Birthday Whirlwind in Vegas, Raising the Bar

My birthday started near San Diego in Coronado, but that night in Las Vegas is where the whirlwind would begin. We were up early, myself, Keith, Kirby and Molly; we packed in tightly into Kirby's car and drove up to Ramona where all of our things were.

After a bit of packing, Kirby took off with Molly to his work. The plan was for the two of them to drive up to Vegas after a few hours of working, there'd be no more room in his car for me and Keith after they packed it with their bags and whatnot. Keith and I were going to catch a ride with Sam and Roxy just a pinch up I-15, then hitchhike the rest of the way.

After some waiting around and a beer or two we got on the road. We went up as far as Corona where Sam and Roxy dropped us off at a gas station by the freeway. Keith and I walked to the on ramp with our "Vegas" sign and started waiving and thumbing at the cars.

Keith had never hitchhiked before, at least not a significant distance. We were both eager to get a ride quickly, no point in spending a birthday on the side of the road when we could be drinking in Vegas. We did wait though, more than an hour went by without a ride, just a lot of waives and smiles, plus a couple cars that pulled over only to skid away as we moved towards them.

I eventually decided it might be best to go one at a time, as people may be more willing to pick up one dude rather than two. I let Keith try first, I walked back over to the gas station while he continued holding the sign by the road.

I waited just a while, peeking once or twice to see if Keith was still there. In less than 30 minutes I got a call from him, he'd gotten us both a ride. I ran over to find him by a pickup truck, I threw my bag in the back with his and we hopped inside.

The guy driving was around our age, he was drinking Tilt, an alcoholic energy drink, he made sure we were fine with that, we were. He asked us if we smoked, then passed us a pipe that was disguised as a car cigarette lighter. It was heavily clogged and didn't hit well, not for Keith and I at least, we stopped quickly to grab Keith's pipe and smoked well after that.

He told us he'd been in jail, and was now stuck in the town of Victorville, which is where we were headed now. He'd never gotten his drivers license, and been caught over 25 times without he said, often speeding and/or drunk. As we got closer to his town he went over the different exits he could drop us off at, we opted for whichever would be further north. He got off at a festival grounds exit first, then made some strange turns, we couldn't tell if he was lost or not.

We stopped at a gas station where he picked up another Tilt, then made some more strange turns, one of which was sharp enough to send his canned drink rolling and smashing by his feet, busting open a bit. He pulled over quickly and held the drink outside the car and dried things off. Keith had been packing the bowl, we chose this time to smoke it.

Somehow we made it back to the freeway, he let us off at a parking lot right next to the freeway. A girl was parked in her convertible, we asked her if she was going to Vegas, she smiled and said no. We got back on the freeway and held up our sign, talking about the sketchy ride we'd just gotten while munching on some leftover carne asada.

Soon a car stopped up ahead for us, a diesel mechanic heading to Barstow. He dropped us off at the crossroads I'd been to a number of times, including my very first long hitch when I was going from California to Oklahoma City. We waited by the ramp a while, but then went down to the freeway itself to increase our odds.

A couple cops pulled over and informed us we couldn't be standing down there, citing that we were "slowing down traffic". They asked for both of our IDs, Keith seemed a bit nervous, but they checked us out and drove away. We walked back up the ramp.

A car soon pulled over and we walked up to it, surprised to see a pretty girl with a smile for us. She told us she was going to Vegas and we hopped in, but she first asked us if we had any drugs or anything. I said no, Keith told her he had some pot. She hesitated for a second, then apologetically told us she had a government job and couldn't risk it. Keith decided to abandon the pot and his pipe in the bushes nearby, she was fine with this and we started cruising towards Vegas.

I sat up front, we had great conversation the whole trip up. She was heading to a bachlorette party, she wasn't extremely excited about it though. Her friend had apparently changed into a bit of a monster during the whole wedding planning stage in her life, and the rest of the people coming weren't her friends or the type of people she would normally hang out with.

