This is how we.......... yaaawn.... sssstretch.... roll.
It was our final day in Las Vegas, and Corey and I were determined to sleep through as much of it as possible. Corey is more gifted in late mornings than I, so he was impressed and pleased when my peepers didn’t pop until after eleven o’clock, ante meridiem.
We ordered room service. I had the same, slimy oatmeal mentioned previously in my blog, but this time I had it in the luxury of our suite, so okay! Everything tastes better when you have live footage of a shark tank playing on wide-screen TV.
"I'm only working The Strip to put myself through college."
Our only real schedule obligation was to vacate the room long enough for the maids to magically transform it to its virginal state. While we wandered into the lobby, wondering where we’d walk, we fortunately stumbled into a serious conversation about some dynamics in our relationship. So we sat down at a patio table outside and proceeded to communicate, sincerely.
Not only did this help illuminate certain things for each other, but it totally kept us occupied long enough for housekeeping to complete, so, once we were satisfied we understood each other, we returned to the room to continue doing as little as possible. It was a success.
That night was The Advocate’s party at Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce, Mandalay Bay’s burlesque club, which, every Monday night (as it was) hosts “Stormy Mondays” – a male burlesque show.
As Corey was one of the hosts, we were on hand ahead of time to panic and prepare, which we did, more or less in that order. I observed the go-go boys practice their routines - so bored looking, so distracted without the throngs of gay dudes and fag-hags clamoring to pad their g-strings with greenbacks. It was a very heterosexual moment for me. I started drinking scotch.
It didn’t take long for the club to fill – many of Las Vegas’ GLBT VIP had RSVP. I took refuge on the uppermost pier of the VIP lounge and made it a point to lose track of how many cocktails I’d had.
Job takes a sip of Las Vegas celebrity, Hot Chocolate.
By midnight, and with the party in full swing, Corey was contented that his work was done, and we old codgers slinked away.
One of the stories I had told Corey earlier in the day was how, as a child on my first trip to Vegas, I had seen the giant slot machines and determined that, when I was finally old enough, I would play one.
Tipsy as I was after the party, it occurred to me that, while I loathe gambling (for myself only, not in general) I should indulge that boy-child me of yesteryear and drop $20 on the giant slot machine.
We found one such behemoth and I – flying in the face of my normal relationship with money – inserted an Andrew Johnson reserve note. I was at peace with losing it - after all, this was for my inner child - so it was especially surprising when, on my first pull, I won $30.
That was it. I was done. Far from being seduced by the possibility of even greater gains, I gleefully turned my tokens in, and Corey and I walked arm-in-arm up to our room.
The high-roller shows-off his winnings. Note the giant machine behind him.
Once inside the room, my iPod began crooning one of my favorite songs of all time: Betty Carter singing “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”. Half-dressed, Corey and I slow-danced and realized that “this was our song”.
To appreciate this moment, you have to understand that, after over a year of being together, we had yet to discover “our song”. It was a moment so perfect, so romantic, you would have totally barfed.
The next morning, we checked out, drove back home, and I went straight to Amoeba Music for a closing shift, the bulk of which I cannot recall.
(I couldn't find footage of Betty Carter singing the above-mentioned song, so below I've included another performance of hers. Check her out, but only if you're into music that is so fantastic.)