a function."

So we pulled into a gas station with a big lit light that said, "Come see our Waterfall Urinal."

I went in looking for chocolate. I was ovulating and just had around 5 orgasms. They had dark chocolate coconut balls. Dark chocolate is mostly vegan. Not the manufactured dark chocolate but the real, small business dark chocolate. This gas station was getting their chocolate from a local vendor and had ingredients laid out for me to scan. That was a score.

I walked up to the cash register. "Is your waterfall urinal everything it promises to be?"

The cashier smiled, "Oh yeah, people brag about it."

I said, "Oh. What is it like a jungle style type thing?"

Cashier, "Oh no. It just has a motion detector water release. It comes out like a waterfall. Sometimes guys tell their buddies its meant to wash their hands or something like that."

I walked out ripping open the chocolate and popped it into my mouth. I lifted my arm up to Abe with a mouthful of sugar. "Look! Goosebumps. That's how good this is." Abe had more pressing matters, he was going to see the Waterfall Urinal.

His review: "It was cool."

We got a hotel in Henderson since Abe was late booking the hotels. He didn't know how impulsive most travelers are and waited to book. We lost the room in a closer hotel but my family hadn't called and I didn't even know if I was going to see them.

We fooled around a little, got some food at a local grocery store and stayed up all night smoking pot and watching TV. Its weird how that works. You travel just so you can be silly and do all the things you could do at home in a hotel room. There is something so charming about that.

We woke up and I checked my eyes. The puffiness from Thursday night's blow out was still evident and it wasn't allowing me to look pretty for Abe. I nibbled on left over chocolate and vegan cheese and crackers.

Noah: "You know about the cloud?"

Me: "What cloud?"

Noah: "The cloud of people poo that hangs in hotel bathrooms from all the people who used it before."

Me: "Nooo"

Noah: "I will tell you all about it . . . after your done eating."

We showered, grabbed breakfast and hit the strip. Abe hadn't been to Vegas as an adult yet, so he was excited about it. I have been to Vegas mostly just to work on a documentary series or spend time with my family, so the charm has faded like one of my glitter panties after a few washes.

My suggestion was we walk through as many casinos as possible on foot. We started at the Luxor, walked through Mandalay Bay, New York New York (stopped for a martini and I checked my messages, no word from the family). There were dueling pianos in the martini bar taking requests. I put in for "Angie", this inspired them to kick off a Rolling Stones block of music. They claimed they could play any request. Then I saw her download the music for any requested song on her iPhone before each performance to use as sheet music. Brilliant.

We continued to MGM, then Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock, then Paris. We weren't gambling, but I had $1 in my purse saved for a lucky win, just in case I felt magic off of one of the machines.

We stopped to ask for directions to a small man with an indistinguishable accent. He asked, "Are you two getting married?" His hands clasped together with joy.

Abe lifted my left hand to show the ring finger was bare. I smiled and said, "Not yet!"

The little man said, "Oh my . . . you should. She is beautiful!! Hold on to this one."

I winked and said, "I owe you $5."

Throughout our travels we spied 5 brides that day. I told Abe it was good luck. I don't know if it is or not but it feels like it should be. So Abe chimed in whenever he spied a bride. :)

Then we went to the Venetian. There was a champagne bar there and that is just too irresistible. So we sat down on dark blue velvet couches, chomped on pistachios and purple olives and discussed 'What have we always wanted to do in Vegas'

I am sure the answers were modified for the other party. There was a time when I wanted to do coke in a Vegas hotel room with Not for Profit. I am sure Abe had his own adult fantasies as well. In each other's company we came up with the following list:

-I have always wanted to go on a gondola ride at the Venetian
-We both wanted to run through as many casinos as possible
-Abe wanted good sushi
-I wanted to go dancing
-I wanted to take a bath together
-I wanted to see Circus Circus and visit the rotating bar from FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS
-Abe wanted to go to a buffet
-We both wanted to go swimming
-Abe wanted to see the top of the Stratosphere

Being that we were stoned and falling back in love . . . only half of the list was achieved in the small amount of time we were there.

