Friday, January 4, 2008

The Gypsy & Birddog, Part III

Christmas morning. Fortified with a fine breakfast provided by Nancy, I hit the road again and headed to Las Vegas. It was a pretty day, full of blue sky and high sun. Birddog and I were just about the only ones out on the road. I love the drive from Sparks to Vegas. Most people would find it a bit boring, with its wide open desert spaces and few towns, but I find it peaceful and invigorating. I like that sense of nothingness, and the mostly deserted, ghostly towns are creepy in a very cool way.

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
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...

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