because nature does not exert this kind of cruelty. Inside, music
pounds and tobacco smoke lingers. This Vegas is more hospitable than
the one we visited six years ago. More shops for those of modest
means, Starbucks, unobstructed ways through hotels that do not include
Last night, we pitched forward on rails toward a thousand feet of open
air. The empty, black shell of the incomplete and perhaps never to be
finished Fontainbleu hotel was square in our sight, a monolith of ill
omen. Cranes were silently folded over rusting skeletons of girders.
Hissing pistons cradled us and dangled us over busy lights.
The view from the Stratosphere is worth at least one thing: seeing the
artificial horizon where the city's lights stop abruptly at absolute
blackness. City, and then absolute nothing. We appeared to float on a
giant disk in space. Dry lighting exploded in the mountains and for an
instant rocky silhouettes revealed a world outside of this one.
Tourists ramble, prowl. Shouting at craps, staggering with drinks,
swaggering in suits, fake breasts the size of cabbages and beyond, the
grizzled and vacant pressing slot machine buttons with all the
excitement of a patient waiting for the dentist.
The zombie apocalypse is ever around the corner here. In walled towers
the rich suckle on fruit liquors and feast on endless buffet slurry.
Outside, wild eyed indigents sweat in the oven heat, dreaming of their
own pleasures. Eventually, the desolate foreclosure suburbs, and the
sudden, desert, with its unknown predators and cannibal savages.
\t : iPhone->you