She told us how she'd once hiked the Appalachian trail in 7 months, one of the best memories in her life. She told us stories from the trail and we asked a lot of questions about it. She also told us about an acid period of her life where she sold a bit of it to make ends meet, but also would do it herself somewhat frequently, something she said also helped her get through the times she was dealing with, but hasn't done it much or at all since then.

She dropped us off at the Excalibur casino and took our numbers down, she said she may call us if things got lame with her group during the weekend. Keith and I walked towards the entrance of the casino, the feeling of Vegas was already kicking in, amplified by the transitional feeling of walking away from the last ride of a hitchhiking stint.

We were greeted by some of Keith's Flagstaff friends, mainly the girl he'd been telling me about, Godiva. She was as excited as one gets when she saw Keith, the three of us broke off from the group to head to her room and drop our stuff off. She was in town celebrating her 21st birthday, the story I heard was that this marked the year she inherited some sort of trust fund or some other source of cash. Her room seemed to indicate this, it was a huge suite with multiple rooms. Off the elevator it was all the way down one of the three long hallways at the end with the double doors.

In the room were a few other guys drinking. Godiva offered me beer, whiskey and a line of coke off the bat. I took the beer into one of the showers and she said she'd have the rest waiting for me after. I got out of the shower and the guys were gone, I could hear Godiva and Keith in the other bathroom. I helped myself to a shot or two of whiskey while I waited.

I'd booked three free nights at the MGM, but I'd be waiting for Molly or Kirby to get in to use their credit card for the room deposit. Godiva had told Keith and I we were free to crash in her room for the night, there was already a dozen people doing so anyhow, and there was no telling when or if Molly and Kirby would get into town.

Godiva and Keith finally emerged all smiles, satisfied, but ready for more of the night. "Did you do your line?", she asked me. I hadn't seen a line laid out for me. "Those guys probably did yours before they left", she sighed. It started to make sense to me to why she was so happy to see Keith, it seemed the guys staying with her, and it was all guys, were mostly friends of her brother, her friends had all backed out last minute. She cut up a few lines on the table, I poured a few shots of whiskey and we sparked the night.

Next we were in a taxi heading for the Tropicana. We headed up the elevators there to a party in some one's room, I was handed a beer, then ushered into the bathroom with a group of people. Blue powder was lined up next to the sink, Godiva went first, then Keith, then myself. We stepped out of the bathroom, it was a normal sized hotel room, two beds and about 15 people drinking and lounging.

"What did we just do a line of? That wasn't coke... and it was blue.", I laughed this out, Keith told me it was E. Another layer for the night I thought, OK. We hung their for a little bit, a couple more beers, I saw Godiva's interest in the scene decreasing with mine, time to go.

We hit the bathroom once more with Godiva's bag, "This has to last the weekend, but let's do just a bit more", she said as she laid it out. I've heard things like this before.

We regrouped with her brother and company at the Mirage just a pinch down the strip. By this time we started getting word about Molly and Kirby being close, I'd just about counted them out on the night. A group of us sat in the grass by Caesars Palace for a smoking session, this is the spot Molly and Kirby caught up with us at.

We jetted around the night like heat seeking missiles in the midst of a fireworks display, at some hour we landed back at the suite in Mandalay Bay, still without quit in us. Music kept things jumping for most of us, the coke bag emptied out as I'd guessed it would. Godiva made offhand suggestions to an eventual orgy which received nods of approval from Molly, the only other girl in the mix. Whiskey kept flowing, and soon people were nodding out one by one. Keith and Godiva took over the bedroom and soon I found myself among only two or three awake. I watched the sun peek over the horizon, then found an empty spot on the floor next to the curtains and tucked in for the night.

The morning brought the idea of going to the pool, some had already gone by the time I woke up. I went down with Godiva and some others, we found Molly and someone else by a lounge chair in the sand. She more ore less shooed us away though, she'd apparently gotten friendly with some folks who'd paid for this particular chair and patch of sand and were feeding her free drinks.