Abe bought us tickets for a gondola ride later. We went to a great sushi restaurant on Abe's list. He had downloaded directions and details for sushi and vegan restaurants in the area. That scored major points.

Over sushi, we spoke about my parents and tears started pouring down my face. Abe said, "Don't be sad. If they don't care to call you, I don't care to meet them." So this is where the divide forms, between a new family and an old one. In moments where you feel like your spirit is being broken, you find your core. My family isn't part of that core anymore.

When my parents fell in love, they claim to have been alienated by both sides of the family over religion. I think my mother's family was more supportive of the union, but I know there was a lot of tension. My parents broke away and started a life in Washington state without contact for years. Funny how we repeat the patterns from our lives, even the ones that broke our hearts . . .

Abe and I had an idea about some sex toys we saw on the internet. I took him to the Adult Superstore a mile or two from the strip. We walked in and looked at all the bondage, plastic vaginas and dildos. A group of friends were in the store and grabbed the "Bitch Fist" off the wall. It was the length and shape of someone's forearm with a fist on the end of it. The friend pulled it off the shelf, held it in the air and called out, "Hey! Shannon! This is PERFECT for you! LOOK!" Everyone in the store looked.

I approached the clerk while Abe stepped out for a smoke. He hadn't heard of our sex gadget idea. I went outside and called every sex store in Las Vegas. Every single time I had to repeat the name and explain it. No one had it. We are so cutting edge. ;-)

So we went back for our gondola ride. We had to share it with another couple, which would have been great if we actually went on a gondola ride. They split up the gondolas- one for the inside of the casino and one the outside. You can't go on one ride through both. Ridiculous. So we floated around in the chlorinated pool in front of the Venetian for 15 minutes or so while an actor steered us around and sang a few Italian love songs. He kept asking for requests. I asked for Madam Butterfly and got a verse. Then I asked for 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn'. He belted out from the diaphragm the opening verse. "Every roooose has its thorn, just like . . . " then he got quiet and started repeating the song. I filled in "Every cowboy has a sad, sad song. Every rose has its thorn." The gondola driver was quiet. I lost him.

We approached a tunnel and I said, "You have to kiss me when we are under the tunnel, ok? For good luck." Abe, "Is that a commonly known thing?" I said, "I don't know, I think I saw it on a movie or something but it makes sense." Abe, "Yes it does." So we kissed, I ignored the other couple.

On the way back I asked for "That's Amore." The driver knew all the words and I sang with him. Abe said, "Your name is in that song? Really?" Oh yes.

We got out and went home, I mean to the hotel room. We were so exhausted, we fell asleep before we could make love. My parents never called.

The next morning I woke up before Abe, grabbed myself a cup of coffee and a cigarette then walked outside to call Jaq about the animals. No word from my family. Today was the day of the wedding.

Abe made the argument that calling them would give them permission to be mean to me in the future. So I should just wait until they reach out to me. Life is so short- if my parents die on their next trip to Europe or something happens, this could have been my last chance to see them. So I sent them a text, "I am in town." They got back to me right away.

I knew if they were in doubt for Friday and Saturday, they had already come to terms with not seeing me at all that weekend. The anger would be diluted in the great surprise that they were indeed going to see us. Plans for the whole day were chiming on my iPhone all morning. My face still looked puffy and I was mildly sick from the alcohol and lack of food in general, so my fingers were crossed.

Abe groaned. He said, "I don't want to see them because they are going to make you cry and then I will have to comfort you for the rest of the trip."

I said, "We'll take separate cars and come up with a code word to get out. What should it be?"

Abe, "We gotta go bang at the Stratosphere."

Me, "Nothing beats honesty."

