This Is DEFCON Part the Second
[and how I cannot be killed, probably]
Note: If you’ve not read “This Is DEFCON; Part the First” – you’d best page back and slog through that shitshow before undertaking this follow-up. The integral-if-dubious foundational layer can therewithin be found. Did you do that? Capital. Let’s give it a go:
I can’t help but stay for the full run of Seraphim Shock’s unintentional, unenviable “Let There Be Light” show – though – I note smarmily to myself – a group mired in Satanic culture should perhaps flourish under the fluorescent bath…after all, was it not fallen Archangel Lucifer whose very name meant “Light-Bringer”? The Seraphim boys posture, percolate, pulse and pound their boldly unapologetic in-your-face-ness ‘til the bitter end – after which I make a half-baked plan to lunch with Charles “Marilyn Manwich” Edward the following afternoon.
A quick consult with a blasted Uncle Mammy – the ostensible Event Coordinator – huddled over the ‘run-of-show’, quickly betrays that both “schedule” and “plans” are the things of some bygone Wish List – and the roster of DJs on deck to keep this Lite Brite fiesta grindin’ (Pyro, Ann Hobbes, and my new friend Albatr055) – are going to pull a free-for-all for the rest of the night.
In other words: I’m fired — at least for now.
Poking around with Bitfiend and his pilot Liddy generates some laugh-hole fuel, likely compounded by Russia’s “little water” which warms my veins, – and a tranq (or two) handed to me earlier cools samesaid veins to a state of Perfect Balance – which also motivates my Restless Heart Syndrome. Go times. Now times. Explore, detach from any shred of the familiar. Find the BIG FUN. The ever-evasive Mistress that you only come to discover exists in the shadow realm when you ignore her completely – but alas; tightened up and jittered, you imagine a Pursuit may manifest…something.
I drift in slow waveforms through the nether passages of the Rio, full-stepping with my new cane, bedecked in Asswipe Sunglasses whilst indoors, at night. In my mind, [or whatever is filling in for it] it is imperative I present this character In Full; which serves me well enough to breeze past a security lunk at the doorway to the palatial hall in which things are happening; a geek-rap act is wrapping up [“Nooooooooo! Stay!!" *pleasekillme*] and soon enough, between strands of light, errant CONversation and hustlin’ for Dem Boocez – the next act is on; with expert manipulation and reasonably-non-derivative Industro-Pop, a musically haunted machine known as ReGenerator.
The thinning agents found in all the ‘stutter milk’ [hats of to @hodgman for that incredible boozephemism] I’d managed to put down found my blood cold, my ego in overdrive, and my every atom primed to seek revenge on this tawdry town. But this was what we call The Big Ask: making an entire city pay. Not too likely, stunts of that magnitude, even for a Master Class Player such as your favorite Uncle Sidney. One’s unconscious mind can grasp each and every one of those perceived Wrongs and channel them into unmitigated Social-Engagement-Rule-Shattering Training Manuals in one’s mind, and when a nexus of variables presents itself; a macro-version of Complete Retribution may be attempted.
Which is the long way of saying that I made a clean cut to the lip of the stage as ReGenerator laid down the Thick and Ethereal, and I hastily motioned to the probably-cute/expertly-cosmeticized/inexpressibly-alluring woman who was, for the most part, just an eye-candy shimmer of scant- proto-Burning-Man attire and invertebrate, serpentine dance forms — later known to me simply as “Cherry”.
In an incredibly uncharacteristic Dick Move, I wave her down mid-performance, as if I have something of the utmost direness to impart, and soon enough she steps over.
“Ahoy,” I say lowly against the murderous din.
She nods with a forced toothiness, flying eyes.
“What’s the haps after this?” I pose the question; sincerely enough, but notice I might have pushed the stoicism too far. The question seems to imply that I have zero interest in her show.
“Not sure, baby,” she clicks her heels in a crouch, eyeballing the other dancer onstage with the tiniest WTF shrug.
“Gimme your number,” I offer – “and we shall make a proper plan…”
Cursory and Pedantic: “I don’t give my number out to strangers….”
“I ain’t strange, Doll.”
She smiles a nearly Human Smile; swear to Chocolate-Covered Electric Baby Jeebus.
