Wrath has a home within me; a furnace where heat builds incrementally, one incident after another layering on top of each other like logs stacked in a fire, until nothing flows through my veins but pure, red- hot rage.
Vegas: On our first night, after my girlfriend from San Diego arrived, we headed to the Mirage. My friend’s brother, Georgie lives in Vegas and hooked us up with free bottle service. We were escorted into the club, lights flashing in colorful snippets like a discombobulated memory searching for truth. In the center, a dance floor and elevated DJ stand surrounded by 3 tiers of couch seating; between the first and second tier was a wrap around catwalk with stripper poles at each corner, along the far wall a bar. Our couch sat directly in the middle of two poles, on our table sat a bottle of vodka in a champagne bucket with mixer options and sliced fruit.
We raised our glasses to toast; behind an overstuffed, under clad woman stepped up on the catwalk, wobbly in her 3.5” platforms. She grabbed the pole and folded in half shaking her thang in big circular movements.
“Whoo-eee now that is some coochie in my face,” I said tipping my cocktail in the woman’s direction.
“Get use to it,” Georgie replied.
The night continued in a frenzy of unce-unce music, with that girl’s coochie randomly popping into sight as if her coochie replaced her face. After the bottle was kicked and we did enough dancing to qualify as an exercise, I went to the bar for water. The bartender came back with a plastic bottle. It was too busy to make a fuss; I gave a $20 making a mental note to ask for tap next time, he gave back $16.
The next morning I woke up early and dehydrated. I grabbed my wallet intending to buy everyone water. At the vending machine it was $3.50 for Gatorade and $4.00 for water. I stared at the machine baffled. A worker saw me and asked,
“Anything wrong Ma’me?”
“Sir, I’m afraid the world’s been turned upside down, water is higher than Gatorade.”
“Welcome to Vegas.”
I bought one Gatorade out of desperation. Drank half and left the other half for the girls. Then I put on clothes and went out for provisions. I stocked a Styrofoam cooler with a jug of water, OJ and snacks. The man behind the registered looked like Mr. Rogers, only his eyes were hallowed out with the insides pink, the color of cow teats; his skin yellowed and spotted. He talked extremely slow,
“H-e-l-l-o….y-o-u-n-g….l-a-d-y, ….c-a-n…I ….i-n-t-e-r-e-s-t…. y-o-u…i-n…a-n-y…-f-l-a-v-o-r-e-d…v-o-d-a-k?”
He swiveled his head around pointing to a selection behind him.
I bit the inside of my cheek making sure I was awake, and then went back for a second jug of water.
Two nights later, at another club I ordered a cocktail and asked for a glass of tap water stressing the word tap.
“You mean you don’t have ice and faucets back there?”
“I mean we only serve bottled water, $4.00 each.”
“Extortion” I mumbled under my breath, fire logs piling inside. “Fugetabout the water.”
How could a bar refuse its patrons free water? On principle I wanted to get piss drunk and vomit in the man’s face. Later my girlfriend tried to find a recyclable bin to discard her plastic bottle; there were none in any of the casinos. Not only were they forcing $4.00 bottled water, but they didn’t give a sh*t about Mother Earth.
A Warrior Princess