Abe, "Are you going to go crazy at the wedding? Women lose their minds at weddings. Brides lose their minds, bridesmaids have nervous breakdowns . . . women who aren't even in the service go crazy at weddings. Something happens in their minds. Women who aren't even INVITED to the wedding go crazy."

Me, "Please. That's such a stereotype." The less guests, the better my chances for that bouquet. My sister might be my only competition. I will have to move quick.

We got dressed up, were running late due to last minute copulation. We drove and I went through every possible scenario with my parents. We sat in silence. Gawd help us.

As we drove up the street, Abe missed the turn off. I snapped at him, "Damn it, Abe!" He always misses exits on the freeway and side streets. Its because he is stoned and in deep thought. Abe said, "Sorry, I am nervous. Why am I so nervous? I have to go somewhere and take in everything you have told me about them."

He drove up the road and parked in an apartment complex in the shade. He leaned his chair back, closed his eyes and said, "Ok, tell me everything about them."

I did. I told him about how my mother grew up in an orphanage through most of her childhood and was later adopted by her aunt when she was 13.

My father's birth father died when he was very young, about 5 yrs old and lived with various stepfathers until he joined a motorcycle gang and then the Marines.

My father met my mother at the Marine base where my mother was working. They went on a double date to the bowling alley and he proposed to my mother 3 months later. He was about to be shipped off to Vietnam so it appears to be some grand romantic gesture, but I think it was more like my father thought he could offer my mother independence from her family, a form of it at least.

He came back after a year of service and they figured out they were indeed soul mates. They spent a several years together before my sister crashed the honeymoon. And then five years later, me. That's why I never use cervical caps.

Abe nodded his head. I told him about how educated they were and funny. I don't know what else there is about them. My Dad goes to the VA to drink beer and watch TV, he loves German television and sports . . . um. My mother goes to craft fairs, volunteers all over the place and never stops moving. I call her the shark.

Abe pulled out the pipe and we sucked down a bowl. Then we stepped outside the vehicle and smoked a cigarette. Anything to flood our blood with ease. We opened the trunk, hit each other with some perfume and drove down the street to my sister's condo.

My mother opened the door and took a huge leap at me with excitement. "Well look who it is." She grabbed my arm and pulled me in for a deep hug. "You little shit. How are you?" I said, "Fine" stoic or stoned.

My Dad came out and slapped me in the face, then drew me in for a deep hug too.

Later, Abe asked, "So what's with the face slapping thing?" I said, "I don't know, they just always do it." I find it kind of endearing, actually.

My mother, "What did I say? Never hang up on me. You shithead. (to Abe) Did she tell you what she did?"

Abe, "Yes." Stoic or stoned.

My mother shook his hand and then my father introduced himself. My sister was going through
all of her shoe options. "Shoe crisis" she said, and opened up one of three closets devoted just to shoes I could see. She was acting kinda wedding crazy.

We sat in front of the TV set as my parents asked us different questions. I just knew to avoid anything personal, anything that had to do with my finances or our conversation and anything that had to do with me hanging up. So whenever one of those things came up, I smiled a very fake smile and didn't respond. My mother thought that was funny.

We took separate cars to the wedding. It was a small wedding, just a handful of guests (mostly family). Everyone was dressed casually, someone was in a pocket tee and jeans. We came in for our introductions and met the family, everyone awkwardly mixed around each other. I turned to my sister and said, "Give me a hand signal when its ok to start drinking."

She said, "That was my first thought, and I am the wedding photographer."

I saw the groom was nursing a scotch, so I poured myself some white wine. My Dad asked Abe if he wanted a beer and pretty much cornered him for the rest of the party with conversation. The last thing I heard them talking about was Buddhism.

Mom: "I hate it when you hang up on me."

Me: (fake smile) I can't hang up when you are standing right next to me."

Mom: "Well you should know I hate it."

Me: (fake smile) "Ok."

Mom: "I need another piece of cake."

Me: (fake smile) "Ok."