We left her to that and made our way to the lazy river, a pool that flows in twisty circle like a river. Godiva got us some big beers and we found a place to sit by the edge, then swam around it for a bit, in and out. As we sat on the side, we started seeing the same little kid with a stack of three tubes. We'd previously inquired about getting tubes, but they cost something like $25 a tube.

We started off nice enough, "Can we borrow one of your tubes?", he said no. With each lap we got a little more into it as he passed us. "You've got three and you're using none! Let us just float in one beside you!", again he denied us. "Give us your tube!", "Look at the tube brat", "Learn to share!", we continued on each time he passed. Others passed continuously, "Who let you out of your cage?!", Keith shouted, they laughed as they passed.

Finally Keith had enough of this kid's excessive wasteful display of floaty tubes, he made a bold leaping maneuver from the edge of the pool, landing onto the stack of tubes and attempting to float away. The kid held on to it for dear life as we up roared in laughter from the side of the pool. Keith gave the kid his tube back before the scene could get out of hand, we later made good with the kid, talking to him and finding out he was from Chicago. We later saw an older guy with a stack of tubes, unused, we assumed this was his father.

We went to the buffet later, Godiva got us day passes, we filled up and lunch and headed back to the room. Keith was stopped on the way out attempting to carry out a plate of food stacked high, a woman pulled it out of his hands, he argued with her a minute since it was clear that food would be getting thrown in the trash.

We rested up a bit in the room before we were good to go again. Kirby came into the suite holding a bottle of tequila. He'd accidentally gone down the wrong hallway and ended up at the double doors to a different suite. He went in confused at first, it was a group of Mexican guys with a huge spread of food on the table. Being that there were so many different rotating people in our room, he thought perhaps he just hadn't met them yet. They didn't speak a lick of english though, so they grabbed one of their many many tequila bottles and handed it to him saying something along the lines of, "go party!".

Later I headed down to the casino with Godiva, her brother and a few of his friends. They were all about gambling, to them this was the main point of the trip. Her brother was also trying to get a loan from her sister so he could buy a hooker, slowly chipping away at her until she caved, giving him something like $400. I gambled with her for a bit, showing her video roulette and winning her $10 or so, she was stoked to win, afraid of losing, either way I thought it paled in comparison to the $400 she'd just thrown at her brother.

We met up with Keith at the buffet, getting our dinner in. As we reached the elevator we saw Kirby and Molly, as we got on the elevator Kirby reached out and stuck a tab on my tongue, we were in for another night, and this one wouldn't end for quite some time.

From the room I set off on foot with Kirby towards the MGM, we figured we might as well check in to have a home base for ourselves, he was mostly interested in having an actual bed to sleep in rather than the floor space at Godiva's. It was a long walk from Mandalay Bay with the backpack and all, we finally go to the check in counter. It was there that we found out that since we hadn't checked in the previous night, they cancelled our reservation, and the hotel was booked completely solid now.

Unwilling to repeat our walk, Kirby decided to take a taxi back. We hopped out at a red light and headed for a small shop to pick up some margarita mix and limes to compliment his tequila bottle of fortune. We'd lost track of just about everyone else, Vegas alone makes regrouping far from easy, but acid adds another layer of complexity to reconnecting. We headed up to the room to find just a couple stragglers who'd just about called it a night, and it was fairly early.

Kirby and I were far from done though, we'd find the night's fire one way or another. We filled a bucket with ice, margarita mix and the tequila and started there. He had one more hit of acid left too, that got cut distributed among us. After squeezing all the kicks out of the room we could get with all this, we ventured out into the night, the Bellagio being our destination.

