Las Vegas and my thoughts

Las Vegas and my thoughts

It’s morning. Am I having an existential moment? Possibly.

Last couple of days, I’ve been playing with iMovie on my Mac. It’s free, so it’s great. I made a little movie, and you should watch it. It’s 3.41 long, and if you like blurry images and bad editing, this is for you, baby!

YOUTUBE VIDEO: CLICK HERE FOR MOVIE EXTRAVAGANZA

I’ve been having an existential moment for the last 40+ years or so. So this isn’t really news. Story of my life. I’m not sure that I like Las Vegas. This city shouldn’t be here, it’s not real, yet here it is in all its glory and ugliness. Plop in the middle of the desert…

I found a casino that allows overnight parking, The Orleans Hotel & Casino. Apparently, this is not really a thing anymore. Most places don’t allow overnight RV’s to park on their lot. I’ve been spending a good portion of my days trying to figure out where I’m going to park and sleep in safety… it’s exhausting.

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There’s an App for that, you know: AllStays. It’s been a great help. It tells me where I can stay and cannot. If I’m interested in Walmart it tells me which ones are okay with overnight RV sleepers, which ones aren’t at all, and which ones might be if you ask permission. Not ever knowing where I’m staying, if there’s going to be anyplace to stay where I won’t get harassed by the police has really elevated my stress level, and is using up large portions of my day that could be used up for more productive activities… like daydreaming… and writing poetry.

This started in Arizona. Most towns have ordinances against ANY overnight parking ANYWHERE. I don’t understand it. Oh, I get they don’t want vagrants and poor people, and if possible, they want to force people to pay the fee to stay in RV parks and hotels. I get that. However, if I can stay in your town, I’m going to spend my money in your town. I might not have the funds to pay for a hotel room or an RV slot, but I’m still going to buy my coffee, my gasoline, my food… it’s what I got… why would you turn my business away?

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I think it comes from this really nasty relationship that America has with poor people: they don’t want them, and their solution is to block them out rather than help them out. Pretty much everywhere in America, it’s illegal to be homeless, for example. You get put in jail for not being able to afford to live somewhere. Think about it. That’s going to help that person, isn’t it? America also hates vagrants… I read a comment somewhere which reflects this. It was a thread about somebody looking for a place to park when, sure enough, everything was NO OVERNIGHT and this commenter said: “I don’t understand this whole obsession with parking on Walmart parking lots, if you have the money to buy an RV, then you have the money to pay to stay at RV parks. Period.” Well… no, not necessarily.

Everywhere signs say: No Loitering, No Overnight Stay! No this, No that! Fuck you city ordinances! People should be able to loiter. I saw a sign in a public park posted right above a table with two benches that said: No Loitering. Really? What else should people do with that bench in the middle of a public park? Take it home? I beg to differ. Loitering is an amazing way to spend your time. It’s a great way to reflect on your life, to chit chat with friends, neighbors, and others, to see what’s going on.

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Every afternoon when I would get home to my apartment, when I lived in Paris, people of all ages would loiter on the street leaning against buildings, sitting next to a tree, smoking cigarettes, playing games of chess and other board games, and talking, loitering, just sitting there catching up with their neighbors about what the hell happened during their day. People loiter everywhere in Europe. It’s good for the soul, people! That’s what public squares and public spaces are for.

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Why are we so scared of vagrants, vagabonds, and poor people? Why is it that we force our poor people to hide in places where they cannot be seen? Oh, you’re poor, well, shit, let me make life even more difficult for you because I can, and you can’t do anything about it. Try sitting on a public bench looking a bit under the weather, looking like you’ve been sleeping under a bridge. How long is it going to take before a “good citizen” calls the cops because you know, “our children play in the park, and we can’t have poor people where our children play”?

Everything in this country is so sanitized. And yet, we are fascinated with the excessive violence, extreme poverty and crime and everything else that we equate with poverty. Turn on your tv and watch the latest most popular tv series on HBO. We love the grit, the backrooms, the troubled souls, but only on the screen. In real life, please call the cops. That person looks different, smells bad, and is just sitting there on a fucking bench minding his own fucking business! Call the cops! He hasn’t shaved in three days, he must be a child molester!

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Where’s all this coming from, you ask? Well, it looks like I need to find a job somewhere. And that is my existential moment…

My options? I could stay in Las Vegas–come back here after my reading in Long Beach, California for my book Good Feeling: Seven short stories at Gastby Books on December 3rd–and attend dealer school. It’s about one month to become certified in two games. There’s plenty of dealer jobs in this town, and rent is cheap.

I could pray to my protective angels that I’ll find something in northern California, a bar gig in San Francisco or at a wine tasting room somewhere? This was my plan. Or I could find a gig with WWOOF–which I’m going to do anyway before or after getting a paying gig. It would be great for me to work at a farm for three months or so, to get my soul realigned. It’s room & board in exchange for a few hours of work every day.

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I could try to join the KOA Work Kamper Program, where you get free hookups around the country in exchange for 40 hours a week at minimum wage. Easy way to travel and see the whole country, not great for time management, and the pay sucks. And no real new skills.

I think I’m going to stay in an RV park the next couple of nights. Have electricity, showers, clean toilets, and a bit of time to reflect on my situation. Maybe read a couple of books.

Life is good.

Peace & Love!

François

 

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Good Feeling: Seven short stories

Beer Songs for the Lonely

6 Comments

  1. Vegas isn’t THAT bad! I’m happy right now I’m staying at a KOA campground. I’m headed back to Arizona for Turkey Day, and then off to Los Angeles, and San Francisco. After that? Don’t know. Maybe I’ll come back to Texas, maybe I’ll take my vows and become a monk or something. As long as there’s beer involved, I’m ok with it. Thanks for reading! And thanks for the comment!

  2. Do not stay in Vegas! It’s the cesspool of the universe!
    Drama aside, I hope you can move on down the road a little ways. You are in the gateway of the Grand Canyon!

  3. Thank you for the suggestion!

  4. UPS should be hiring truck loaders and drivers helpers for the holiday season. Pay’s great.Good benefits even for P/T
    , so I understand.

  5. Tunnels beneath? I do I go there?

    And yes, this constant fear of the other, fear of the different, fear of anything that doesn’t resemble Me Me Me…will be the death of America. It’s not that other societies don’t fear and live off of fear like we do, we just seem to design more and more of our raison d’etre and our way of organizing our cities and states around that constant fear that we build on at all time…

  6. Great post. I see similar signs around here though there are some streets that put a limit to 72 hours. We got a ticket for parking past midnight in an empty lot while we were off watching the Perseids. Totally agree about the problems you describe in America… And since I have lived in Vegas a few times I have nothing but agreement in my heart. Vegas is truly a weird town. Did you know some people work above ground and live in the tunnels beneath?

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