Loyalty, Purpose, Puppies and Pepsi In the City of Sin
By Royal Hopper
A man sat on the corner on Las Vegas Boulevard with a sign that caught my eye. I couldn’t read it all from the angle I spotted it before the light turned but it said something to the effect .. “Somebody kidnapped my weed connection so I need shitloads of cash…”
Down the road a woman sports a T-shirt that reads ..”yeah he’s ugly but the sex is great…” and in yet another part of the Strip a cartoon character splits his tips with another.
Loyalty matters even in small doses and what you are loyal to matters.
There is an older couple that goes to a restaurant my wife and I go to. The woman, and I say this with the greatest respect seems to barely know where she is. The man sees nothing but her. The love and loyalty in his eyes is obvious. You know kind of like the look you see in certain pop singers when they look in the mirror or the man in the Dodgers hat looks at his dog when he is asking for spare change or digging in the trash or the look one well dressed tourist gave to an empty chair. (I’m actually not sure why he did that but it sounded cool) You have to be pretty cold to look at loyalty like that and not at least notice. …..
Purpose matters too.
In this city it is very rare to see someone walking around truly without purpose. Even if that purpose is just to take a cheesy photo of a clown statue with your crowd of intoxicated work friends dressed in your Sons of Anarchy T-shirts you bought at Macy’s you have a purpose. Even if you are so desperate for a woman’s attention you pick up a hooker in a stairwell near a video arcade ( notice I said near a stairwell not in it) you have a purpose. When your bare it all doing the deed dozens of feet from maw and paw kettle just in from Kansas to experience the Sin City story in person you have a purpose……a sad juvenile, unhealthy purpose but a purpose none the less.
Both these stories are part of the Sin City culture. We Sinners like people to believe we live in a place without purpose or established loyalties but it is not true.
The imagined lack of purpose and agenda is one of Sin City’s greatest illusions and greatest selling points..
(Cue the film clips of the villain in Matrix lecturing ominously about purpose driving us)
The city without purpose is a place you come to forget everything and party your ass off. Do you see the irony there ??
That very function is a purpose in an of itself. Las Vegas is a place dedicated to purpose. The people who work there want to pay the rent, to have a retirement fund, and pay the bills….to buy a boat, good shoes, to flip the bird at the world, to prove they are the greatest at something, to get drunk enough to forget they are bald and on and on and on.
You see a lot of decadent agendas in Sin City but you also see loyalty that touches your heart.
The man who rides his bike around Las Vegas Boulevard looking for cans and bottles definitely has a purpose. The man who collects money for his weed connection has a purpose.
And there is loyalty that surpasses anything you can create on a weekend gambling binge.
When you see a couple who stays together for years in spite of one being in a wheelchair and the need for one to help the other into the bathroom you have to be pretty hard hearted not to feel something.
That couple at the restaurant…
The husband is at least 80 and frail himself. The wife is wheelchair bound and not always aware of where she is. When they come in he wheels her carefully so as to avoid jarring her or hitting the tables. He doesn’t ask for help he wheels his woman to the table like he has perhaps done for years and sits down at the table.
They talk or rather he talks to her. She doesn’t really answer except to make an occasional barely audible whisper of a reply and tell him he is wrong about something. I get the feeling that the food the waiter puts in front of them is an after thought. The two of them being together is the object of dinner and always has been.
I swear I heard him say “yes dear.”
That’s Life in the City of Sin
Take Care Fellow Sinners