We got to the fountains out front hoping for a show, but the word I heard was that the wind was too much and they wouldn't be doing it. Molly eventually met us there with a couple others, I'm not sure how it all worked out like that. We made a trip into the Bellagio briefly once we were convinced the fountain wouldn't be going off, then once back on the strip we ran into Godiva, Keith and some other guys. We were excited to all link up again. As far as I know, the acid was flowing through just myself, Kirby, Molly, Keith and Godiva. Since we all did it at the same time, initially, I think we were all wondering about each other while we were apart, so it made it a great moment when we were together again.

Some of us got split up again as we marched down the strip, but our destination was common, back to the Mandalay Bay suite. Once there we saw the empty tequila bottle and formulated an idea. A group of us, led by Kirby, paraded down the hall and down the other other hall to the Mexicans' double doors. They answered the door in their underwear, there was about three of them. For Kirby, it was as simple as holding the empty bottle and shrugging his shoulders, they quickly pulled out another. They opened it up and cocked his head back and poured some down his throat, then the rest of us took turns taking these tequila showers.

Godiva was laughing at this, but easily a bit uncomfortable and perhaps confused, I wondered too how we'd found ourselves in this situation. I headed back her suite with her, we were quickly followed by the rest. With a fresh bottle, more margaritas were mixed up and the music was pumping. Soon the Mexican guys, now clothed, joined us in our suite.

It became madness, tequila showers being poured constantly, often missing people mouths entirely. Everyone danced and moved to the music. In between dancing I relaxed on the recliner with Godiva, this became a sort of "home base", we put a sentimental attachment on it.

Somewhere in the mix, Godiva's brother emerged from his room, we'd already heard his sad story. He'd gotten his hooker, "a straight ten!" was the word from the others who'd seen her. They'd gone back into his room, she rubbed her titties in her face for a minute, then asked for a couple grand to go any further, and left. We took a moment to mock him in his time of misfortune, then he disappeared out the door, presumably to the casino in an effort to win some of his wasted money back.

Eventually the Mexican guys left too, but the party didn't stop. We had a large amount of lotion that started getting squirted around, on the furniture and each other, a "Lotion Revolution!" we called it. At some point close to sunrise Molly walked by reached in Godiva's mouth and smiled, another tab. Godiva looked at me seemingly for confirmation, she hadn't been thinking of the possibility of even more acid, but was ready to go with the flow. To dull the blow, she stuck her tongue to mine and transferred it over to me, now we were all in for it.

We continued dancing and jumping around. I stood high on the recliner dancing and surveying the whole scene, I'd changed into my airplane shirt earlier, I was also wearing a transparent green visor that said "Las Vegas" that Molly had seen at a thrift shop that she decided was for me.

We watched the sun come up from Godiva's room and continued vibing in there. There was a group of others who'd fallen asleep in the other rooms, Godiva's brother and such, occasionally waking to verbalize their distaste for our ruckus, mostly directed at Godiva. They were telling her she was supposed to be driving them home to Flagstaff in the morning, which was quickly becoming now, she could only laugh at them. She was in no condition or mood to drive or go anywhere.

While I was with her in her room we heard the music go off, someone came in and told us security was in the room and we all were being kicked out of the hotel. We couldn't decide whether to believe it or not, but we didn't want to look and see the face of it, if it was there. She shouted, "They're gonna have to drag me outta here!", she laughed, "We paid a lot of money to be here!".

It became abundantly clear that this was a real thing going on in the other room, Molly came back a couple times with concern and urgency in her face, eventually saying she was leaving and would meet me somewhere. For a minute or so I hid under the sheets with Godiva, Keith in the closet, but we realized these were probably not great hiding spots.

It at last got to the point where we knew the jig was up, then started scrambling to scrape together all of our things, I started emptying out the bathroom and creating a pile in the middle of the room so no one would forget anything. I'd luckily kept my bag completely consolidated, I knew it was right by the door of the suite.

As soon as I finally stepped out into the living room I saw the security guards, there was a lot of them. The word was we all had to leave, except for Godiva and her brother, they had to wait while someone came to assess the damage and bill them.

