I love that last leg of the journey, coming down out of the mountains into the desert, and it feels like I'm just going to drive forever into the sand-blasted wasteland. Then suddenly, I round a corner and there it is... Cibola, the legendary city of gold, in all it's twisted, carnival nightmare glory... the massive glittering jewel that everyone loves to hate. Las Vegas.
I arrived at Timothy's house and was immediately enfolded in a massive hug. Nobody on this earth hugs quite like T-man. He's got it down. Glenda was there too, along with her friend Beverly. I walked in to the luscious sent of roasting prime rib - cue the drool - and was immediately poured a glass of good red. It was so good to see Timothy's face on Christmas day. I knew in an instant that I'd made the right decision, and I was right where I needed to be. We had a wonderful, easy, remainder of the day, complete with a very fine meal.
I stayed for three more days, mostly just hanging around and kicking back. Timothy's got a beautiful baby grand piano and I had lots of opportunity to give it a workout. (I could almost put up with living in Las Vegas just for that!) I met up with T at work one of the days and went to lunch with a group of his co-workers, a fun bunch to talk to. We trekked around doing errands another day. Went to see I Am Legend on the IMAX screen yet another afternoon (excellent movie, no matter what they say).
Okay. Here's where I admit that, as brilliant as I am, I can't do everything. My last night there, Friday night, Timothy and Glenda forced me to go bowling. I hadn't bowled since 1981. There are reasons for that. Well, one reason. I suck at it! I have an ignominious average of 45. No, not 145... just plain forty five. It was fun anyway, and a great venue for people watching. I'd do it again (plied with a bit more tequila) just for the entertainment value.
My bowling loser prowess was rewarded with a fine sushi dinner, complete with Saki Bombs (whoa! how did we end up on this pitching and yawing ship?!). Glenda, not being a friend of seafood, but being stoic enough to hang in the restaurant for a bit - bless her green pallor - found a jazz bar two doors down and left T & me to our raw food. Once we were fly-bloated enough on sushi, we met up with her there and had a couple more drinks, a cigar (T's a bad influence on me!), listened to a truly crappy band (Note: women who purport to sing with a jazz band should be able to pick up on the key and the rhythm!), and chatted up some other reprobates haunting the cigar room. Glenda walked away from the bar with $500 in winnings from whatever slot machine she was hugging up on!
After that, we made our way back to Timothy's house. He lit a fire in his backyard wood stove (it was pretty nipply that night), and we sat around, had a bit more tequila (uno más!), passed the pipe (It was bequeathed to Timothy from BruddaJ - a relic from "the days back when." At one point, Timothy was talking, and as I looked past him I swear I saw John sitting just to his right, nodding and smiling). It was right about then that Glenda proceeded to take down an armadillo. Truly. Timothy showed me a clay armadillo that he had in his back yard. Glenda said, "Gimme that thing! I'll wrestle it down!" Grabbed it in a choke hold and with a swift elbow to the belly, busted the poor clay critter into pieces. I'll laugh - and taunt Ms. G - about that one forever.
Glenda, um... warming her fingers by the fire...
That evening was a fine ending to a great visit. Next morning, we got up, went out for breakfast, and then I was on the road again, back to Sparks.
To be continued...