Post-Festival Road Trip - Part 2: Tripping in Vegas

Tanya and I woke up in the morning and stayed in bed enjoying each other's company a while until she had to bike to class. I munched on an apple while I walked to campus, I figured Molly would be at the library finishing her paper before we were to keep our road trip moving on to Las Vegas.

I got there to find both her and Sidney sitting at computers, the tension level had clearly risen. Sidney was upset about her phone still, repeating many times that she should have ordered a new one to be delivered here, and that it would have arrived well before Molly would be able to finish her paper. Molly was sick of hearing anything, headphones blasting music were her best defense.

I got in touch with Olivier, he was exploring around town. Molly wanted me to get him to come by with the car so some things could be taken care of while she finished up. He met us at the library, but without the car. It was decided that myself, him and Sidney would walk to the house they'd stayed at last night to get things packed and taken care of.

We walked outside to discover a cold snowstorm had began, it seemed like a freak thing to me given the sunny day it had been yesterday and even earlier this morning on my walk, but this apparently how Flagstaff weather goes. Sidney began repeating her complaints about Molly and her phone, with that and my lack of sweatshirt, I decided to turn around back for the library. I waited a bit while Molly wrapped things up, we went to the store afterwards for her to pick some things up, then headed for the house. Our things were locked in her friends car, her friend that often stayed up all night and slept during the day. We managed to find his keys and unlock it, we got our things and finished loading up the old white Mercedes road trip mobile.

We got filled up with gas and made another stop for supplies, then headed towards the freeway. At a red light Molly hopped out of the driver seat and I changed places with her, I drove us out of town and on to the freeway headed towards Vegas.

The snowstorm got thicker as I drove, visibility was pretty low at times. Mary was on the phone with various family members, her sister at one point and then her mom from what I gathered. She was in heated conversations saying things like, "No, you listen! This is what I'm choosing to be doing, if I want to travel around I can do what I want, I'm thirty(something) years old!". This continued for quite some time with various hangups and call backs in what seemed to be an argument for the sake of it.

We got through the snowstorm around the same time she was finished with these phone calls, I think this was about the time Molly gave Sidney some pot cookies, this was the best medicine for her. I kept on down the road, eventually pulling off the freeway for the girls to pee in the bushes. As I got back on the road Sidney reminded me to keep my eye on the engine temperature, only minutes after this I checked it and it was in the red, she had me immediately pull over.

We popped the hood and there was indeed a minimal amount of smoke lifting out. We sat in the shoulder for around 30 minutes waiting for things to cool down, pouring some more water in the engine as well. Sidney took over the driving after this, passing through Kingman and then to the hoover dam where we took a quick break to stretch our legs.

Olivier took over the last leg of driving, taking us into Las Vegas and parking us at the new Aria Casino where we were staying. It was a fancy place, Molly and I went to check in with our hands full of things like boxed wine. We got into the room and cracked the wine immediately, I hopped into the shower. My friend Walter showed up too, along with Tom, a Las Vegas native he'd been couchsurfing with. They came toting a good amount of beer, I caught up with Walter and we all drank for a while.

I'd been given two hits of acid at Stagecoach, one for myself and one for Olivier. We debated whether or not tonight was the night for them, it's not always the type of thing to do unless everyone your with is on it too. It suddenly seemed like the time, I quietly popped mine and headed over to Olivier with a bag containing one hit, "It's too late for me man", I told him smiling, he reached in and popped his too.

By the time we hit the strip the acid was kicking in, a body high and appreciation for the surrounding lights flashing all around us. I slid around and past people on the busy strip, feeling the various flows of energy. We stopped at a liquor store where Tom picked up some more beer, he handed me a bomber of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I'd hold it for much longer than one should, content with my current state of mind.

There was talk of losing each other, a common occurrence when in a big group roaming the Vegas strip, someone always tends to wander off by mistake and lose track of everyone else. In my mind I knew where everyone was, "I have a bead on them", I'd say about anyone who was out of sight, and I did, consciously staying in the middle of the groups of us that would veer apart while walking.

We made our way to the Ballagio, the fountain show came on and I held Molly for a bit as we all enjoyed the lights and water shooting high up in unison with the music. We slid inside to the Bellagio lobby garden next, enjoying the smells and giant flowers.

