I drove around Las Vegas today. I didn’t really have a destination, but I ended up down on the strip. Most of the lights are still flashing away, which only adds to the emptiness.
The Silence was there, of course. It is everywhere.
I parked on an empty Las Vegas Boulevard, right in front of
the Bellagio. The water show was in progress. I stood watching it, letting the
hot desert sun pound down on me. I had forgotten how fast it heats up for the
summer here. I walked up the winding sidewalk to valet and entered the casino.
The Silence was waiting inside, louder and angrier than
It was probably due to the fact that the gaming machines
were all still running. Playing their songs in an attempt to convince yet
another poor sap to trade their hard-earned money for a chance to win more. I
wondered if the machines realized there was no one left for them to sing to.
Then I wondered if they had all started singing for me when I entered. Like a
cage of attention-starved puppies, all yapping in the hopes that I would pick
one of them up and take it home.
I walked until it was dark, into one casino and out another.
It was all the same. Always the same.
At the Excalibur, I took a pillow and blanket from a service
cart and curled up in the corner of the gaming hall. The room was loud, and the
sounds of buzzers and bells filled my ears as I dropped off to sleep.
Yet in the distance, just before unconsciousness
took me, I swear I heard the Silence laughing at me.