I was about the last one to leave, at this point I was wearing a large pair of sunglasses with only one of the sides on it, the other had snapped off, I'm not even sure whose glasses they were.

"You need to leave, right now", they were telling me. "Yes, yes, I know this, I'm just gathering my things, need to get my things you know", I stalled as much as I could while Godiva packed the rest of her things up. At last she sat in the living room amongst the security guards as they repeated that I needed to be out, she protested this while also saying things like, "These guys are so mean!", and she was breaking to tears at this point, "I can't be left alone with them!".

I comforted her best I could, "These guys aren't being mean to you, it's me you see, and they're just doing their job. They need me out, the rest of us are who they want gone. I won't be going far, I'll be waiting for you downstairs. Yes, we're already set up for the next step".

"I guess it's just you and me brother", she looked at her brother and cleared her tears a bit, I left quickly before anything else could happen, down the elevator meeting up with Molly and Kirby. I was already on the phone with the Monte Carlo, I quickly arranged three free nights there.

We waited just a minute for Godiva to deal with the hotel, they'd charged her an extra couple hundred for the results of the lotion revolution. We met up with her out by the valet area, she was frustrated with her brother who'd been less than friendly with her over the whole thing. There was already one car packed with half the people staying at the room ready to get on the road.

We told Godiva about the room at the Monte Carlo and that we could also get her a ride back to Flagstaff. She told her brother to take her car and just leave, then she marched off towards the strip with myself, Keith, Kirby and Molly.

We got to the strip and Kirby somehow managed to pull over a limo, the five of us piled in, all hysterical. We looked at the scene all together, tequila shower dance parties, getting kicked out of the hotel, only to get escorted by a hotel to another casino where we'd be staying for free.

We checked in at the Monte Carlo, at this point we were joined by her brother and a couple others who'd decided they stay with us another day rather than breaking off from his sister. She grudgingly let them do so. Back in the room we sipped on whiskey and called down to the pool, they opened in less than an hour, this was our next idea. From our room we overlooked it, spotting that they had a lazy river as well, we were sold.

We went down and lounged out, Godiva and I quickly agreed that we were the king and queen of this castle called the Monte Carlo. I held money up in the air between my toes in search for waitresses, they had as much fun with us as we did with them, even the lifeguards looked at us and laughed. We made general demands for eight year old boys to appear in the lazy river as an encore to this chicago tube hoarder. We made demands that birds fly by for our visual stimulation. We sipped on a bloody marry and enjoyed ourselves.

We made an epic journey to the gift shop across the pool area in search of sunglasses for Godiva. While in there I accidentally knocked over the bloody mary. The girl who worked there had pretty eyes, sky blue contrasted by white that could only look like clouds, I referred to her as pretty eyes from that point on.

We hopped in the lazy river once the sun was completely lighting it up, doing a few refreshing laps. People came and went as we lounged there, our friends, some headphone wearing frantic guy we called "baby tiesto" and others. We soon got a drink called a Banana Hurricane we both decided was a nectar of the gods, we got another, then another. We soon left our chairs and headed for the hot tub, we found Keith there and enjoyed some more hurricane drinks.

At last we decided to head back to the room. I went back to our chairs to discover my shoes and things were gone, the lifeguard said a pretty girl took them. I assumed it was Molly, luckily I got to the room and found that was the case.

We relaxed in the room a bit. Molly and Kirby took off to somewhere, maybe for food. All at once I got the urge to go, that I was done with Vegas and everyone I was with, I just had to go. Keith and Godiva had disappeared to the bathroom together, but the urge I had to go was strong, and if I was about to get on the road, I needed to shower off days of tequila showers, pool water, sweat and everything else.

I knocked on the door and went in, they were in the shower, "It's Kenny I said, cool if I shower?", I hopped in and got to it, they laughed.