We walked past Ceasars Palace next, I was handed the phone from Walter. On the line was a girl trying to meet up with us that Tom vaguely knew, I was the one to try and let her know where we were. We headed across the street to O'Sheas Casino as a place to meet and for some to eat. Molly took me aside and said she wanted to ditch the group and began to drag me off. She's never been a fan of large groups, the slow decision making and constant thought of sticking together, amplified in Vegas wanderings, was of a constant annoyance to her.

I entertained this briefly as she lured me towards the exit, a band jamming by the bar caught her attention and I in turn slipped away as she began to dance in front of them. I slipped my way through the crowd towards the bathrooms where the rest of our group was, some worried about Molly's location. Olivier in particular wondered where she was, I told him, "I have a bead on her, we all do", he stared in the direction she was in, "See man, she's exactly where you're looking, we've all got a bead on her". She soon wandered back, we also met up with a girl that Tom knew somehow, Jenny.

We began heading in the direction of the Mirage to catch the volcano exploding. Someone told Jenny about my traveling lifestyle, she asked me, "so are you really as much of a badass as they say, what's your story?". I was in no mindset of explanation, all that interested me was the moment by moment - smiling faces walking by, shouts from winning craps tables, laughs from drunks and things like this.

"It's all true, all lies! Here we are in Vegas, how'd you get here? I mean to say where do you come from?", I continued swooping and ducking through the crowded sidewalk with an undying smile my eyes raced from face to face, my ears hearing everything. She started to say she lived in Vegas, something about working at Caesar's Palace, then asked me more questions. At this moment Molly ran by saying there were free shots for girls at a bar, I looked at Jenny, "You better run with them, I mean you must, this is something you want to do", she hesitated for half a beat and ran off with them.

The rest of the group caught up wondering about the girls, "I've got a bead on them, shots and shots, all is well", I continued my swooping around, peeking at some artwork displayed in the little shopping center we found ourselves in. The girls returned and we headed towards the Mirage. Jenny caught up with me as we walked, determined to hear something tangible. She was a pretty and friendly girl with an underplayed wild side, under normal circumstances I would have had this conversation with her. My mind was moving too quickly though, I had no capacity of talking about myself, only being. My redirectionary comments wore off quickly and I'm sure she thought of me is arrogant and uninterested.

We made it to the volcano just in time for the explosion show, we could feel the massive flames, the awe on Olivier's face alone was worth the show, I shared a similar smile in the enjoyment. Molly's friend met us there during the show, a guy she knew from her travels who now lived in Las Vegas. We headed just down the strip to Treasure Island in hopes to catch the pirate show.

It was here that the group disintegrated. First I noticed Walter disappeared, which perplexed me the most. I saw Molly and her friend slip away, this was destined to happen. I stayed for the show, a bit goofy, but with some explosions, I'd seen it before. My energy was slipping away by this time, I'd lost beads on people and the standing around during the pirates was no help. I went off on my own bee-lining back to the hotel room, hoping to catch some energy on the way or some wine back in the room.

I made it there quickly, I was followed by Molly and her friend only a couple minutes later. I talked with them for a while and got my wine fix, soon her friend was taking off citing that he had work in the early morning. Molly bounced around the room in her underwear, I sipped a bottle of sangria sitting on the bed, I began to bounce around too and soon had my beat back, ready to head into the madness of Vegas once again.

We headed down the elevator to find Sidney, Olivier and Tom gathered around, we talked with them, no one knew where Walter was. I got a call from him just then, turns out he'd gone to the bathroom and fallen asleep on the toilet for a good hour plus. He's a narcoleptic, so this wasn't an entirely strange thing to have had happened. He said he was heading this way.

We eventually met up with Walter and the night raged on. We'd make quick trips up to the room where we'd bounce to the music, a pillow fight broke out at one point, at another time Molly got a big bucket of ice and tossed it all over the room. In between these room trips we'd head down to the casino, Molly would be in a different outfit and grind up against the security guard each time, much to his enjoyment. We'd wander the casino and win five or ten dollars at a time playing video roulette. We marched around the deserted shopping section, splashing water from the fountains on each other and running away before someone could come and say anything to us. At one point we stood in the lobby, Molly spit in my face thinking we were attempting to ditch her, the playful drunk look in her eye made it easily forgivable.

This back and forthing continued through the night, we even made a trip to the car in the garage to grab a little food and relaxation. One last trip to the video roulette machine resulted in losing what we'd accumulated throughout the night and what we started with, something Walter and I were fully expecting going into it. We finally landed in the room for good, Sidney was asleep already, Olivier was watching something on the TV. The morning would bring changes to our plans as written on the back windshield of the car, but good times none the less.

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