19 March 2000
I chewed up ten hours in the Pill today. Today was the first hot beef injection of Pure Roadtrip and I am currently feeling like a buck-fifty. Also: The massive blood scab blister hole that my new shoes created is even bigger, causing me to have to wear my old shoes untied and walk like both Sanford and Son. Careful readers will note that I spent all my time in the car anyway so really what's the big deal.
I've had it with Las Vegas. I think that was the fourth time I've been there and it's been downhill ever since that first magical trip when everything seemed so new and the wretched, numbing artifice of joy was still fascinating. I don't think I need to go there again but there was some stipulation in the book that said if you're going on a roadtrip anywhere in the West, you have to stop in at Vegas.
After feverishly cranking out last night's entry, Vlad and I headed back down (me limping) to the Luxor casino and parked it in the Nefertiti Lounge (I said titi!) where the house band was just finishing up a rousing, ten-minute jam of "Brick House." Las Vegas makes you want to secede from the human race, but we all know that.
Vlad and I pounded some diluted well drinks and covered the main topics: dames, old Los Angeles, the genesis of Nascar. Toward five in the AM a foxy girl draped herself over a nearby table and struck up a conversation with Vlad and I got excited because I thought she might be a hooker but I guess she was just a drunk girl or, and this is how I prefer to think about it, perhaps Vlad didn't give her the correct code word. She wandered away.
Vlad said he saw some news report about how hotels never wash the topmost blanket on a bed, just the sheets, and they did some sort of test where they ran an ultraviolet light over the blankets to reveal a dense mosaic of hidden and awful stains, if I'm understanding him correctly. He peeled his right off and flung it to the floor and I did the same, but now I'm here in another hotel and I'm lying right on top of it. I am starting to notice that all hotel blankets have dark color schemes and dense designs, preventing you from really making out any stains.
I noticed that Sinbad was playing a show in Vegas last night and let me tell you what. If I had been there on my own, and if it hadn't been grossly expensive, I would've been all over that shit.
Today was just driving. I was usually grouchy. There was a traffic jam across the Hoover Dam and then a thousand miles of desert. You know what else I like about the Luxor? It has an appropriate theme for the locale. Desert: Egypt, pyramid. It works. It's not like these other places, like this new Venice-themed one where they just flaunt all the water they've stolen from already collapsing aqueducts in other states. That is all.
I listened to Mark Leyner reading his book Et Tu, Babe which is the only book-on-tape I've ever heard that I consider genius, and perhaps even superior to the book itself just because his somewhat nerdy, lispy, New Jersey accent, and the myriad of different voices he performs (though all tinged with the lispiness and Jerseyness), make the thing ten times better. I listen to it over and over again and it never gets old and it makes the miles go by faster than just music and I tee-hee-hee the whole way through.
Phone Log: Evany called right as Vlad and I burst into the Excalibur last night, in the vain hopes of getting a reasonable room. I think that was the first time I talked on the phone while walking around and I found it draining and stressful, though I was too busy trying to hear her over the goddamn court jester doing a juggling act or whatever the hell was going on to feel like a big dope. Alex called later in the evening as we were wandering the Strip aimlessly, and again, my brain was having trouble conversing and traversing at the same time. I think if anything will kill me on this trip, it'll be the phone. (Alex reports that John Wayne's colon weighed 50 pounds at the time of his death). This morning Mike Gillette called, MG being a friend from college and the first person to call because he saw the number here. Then tonight I got a call from some random guy named Russ, I think? From Georgia? I can't quite remember because I was so startled and flustered, as I always am, when the phone rang. Anyhow, I got all tickled when a stranger called to say hello and wish me luck. Most people would probably file a restraining order but I work in different ways.
The Sheraton. My stepfather told me there was a good hotel in Old Town Albuquerque but couldn't remember the name of it so I just picked the first one I saw. It has a lot of mirrors and a desk chair made out of lacquered logs. The TV has an annoying buzz to it but there's nothing on the free HBO anyway. I was reminded, however, that I might finally be able to catch The Sopranos because of all the free HBO I'll be consuming in the upcoming days.
Today's Facial Hair Report:
A blind gardener making a valiant attempt at topiary.
Mountain Dew, but that's not noteworthy. I took alternating sips of the Dew with a bottle of water because the Dew, like all good soft drinks, actually makes you thirstier. I was hoping to get bursts of caffeine to shock my system after its paltry five hours of sleep but nothing doing.