During the brief and humble service, a simple exchange of vows and a candle light ceremony, I started weeping again. I really don't know what to say for myself other than I had been emotional all week and just started bleeding that morning. I cried more than anyone else, but pulled it together in time to delegate the uncorking of the champagne.

My mother asked me if I was alright, like she was really alarmed. I never cry at weddings. I am just stressed right now and re-evaluating everything.

The reception is a bit foggy because after hogging the latter half of the second bottle of champagne, I became that drunk that wasn't related to anyone at the wedding. I remember playing with the kids A LOT. I remember asking the room of men if there was anyone to set my sister up with because she was "prime for breeding." I also remember announcing to everyone that I was converting to Judaism because they are rich and funny. Abe laughed and my mother did not. She said, quite seriously, "I will kill you."

And then I remember being pushed out the door with my whole family. I don't remember the rest. Apparently, I said something very mean to my parents. I don't remember what it was, and Abe doesn't remember. It did strike a nerve with my mother whatever it was, and I had to apologize a few days later. Since it was so effective, I wish I knew what it was . . .

In the Stratosphere, I turned into a nightmare for Abe to get a handle on. I wanted sex, then I was bitchy, then I tried taking a bath . . . and then I was smoking in a non-smoking room. And then I was left cause I was angry, came back 11 minutes later (I know because Abe timed me) I waited for an apology . . . didn't get one, got impatient with Abe in the bathroom and left again.

In the elevator, a husband was explaining to his wife about how grateful they were that I saved the elevator for the them. I dropped my lucky dollar on the floor and slurred to the couple, "This is my lucky dollar. It is going to win me a million dollars tonight." I stuffed it back into my purse. They grew quiet. Did they notice the stockings and lingerie I was too lazy to take off from underneath my sundress?

I went to get onion rings and a cup of coffee.

That made me feel sick, so I went back to the room and passed out. When I get drunk, I usually wake up and go through the hangover in the middle of the night. Around 2am, I woke up and apologized to Abe. He was laid back about it, I was still an asshole. Then I looked on my phone and saw about 200 pictures I took of the little girls at the wedding. Yikes. That chardonnay really brought it all out, didn't it? Pictures of them posing with food on their face, pretending to be ninjas, dancing. Oh boy. That's what happens when a divorced, childless woman over the age of 30 goes to a wedding on an empty stomach. Learn from my mistakes.

So after I woke up and hydrated, we smoked some herb and went for a walk on the other side of the strip where we hadn't been. This would get my Circus, Circus item off our list of things to do. We walked and ran into a drug dealing singing, "I got the bud . . . I got the powder." Not much of a singing voice, that one.

Then I ran into a homeless guy asking for change. Abe checked his pockets, and it took a little longer than I was comfortable with so I found a quarter at the bottom of my purse and gave it to him. The homeless guy smiled and put out his hand, it was full of change.

Homeless Guy, "This is really great. Now I have 25 . . . 35 . . . 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 cents for one of those hot dogs."

I looked up at the sign across the street on the Riveria. It said: "Hot Dogs 99 Cents"

I grabbed my lucky dollar and gave it to him. I said, "Buy yourself a hot dog. That dollar is lucky, by the way." I willed good luck on to that dollar, it just wasn't destined for me.

His mouth dropped open and he raised his hand to thank me. I was walking away. Anyone that is counting his pennies deserves the dollar. Panhandlers in Venice don't even care if I give them dimes. Assholes.

We walked into Circus, Circus. It was pretty empty. There were no clowns, or trapeze artists or jugglers. I have to say, I was disappointed. We located the rotating bar from FEAR & LOATHING, but it was on the closed second floor and now an ice cream bar. I wanted to sip a whiskey on that thing, just for Gonzo.

We wandered around.

Abe, "Las Vegas goes from smelling like sewage to pancakes, to crap and then burgers. See? (sniff) Pancakes!"

We went through Treasure Island and The Mirage, there was some life, but it was minimal. We found someone's phone on the floor and called to give it back to them. They must have been only 20 ft ahead of us.