"Somehow this doesn't even feel uncomfortable", Keith said. I finished quickly though, it was an amusing scene, but my mood was to get out of town. I dried off, grabbed my bag and split without saying much. They were still in the shower, only a couple of Godiva's brother's friends saw me go and didn't say much either.

I wasn't exactly sure if going anywhere made sense, but I wanted to grab my bag and leave the room and think about it. First though, I had free promotional chips to pick up that came with the free room, $50 worth. I picked them up at the cashier and then took them to the craps table. I managed to hit a few times and turn that into a hundred real dollars and cashed out.

I wandered up an escalator thinking it lead to the outside somehow, it didn't, I rode it back down. A security guard was waiting for me at the bottom, he stopped me and spoke into his radio, "We have a code 4", he then looked at me, "Where are you going, are you staying here?", I was a bit confused and primarily in the numb mood that had hit me in the room causing my thoughts of leaving town. I told him I was staying in this hotel and currently looking for the sports book. He looked at my ID and asked for my room number, radioing that in as well. Once he felt I was confirmed as a guest he said I was free to go.

"Why did you even stop me?", I asked. He told me I didn't look like I knew where I was going. "It's a casino maze", I told him, "no one knows where they're going. Make sure I don't get stopped like this again", my attempted act of frustration I felt a normal person might express. I knew very well that I was a backpack toting, bearded bum-looking lunatic coming down from an acid trip and days of drinking staggering aimlessly around his casino.

I actually did head to the sports book at this point now, seeing what time the Lakers game would be coming on. This made me think about time for the first time in days, which then made me realize it was perhaps too late to hitchhike out of town considering how long it would take me just to get to a good spot, regardless if I decided to head North or South or whichever direction.

I posted up at a video roulette machine for some time, then headed back to the room. I was soon joined by Kirby and Keith, Kirby looked on edge, it was as if the mood that had hit me had hit him too in my absence. The three of us left the room and got some beers and talked a while, having family time on a walkway - sitting in a circle on the ground and hanging out.

Kirby's deal was having hit a point with Molly where he needed some sort of resolution. Molly's a hard girl to tie down, to anything or anyone. She goes with the flow, and for Kirby, when this meant expressing affection for another guy, it was too much, this is what I gathered at least, and I understood how this feels. I could tell he was understanding this from the different angles, which made it more of a trip in his head. After the beers and talking I think we all came to grips a bit more, we headed back to the room.

I slipped out once again on my own and watched the first half of the game at the sports book, then came back around halftime. Everyone came filtering back in during the second half, the Lakers dropped that particular game to the Suns.

While everyone talked, after joking on me about the Lakers (they're all arizonans), I slipped out unnoticed, heading down to the casino to find some food. I slipped back in unnoticed somehow, no one ever knew I was gone. "Kenny, you've been quiet", someone said. I laughed a bit to myself. Soon we all passed out, it had been a while since any of us had some quality sleep.

I woke the next day and went down to walk around, stopping at the video roulette machine for a bit, winning a little. Molly and Kirby had gotten me a sandwich once I was back in the room, I munched on it while Molly toiled with her phone, it seemed to be busted from getting wet somewhere along the way.

Soon all the Flagstaff folks motivated themselves to the road, leaving just me, Molly and Kirby. I went to the pool a while with Molly while Kirby caught some more sleep, soon I returned with her and the two of them packed up, showered and also got on the road, California bound. Once they left I caught up on some sleep myself. I woke and played some more roulette, easily losing most of what I'd gained in the Vegas trip, then falling asleep through the night again after watching some basketball in my room.

The next day was a lazy one, catching up on more sleep and solitude. I left the room just a once to lose a few more dollars and then seek out some food. I spent the evening watching the Lakers game, then contemplating what my next destination would be, I had to check out in the morning.

My mind raced as far as Vancouver and Chicago, and also to San Diego and Phoenix. I eventually decided on letting my dreams decide, be it directly or just planting a mood on me in the morning. I washed a few clothing items in the sink, packed things up, then faded to sleep, excited for whatever was to come next.