Notes from Las Vegas

June 19, 2009

Ah, this city! The city that shouldn’t be. A criminal offense of a city! My¬† moral inverse! And thus of course I would come here as a destination for my transformation, because it is an oasis free of meaning in a landscape so stark even Philip Glass would be intimidated.

From here–12th floor of the Venetian–I can see both my own past (the Hilton, where I stayed at a time when my most turbulent anxiety was unleashing itself) and the truer danger–not the jets I can see on final to McCarran International, but instead the death-black mountains beyond. There you would bake to death. It is a hundred degrees today.

I know that a part of me had to die to make this transformation. An observer might see it as me getting on a plane, what’s the big trumped-up deal? But for me, my terror of flying has represented all of life that is closed and off limits to me, for most of my life. I got to within breaths of conquering it in 2001 only to let it languish and turn back into a hydra. But I know that a piece of me had to be traded to the monster such that I could emerge on this side liberated. I’m not sure yet what changed in me. I still feel blunted and overawed from the recent events.

This city is like water to my oil and I’m hoping David, who arrives in about an hour, will serve as an emulsifier.

This is me now.

This is me now.

The Venetian

The Venetian

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