Viva Las Vegas

by jkatejohnston

16 April 2014

Dear Max,

Enzo and Teresa went to a show at The Excalibur called Tournament of Kings, featuring live horses, explosions, and a jousting tournament between the various kings of Europe. The signage included things like: No Spain, No Gain and Nor-Way To Lose. We had two tickets which were part of the econo-vacation-package that brought us here in the first place, and we tried to purchase a third ticket, but the show was sold out. Enzo eeny-meeny-miney-moe’d and picked Teresa to go with him. He knows where to start so that it comes out the way he wants. Afterward, he was over the moon and amped out of his mind, jumping from bed to bed in the hotel room while I read The Black Stallion and Satan aloud for bedtime. He keeps talking about the quail they were served for dinner, Cornish game hens, Teresa informs me privately.

During the days we’ve been going to the aquarium and the pools. The wave pool is the perfect place for Enzo to get the hang of body surfing: regular easy waves, no rocks or seaweed or sand in your crotch, and the water’s warm enough so you can do it for what feels to me like a long, long time. Someday soon we’ll be doing it in the real ocean, though it’ll be hard to convince Enzo that anything could be better than Vegas.

*

Now Teresa is packing and blowing Enzo’s mind by telling him that when she was little there were only five channels on TV and no remotes. You had to get up and change the channel. He is suitably impressed.

*

I don’t know if I should mention this—perhaps we’ll be arrested, or stopped on the way out by hotel security—anyway, when Teresa was giving the room the once-over after packing, she found a hundred dollar bill under the bed. Not risking it all in one spin at the roulette table seems almost profane. You do not spurn of the gifts of the gods, and not riding out a run of good luck to its natural end seem perilously close to that. But we never seriously considered gambling it. Turning the money in to hotel security was another option, which took only seconds to reject. The rationalization: who’s to say it was the previous guest who lost it? It could have been the one before that or before that or before that. And whoever lost it, obviously hasn’t missed it, or they would have called the hotel. Leaving it for housekeeping was a fleeting thought. They’re obviously not doing a very thorough job. We’re keeping it. Enzo gets to put half in his bank account, and we’re putting half in ours. Glows of satisfaction all around.

Have I mentioned that I have a truly brilliant cold? The most comfortable place for me is under water, where the pressure inside my head is roughly equal to the pressure outside. Enzo’s sick too, but it doesn’t bother him. Right now he’s naked on the fancy bed among many pillows eating Doritos and watching TV to his heart’s content. He’s wearing a necklace with a shark pendant from the aquarium gift shop. There’s a stone in the shark that’s supposed to match your mood. You may recall mood rings? This is a mood necklace. So far, it’s been stuck on passionate.

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