The Future Pool Queen and the Sweepstakes Cult - Vegas Notes

The Future Pool Queen and the Sweepstakes Cult - Vegas Notes

by Dana Jerman

“The day is dispersed in a distraction as profound as ecstasy.” -P. P. Pasolini

Friends, I will admit to a dreadful thing. My vice at its maximum indulgence turns away from life. Read: I am slothful. 

Mediocrity reigns over my time like a giant king of Boredom. I am his dutiful subject and I defend his claim to the throne of my industry with the zeal of a filthy coward.

He has said to me “Happiness with not protect you. Your efforts are mere sandgrains in a bottomless hourglass” and I have swallowed his words and made them my knowledge. I grasp instead for the calm of a hermit, and the disconnection of a toy left in the woods.

Please know, I haven’t given up completely… I haven’t moved to Key West or NOLA or another further flung seat of ultimate late-midlife unemployed hapless debauchery-laden surrender. It’s still too soon for all that…

Yet here, among my fresh initiations as an incumbent Las Vegan, I rightfully inherit poolside indolence. My father’s nickname for his mother and her cohort was “The Pool Queens.” The fever of leisure came to me through bloodline and starchart and remains to hijack my better impulses to engage proactively with society.

I take a bus to the strip and find a hotel rooftop where, amid occasional splashing and reapplication of SPF 50, RA beckons me with his omnipotent flamethrower to bathe in the extravagant rays for hours, baking my ennui in preparation for the hell to which I’ll surely be pulled under. Someday.

Not today, and maybe not even tomorrow, because King Boredom has beside him a Queen who seeks to save me from myself. Her name is Imagination.

Without obligations, and without wealth, yet diligent. Independent, but without the means to access most convenience, she gives credence to no barriers. Unoccupied, unhurried, she is grace as the clouds are grace. Clarity as the sky is clarity. Free to play and playing freely.

One day, far far out from these first hundred in my new city of residence, I won’t be broke.

At this writing no wide-eyed desperation of the homeless and hungry, mind you, but still counting change from time to time. Furthermore attaching the greatest personal urgency to the pursuit of nearly all that which is FREE.

Going on a month ago, for weeks while struggling to pick up more hours at my part time, I let the Monopoly game monopolize my life. 

That’s right, you know it. You’ve seen it at the grocery. You tear those little blue tickets and attach them to a paper game board. Pop codes into your computer to win trips and cash and all that. Natch, it’s trash.

What a bunch of hogwash. Just try that website. Useless now as the game is over, almost nothing but spinning wheel hangups and 503 service unavailable handling requests. Meanwhile your connection is sound as a pound.

Anyhow, because it was free to play and because I’d discovered a fair share of “instant winner” tickets good for everything from yogurt to water crackers to tissues to tin foil to cheese, I was feverishly combing the app. Going into the store every day, often after things I wouldn’t buy regularly at all. But the high of getting something for nothing got me out of bed.

When they stopped tickets after the first week of May, I was exhausted and well relieved. 

This meant I wouldn’t have to muster the push to go scything thru the crop of Nevada’s finest to get what I thought I might want. My new neighbors: most filthy, a few crusty, a number sunscorched right down into ugly, some tubby like walruses with legs. Surprisingly even a few of the bitchy ones know how to smile back if you do it first. We’re all human, that’s certain.

Truly, the takeaway are the grey hairs. Old folks look at me with my fat stack of ripped up coupons, fascinated. They posit the most direct and engaging questions meanwhile looking the most messed up. I think of how my body will change, is changing, and my rose-colored glasses for humanity go back on when I chat with them. No nonsense, yet full of heart. Another day above ground and out of the house. At their best warts and all.

I joke over the phone about how many oxy tanks I see at my new job to an old pal back east. And yes, it must funny in a ridiculous way, all that getting old. But sobering too, and powerful. These are some gritty, sturdy, nigh-unfuckwithable humans. The time they have left is precious to them, and they guard it by taking zero shits from anyone they don’t care about. They are the power animals of pain.

And if you can be nice to them and get them to care about you? You’re beyond golden. Golden brown and rich with nourishment only age and experience, and saving maybe about a hundred bucks, can bring.

So anyway, on hiatus between manias, back at the free 15th story pool deck, amid rehashed booming club mixes, reclining in a chaise below the zipline, a stone’s throw from the world’s largest ferris wheel, alcohol permits my happiness a temporary throne.

So I pour a wee nip and raise it.

Long live your majesties.

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