Kyle and I spent the first day apart–as usual—and we met up for dinner that night, whatever the night was. After spending a few hours in a casino, you lose all track of time. After dinner we walk up The Strip of Vegas, but we were both consumed by the fact we were actually in Vegas. Neither of us were gamblers, nor were we interested in taking advantage of the cheap cheese-ball shows. Instead, we looked at the worst humanity has to offer. Feeling beaten, we both retreated back into our cockroach-infested motel where, the next day, we tried again to experience Vegas. It just wasn’t for us.
In 2001, Las Vegas was in flux. The old Vegas was disappearing—Rat Pack motels were beginning their multi-implosions and the nightclubs were becoming corporate-chain-run casino complexes. Malls and amusement parks were rising in the desert, and the shows and gambling were taking a backseat to entertainment and shopping. By 2005 this transformation was complete.
After sleeping until 12 noon, I walked around our hotel’s casino—Circus Circus. I suggested we stay there because it was old Vegas and Kyle and I wanted that feel. Unfortunately with the shabby digs came roaches that caused us both to roam the casinos and bars—maybe that was why there were roaches in the room.
I spent an hour or two outside taking photos in the mid-afternoon, but the heat pushed me back inside. There are only so many poker machines and slot machines you can look at until you lose your mind and your money is gone.
What kept us in Vegas another night? The excellent people-watching. Hayseeds and whores, W.A.S.P.y businessmen grabbing waitresses’ asses along with mothers looking for prescription medication while their children sit in the car without air condition. Yeah, everything is in Vegas, which is why its a city where you can sin only because it’s so easy.
The next day, we both slept in late, drove the van to the outskirts of Vegas where we enjoyed a dim sum restaurant for an early dinner. We walked around the casino in our hotel for a couple hours, zombies to the electric rings of the gambling machines. We grabbed a few drinks and rhetorically asked each other, “Why the hell did we stay here another night?”
I didn’t take one damn photograph all day.
Our bedtime was early—we wanted to make a 6 a.m. escape to L.A. We never got back on Route 66, and we didn’t see her again until we arrived in Santa Monica, California.