But she doesn’t relent on the telephony rule. Despite her low-count chrono years, she’s seen some miles, and dumbo games far slicker than this. Thus follows a hollow one-breath ‘laugh’ dovetailing to: “I just don’t do that.”
Nodding with understanding – which is genuine, on my behalf – I can’t help smile in a horrible way as I turn – mid-conversation, mid-show, mid-moment – knowing full-well that a hotsy-totsy broadski like this [no matter how much “the lady doth protest too much”] will react to her inner vexation and confusion directly; like a genuine Bad-Ass Who Cannot. Believe. I. Just. Walked. Off. Without. A. Word.
Anyone who’s known me for longer than seven minutes knows that I am unable to last much more than 95 seconds without manhandling my tard-proofed iTelephone – tethered to the Twitworld and refusing any correspondence not in easy-to-digest/ignore text form. I am a thumb-blistered Filipina schoolgirl; I have no qualms reading emails at a funeral or RTing as you tell me about your inoperable tumor. That’s me: mobile telephone junkie.
Which is what makes it unthinkable that I would ever be without said electronic companion; my only friend – more integral to my survival than any of my blackened internal organs or basic consumables. But that’s just what happened: I’d walked away from the 303 event ducking my now-infamous Clown Bag behind a partition, and flopped my precious Device on top of it, seeking imbibements near the casino floor for a change of scenery.
And this is where we came in, dear Eyeballs – The Middle that I started with in Part the First; so I’ll skip the reintroduction of Cherry & Company and our meandering. What sounds like a tremendous jumping-off place for a night of unforgettable debauchery and utter madness does not yield same…at least, I don’t think it did. It was certainly an enjoyable and breezy trip; the clutch of us rolling like the steel ball within some lithium-paced pinball game; lights and sounds and flashes and bumping from here to there and back – but in slow-motion; each room, each elevator trip, each cocktail stop fills the entire frame, cacophony abounds, and the vaguest unease – but ReGenerator and Friends keeps a pace that can only be described as restless leisure. We never stay for longer than one drink; it seems they are expected to make several appearances before sun-up – and make good on this without ever feeling rushed.
For my part, I manage to get completely torn off the frame and become Drunk Friendly, which is like regular friendly—but without standards, boundaries, or anxiety. Which is good at first, as my hosting party seems uninterested in talking to me too much [likely with good reason; though to their gracious credit they never leave me behind], and despite my outlandish attire, can chameleonize adeptly.
Until I discover, somehow, that Ms. Cherry speaks Spanish. I speak Messican Spanish; not fluently enough to transcribe ‘The Economist’, but conversationally strong and with an impeccable lower-class Northern -Mexican accent. If you speak Spanish, you know that speaking Spanish when you’re shitcanned is simply magical. The language lends itself to sentences that run together, to repeated exhortations of a single word, to the very Ear of God. Soon enough I’m making bad jokes with her, e.g.:
“Ah, mi Cereza… Soy una Fresa,” and winking. [“my Cherry… I am a ‘Strawberry’’] But in Mexican slang, “fresa” means a nancy boy, a dandy fop, a “rich kid” – I’m not really that last one, but the comparison serves, and to me it’s the most hilarious thing in the world.
What becomes the Not Most Hilarious Thing in the World is when I refuse to speak English at all; not just to her, but to anyone. I will listen attentively – in my pickled noodle, I’m not doing anything annoying in the least when I answer a question asked of me in English in fast and loose Messican Spanish. As with most drunken affectations, the joy of it endures for the perpetrator well beyond its public welcome.
By now it’s a good hour or more past Las Vegas sunrise, [which they license from San Luis Obispo at reasonable yearly rates, I understand – though few tourists ever actually see it] and as the ever-tolerant ReGenerator crew politely declines my invitation to “start the real drinking, now that we’re warmed up”, I slow-step between early-morning DEFCONers lining up for the slop and realize I’m already several hours into a Shame Spiral that may take the gold medal for 2012. Because I drank and drank and palled around with strangers and became an obnoxiously-dressed fake Mexican who drank and drank and upon leaving each party, each room, between each floor, I would say to myself – ‘Okay, now, asshole. Go downstairs to the event room and get your phone and your bag. You can catch up to these cats right away. Go.’ – and every time, every stop, every company move, I’d ignore that sage wisdom; talk myself out of it, handily, and set off again into some Warholian vignette.
