I should have known I was doomed for some sort of rendezvous with stupidity when Brandy Girl agreed to come to Vegas with us. Rare have been the times in my life when the thought of a pretty girl on my arm didn’t lead me to do things I might not normally do.
The trip started with a heavy dollop of denial. “Just an allergy,” I told myself. “I’m not going to be sick. I’m sure as heck not going to get everyone else sick.” The four of us loaded into Little Green and immediately cranked up some 4 Non Blondes to start our trip out right.
We each got to make up one rule for the road trip that every person had to follow. AJ wanted 4 Non Blondes What’s Up to be played every hour on the hour all the way to Vegas. And we all had no choice but to join in at the top of our lungs. It was his rule. And we obeyed.
My rule was that at least twice an hour, we’d each scream the words, “Vegas, suckas!” at the top of our lungs. An hour into it, I decided we didn’t necessarily have to scream. As long as it was said, we could add any dramatic element to it that we wanted.
Tobi’s rule was that every time we passed a semi truck, the people on the right side of the car had to roll down their windows and make the honking gesture. “All the way to Vegas,” she insisted. That rule didn’t last very long. It turns out there are a lot of semi trucks on a six hour drive.
Brandy Girl… I just realized she never made a rule.
Halfway to Vegas, Tobi and AJ were the only ones keeping his rule. My throat was starting to hurt too much to belt out the chorus line to that fantastic melody. By the time we rolled across the summit and looked down into the blazing Las Vegas valley, I knew I was getting sick. Allergies didn’t feel like this. “Vegas, suckas!” I wheezed out.
An hour later we were sitting with our ten other friends at their favorite Vegas bar. 449 beers on tap or some ridiculous thing like that. I had come to Vegas for some debauchery, but looking at the menu all I could wrap my brain around was a girly apricot beer. It had gone pretty much flat by the time I was able to choke the whole of it down.
I looked over at Brandy Girl. You don’t want to kiss me. I’m a cesspool of disgustingness right now. I kissed her anyway. Still in denial.
After the beer, we all met up again at the cheapest, nastiest casino in old school Vegas. The Cortez. They have 25 cent roulette. That means you can play like a real playa and it isn’t going to cost you a whole lot when you do.
But, with the cheap gambling also comes an environment that isn’t completely accommodating to a human body that needs to heal. Poor ventilation. People smoking everywhere. The smell of reptile urine. People that think they’re drunk but they’re not really because there’s no alcohol in the “free drinks.”
We played roulette for a couple hours. We lost a little money. It got old quick and all I could think about was getting back to the hotel room so that I could sleep off whatever was now attacking my throat with gusto.
Then a Cuban guy joined our table next to me. He bit the end off of a cigar, spit it onto the reptile urine soaked floor, and lit up. After one puff right in my face, Brandy Girl looked at me and asked if I wanted to get out of there. She could tell I was done. My murderous countenance might have given me away.
Again she motioned that she wanted a kiss. “I’m not feeling too well,” I said, officially feeling guilt for any type of bodily contact the two of us shared.
She insisted that she didn’t care, she’d be all right. So I kissed her.
How could I not?
Pretty girls make you do things.
The next morning I woke up and looked across the room to where Brandy Girl was sleeping soundly. Except I couldn’t see her. I couldn’t see anything. My eyes were glued shut with snot.
I stumbled to the bathroom and washed them out the best I could. The veins in my eyes bulged with resentment. A pink gloss covered the entirety of my eyeballs. You have Pink Eye, I thought. No you don’t. How could you have it in both eyes? I put some fancy drops in (you know, the kind pot heads use to cover up their naughty little habits) and they cleared up. I walked back into the room and found the giant bag of OTC medicine that I had so wisely invested in the night before. I started cramming all sorts of pills and capsules into my mouth. I knew I wouldn’t make it more than a hundred feet from our hotel room door if I didn’t do something and quick.
I took pills to counteract the cold symptoms I was feeling. I took pills to counteract the congestion. I took pills to counteract the mucous build-up. I took pills to counteract the sinus pressure. I took pills to counteract the headache. I took pills to counteract the sore throat. I gargled with chloraseptic. I did a sinus rinse. And within a half an hour or so, I was a little light headed, but I felt okay. That dang sore throat wouldn’t go away, but everything else had been effectively neutralized.
Brandy Girl and I headed over to get some all you can eat sushi. We’d been looking forward to it. Planning on it. Needing it.
“Sorry, we close in five minutes,” the dude at the front counter said. I looked at my watch. 2:25.
And then I threw a little tantrum and got mad and marched off.
Which is not like me.
Except when I’m really sick.
Or when I’m really drugged when I’m really sick.
And damn it, I wanted sushi. I needed that one to go right for me. It was going to be my only real comfort moment of the day. Instead we went to a little café up the way and they served me a painfully dry chicken sandwich. But it didn’t matter. I couldn’t swallow much of anything anyway.
We shopped for a little while and decided to go back to the hotel room. At some point, or maybe several dozen points, Brandy Girl got me to kiss her again. She kept insisting she wouldn’t get sick. I was still very much in denial about just how bad this sickness was getting. We were both being idiots about it.
Young lovers are so stupid sometimes.