We walked back to a diner called The Peppermill. Abe was starving and loves breakfast food. All of a sudden a semi truck turned on its lights and sped through the street light.

Abe, "Was that thing just sitting in the middle of the road with his lights off? That dude is tweaking or something. I bet there is all sorts of crazy shit that happens here. Think of all the bad things happening in those hotel rooms."

I looked up at the Wynn, they had Garth Brooks on speaker to promote his performances there. I wondered about sex slaves, rape, abducted children . . . I really wondered how much terrible shit was happening there.

A car drove by and a drunk guy shouted, "You are going to get murdered."

We got to the Peppermill. When homeless men or time share sales people stopped us to ask Abe a question, he would be polite and engage them. So I got in the habit of grabbing his arm and saying, "No thank you" and dragging him away. Crazy old guy, "Hey ... you know they charge $17 for a Reuben in there." Abe, "Really!?!" Me (grab Abe's arm, walk away) "No thank you."

We got a table next to a girl who was crying about some botched love affair. "I was giving him free massages but I thought there was a connection, you know? Then I realized he was only calling me when it was convenient for him."

Me to Abe, "You have four different animals represented on your plate."

Abe, "One, two, three . . . oh, the butter. Four. You're right."

Girl, "No, you listen. I've got to fucking say it, so you have to fucking listen to me."

Abe, "Was that Reuben $17 . . . let me see. Nope, $11."

Girl, (full blown crying) "I was like fine, for those three massages you owe me $600. If that's how we are doing things now. Write me a check, fucker."

I gave Abe a look. Abe said, "I don't get it, is she a masseuse or something."

The guy, drunk/crying girl and her girl friend closed out their bill and asked us if we had "a cigarette or two." The guy pulled out a $20 and offered to pay us. Abe said, "No, no, go ahead. Take it." Damn it. I could have used that $20, I just gave away my last $1.

The drunk girl asked if they were menthol. I stopped eating and answered without looking, "No, they are Spirits." It came off as kind of cold. I didn't mean to be. Her girl friend searched my face and smiled. I smiled back, its cool. Just leave us alone, please.

We finished and walked back to our hotel room. We made it back just before dawn. I woke up at 8am and took a picture of Abe asleep in blue, morning light. It was still too dark in our room to turn out, but when I take a picture, I am looking to remember something. I want to remember him lying there like that for the rest of my life.

The next day we were slow moving, stoned and tired. We roamed through Caesar's Palace foolishly thinking the statues coming alive would be cool, but it was lame. So we wanted to smoke a bunch of pot, go to an oxygen bar then hit a buffet. We got tired looking for an oxygen bar with reasonable prices. The one in the Venetian was $17 each with a massage. Abe doesn't like to be touched by strangers and didn't want the massage.

The woman came up and said, "Well you can waive the massage but its really nice." Suddenly she pressed a vibrating object on my back, and I jumped forward. We skipped it and grabbed a decadent lunch at the Venetian. Wine, olives, pasta, a water fountain . . . I said, "This feels so right, how does this lifestyle look on me?"

Abe smiled, "It looks really good."

I said, "I thought so." Then I asked him if he wanted more sexual adventure before settling down. Abe hasn't had a lot of experience and I am not a fool.

Abe said, "You think you are gonna lock me down, huh?"

I said, "If anyone can, it will be me."

He smiled and dipped his bread in the olive paste. He said, "Sexual pursuits are overrated." Doesn't exactly answer my question, now, does it. Its ok, we are just starting up again.

By the time we left, we spied 9 brides . . . oh my!

We headed back to LA, played with the dogs, pet the cats and laid down next to each other. I was dreading letting him go. I came to enjoy having him there to bounce off of, to laugh at my jokes, reaching to kiss or put my arm around without looking. I feel alright with him.

He kissed me goodnight and headed back to Orange county. Back to life . . . audience work in the am.

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