Take a wild guess what happened next.
In the taxi, ache-shaky with drunken denial and withering from the swelter, I start to make my Paranoid Fantasy list: ‘How will I call anyone? I don’t know anyone’s number!’ ‘Put it on FaceBook.’ ‘We have no internet service out here.’ ‘Call the hotel and ask them to check.’ ‘Yeah, right.’ ‘Call Uncle Mammy and see if…’ ‘Hey, asshole – WE DON’T HAVE ANYONE’S PHONE NUMBER’. ‘Oh, God. What manner of unsavory photographs might be lingering within that iTelephone?’ ‘Who gives a shit? You’ll never get Prince Paul’s number again.’, and so on.
A broken and rumpled Sid Pink takes a warm swig of Vegas’ waxy tap-water and collapses onto the Murphy bed, fully-clothed, shod, and bespectacled; too beaten and resigned to manage removing so much as one oversized ring. This is the character I created. I made this bed of nails; I sleep in it.
Fluttering half-awake and whole-drunk to the shuffling sounds of my townhouse roomies lurching toward the loosely-defined ‘civilization’ of The Strip sends me into an eruptive state of twin emotions; Panic and Rage.
“How goddamn DARE YOU!” I holler, one eye still catching up with my attempted glare as I make the wooziest, least-threatening bolt from prone to ‘sort of kneeling’ on the bed, bony finger shooting out accusatorily.
“Hey, man,” the gentle giant chuckles at me warmly; Albatr055 has stopped his gait merely out of a mixture of curiosity and compassion; the jittery Gomez manages a wry smile as well.
I lean to get one foot on the floor, still [in retrospect, inexplicably] enraged; start to go off kilter and big A’s hand steadies me.
“If you wanna help me then find my fucking bag!” I scream. “My telephone was in that bag and I’m fucked!”
“Bummer,” he nods.
“FUCKED!!” And this takes all I have, sending me back to a stumblingly uncool seat on the edge of the bed. “There’s no innernets here and… I can’t get… “ The enormity of what this means: losing my iTelephone and all my contacts, emails, texts, information, ability to communicate – not to mention all the other items in my bag, many irreplaceable – and how incredibly stupid and irresponsible and juvenile and base and weak I had been to let it come to this, hits me all at once; and I crumple, with shallow breaths, swearing upon All Holiest of Holy Sacred Things never to fall victim to the Demons of Excess again.
“I’m sorry, man,” he jerks a thumb at the silent Gomez,. “We’ll ask around when we get there.”
Like that’s gonna be worth a squirt of piss, I think nastily, ‘Hello? Las Vegas? I seem to have misplaced something. Can I check your Lost & Found box?’ Ugh.
“Thanks,” I manage- now awake, still drunk, and freaking out. The matter seems to be settled enough that the pair adjust their packs and make their move to exit. “You try leaving here without giving me some of that opium and I’ll burn this place to the ground,” evenly, my eyes still on the floor.
Another threat from me, another warm giggle from the big guy, who seems to find some glee in this as a ‘solution’. “Yeah, okay,” unzipping a pocket and loading a resiny bowl into his glass hippie pipe.
“What else can I do?!” I rationalize aloud, as if Jesus Himself has a sniper-rifle trained on me from the heavens. “I need to get Blissed Out, here!”
He dutifully hands me the gear and a lighter, and I pull the musky smoke in short breaths, holding it too long.
“You might wanna go easy.” Sage, kind and wise advice.
It further incenses me, my drunken ego aflame with ‘let-me-show-you-how-it’s-done-ism’; I light up and flame low and so long the pipe gets hot on my thumb; I never knew I could inhale so deeply, for so long, uninterrupted. I tip back with double-lungfuls til I’m nearly blue, hacking out a reddish gray cloud that just…keeps…coming.
“All right, then,” the Albatr055, with the biggest grin I’ve seen yet. “That should do it.”
(to be continued)
Initial Editing by @akaJulene