I couldn't have said it any better myself so I did.

I am leaving Vegas one person at a time.

For the past two or three weeks I’ve watched several of my closest held relationships go up in smoke, others smolder, some dry out like so much desert grass, and I’ve found a lighted match in my hand.

First Friday, Sept 2006

What was the point of living here in Nevada? The mountains echo emptiness, even hopelessness; what kind of person am I that I should leave more disconnected than when I first arrived? And what kind of ghost, come and gone, once entertaining, whispering, haunting, but unable to hold or be held for very long, just moving on and again on, to new people, on new weekends…

Lake Las Vegas, Oct 2009

What’s gotten into me? Is it New York? It’s not the countryside or the fact that there’s actual air and actual water, although those are the enduring qualities of my beloved home state which I trumpet like an infatuated lover. Knowing its geography, you’d probably ask me, was it the memory of the Adirondacks or the Catskills, the Hudson or the Mohawk, the forests or the hills? Considering my romantic nature you’d surely ask what man. What flame has lured me, bid me climb again across the jagged Rockies, fly between rows of endless corn on endless roads, drive alone if I must, nothing but wild-wind-hair and sounds of a pitifully lacking cd collection or static? You wouldn’t believe how much static one must endure between coasts; it’s entirely part of the challenge.

95 S to Boulder City, March 2009

Reader, it’s not New York, it’s not a someone or something or someplace special.

Disengaging is a matter of seeing Nevada as it really is. I look at the strip as I drive down Boulder Highway, home from school, I frown, like I do at pictures of prom 2006, pictures posed with a young man who I’ll never speak to again, I frown like I do passing Mountain Vista Drive knowing that I needn’t turn right or left, both ways I’m unwanted, and I frown like I do looking at the ash blue mountains thinking of what happens when good friends decide to be honest about things you’d really rather them not. So many good memories turned utterly forgettable.

Grand Canyon, Oct 2009

Vegas is brutally honest about the human condition. If there’s anything I’ve learned while I was here, it’s that people are far more messed up than I’d like to believe. Vegas is a man who got the best of me. Vegas tried to pay me for my time, saying it was worth it, but I don’t accept hush money. Do you want to know why I’m leaving Vegas? Vegas doesn’t have any plans for me, and makes me feel trapped- I really am that mouse in a jar that I always talk about. I remember when Vegas didn’t grab the defibrillator when I was on the ground convulsing from heartbreak, yes and he also forgot our anniversary, he didn’t even look on horrified, he walked away not sure what would happen to me, never knowing how the situation would “resolve itself”. And now as my heart wages war on my mind, I carefully divide what’s mine and what’s his, draw the line in the sand, and no one is stepping over to my side because I also happened to have released dogs onto the crowd and strung barbed wire, thick on the high black link fence so I don’t have to watch, still I feel it.

I have my “Associate of Arts Degree with no emphasis” and my car, and I’m leaving. Ask anyone who knew me and they’ll tell you I’m already gone. Ask anyone in New York and they’ll say I’ve not yet arrived. Mentally, I’m somewhere in between here and there. I blow out this match in the dark, this last light, and as the grey smoke tail drifts on air and wraps around where my body used to stand you’ll suddenly notice I’ve left you also, without saying goodbye. But just in case the lingering smoke doesn’t speak for itself, I’ll say what you’ve been half expecting from me this whole time.

I’ll miss you.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!

Content by Laura Gabriele