Viva Las Vegas

“Sometimes we find hope in the deep, dark crevices of life.” This quote came from a novel I have been working on for years (embarrassed to say how many). It was my first attempt at writing. I don’t know what possessed me, but one day I  sat down at the computer, and started writing. I wrote about friendship, love, faith, and family. Thinking this was what I knew. I tried to explore the roots of humanity and our collective unity. I muddled through how we live out our faith in the midst of daily life. I know, I know, why hasn’t Oprah called? 

I found out this writing thing is not as easy as it looks. It demands so much more of you than you’d ever expect. Trying to accurately convey the elusive emotions that underlie our most powerful memories is a horrendous chore. When I ran out of tears, I ate, when the words went dry, I drank. Fat and foggy, I forced myself to write everyday, for years. I got up early, stayed up late, sneaking off with my computer, and a dark columbian roast whenever possible. Like Monica Lewinski, I was the sordid mistress, in an all consuming affair. I felt so guilty about writing my hair turned grey, my carpals tunneled, but nothing deterred me from this fervid obsession. 

I ended up with a hundred and forty thousand word manuscript in desperate need of editing. I like to call it a novel but that’s a stretch. I started hunting around for someone to help me turn this writing exercise into a “real” story. By some blessed miracle, I found an east coast woman, named Stacey Donovan, who agreed to take me on. After several months of combing through my entire work of fiction, she sent back an edited version of the manuscript, and now I have a grammatically correct “best seller” in the making. 

The burden was shifted to my shoulders, I dragged it onto my desktop, where it has been festering like an open wound for a year. I’m the avoidance queen, so naturally I turned to blogging, I kept telling myself I was building a platform. “O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!” Thank you Walter Scott. Last summer I committed to writing a daily blog for the entire ten week break. What an idiot. I had no idea what to write about. I faced the god-forsaken, empty page every day, and pounced on the first thought that came to mind. I know. Good plan. It was cringe worthy, but like a bad habit, I can’t stop.

A year later I find myself picking at the scab on my desktop and looking for a little distraction. I’m staring out an enormous picture window, that overlooks an elaborate series of pools, from the forth floor suite, of the Hard Rock Hotel, in Las Vegas. I should be down there developing skin cancer, sipping on margaritas, scarfing nachos. But no, I’m up in our room, pounding away on the computer. I drank an entire pot of coffee this morning and now I’m feeling a little edgy. The maid keeps asking me if she can straighten our room and I’m running out of excuses. This last time she said, “it must be done.” A metaphoric statement, if I ever heard one, so I let her in. 

Larry is squirreled away at some “meeting” in this cavernous hotel. I’m afraid to go down for a glass of wine after the mishap last night. What if someone recognizes me? I’d be mortified. Plus, I doubt I could find my way back. Larry is giving a presentation, so for most of the day, I’m on my own. Thank God one of us does something worthy of a paycheck and I happen to have access to a rockin dine-in menu. So it’s all good.

Last night was epic. We checked in with the concierge, she convinced us to buy tickets to one of those Cirque Du Soleil shows, but the erotic version. My mother would not approve. Larry bought “couch” seats, best in the house, right up front. Perfect. After being seated by the hostess, Larry went off in search of cocktails, and I chatted it up with the people behind me. Before I knew what was happening, an overzealous actor with enormous biceps, dragged me onto the stage. Where the hell is Larry when you need him? It was a comedy of errors. My face was beet red, I hardly remember the tango dancing, the dipping, the tawdry exchange of colloquialisms as he dragged me around the stage like a rag doll. I believe I was publicly groped. I was so desperate to be released from the spotlight, I scolded Mr. Muscles, “I am married to a very jealous Italian, if only he would show up,” and the entire audience laughed (no wonder comedians love what they do). There had to be five hundred people witnessing my shambolic humiliation. Mr. Muscles said, “you’ve been such a good sport, now give me a kiss,” he offers his cheek, and switches to the lips last minute, more outrageous laughter, he shoves a free drink coupon into my hand, and sends me scappering back to my seat. Good Lord, get me back to Campbell, where the most horrendous thing I’ve yet to experience, is a commuter running a red light.

Thank goodness for mothers who refuse to allow their children to give up on their dreams (This might be why one of my children is living in Australia with ten of the world’s most poisonous snakes). Like my children, the further I venture from home, the more I risk. My mom bought me software for my birthday because she believes in my grammatically correct “best seller.” As soon as I download this thing all my excuses for abandoning the wounded novel on my desktop will be null and void. Maybe it has more to do with exposure than software? Sometimes we find hope “in the deep, dark, crevices of life.” Today I’m pulling myself off the couch and onto the stage, Viva Las Vegas.” 

What are you afraid to do? Time to get off the couch. Leave a few deep, dark secrets in the comments.

You might also enjoy: Facing My Fears or What Do I Fear?

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