Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Own Back Yard

What a silly morning I had. Today my dad is 58. It's a little frightening that I now notice people in the news who died earlier than that. Anyway, got up at nine, determined to meet them at brunch at the Eldorado to celebrate his birth. The Eldorado. The golden city of the conquistadors. Well, after searching for the secret parking garage in the time-span of two hundred or so deep zen-like breaths, I was longing to be that South American chief, covered in gold dust, diving into a pure mountain lake, instead of a 25-year old girl, covered in sweat, diving into the eclectic crowd on the Reno streets. Blacks, smoking anorexics, construction workers, Paiutes, Hog-Riders, casino workers, Hispanics, white people who don't know how to dress. No matter, I thought, it's the golden city I'm really after, just like in the legend. I'll enter the divine buffet inside and all of my matin frustrations will vanish in the face of my carefully stacked plate, engineered for maximum bloating in one trip through the line.

Walk through the blazing lights. Up the stairs of the casino with the same mundane, familiar rhythm of the workers. Wandered inside the buffet. No parents. Sat outside for a while. Watched the people passing by and the low lighting. Seriously, are casinos trying to maximize profit by making it too dark to walk safely? Or are they hoping people will become lost and disoriented, give up, and decide to dump their under-the-mattress money in the nearest slot?

Wrote a bit about an older woman with breast implants. Sure, they looked good in 1964, but now that she's trying to pull off the Target (pronounced Tar-jay) look in her fifties, she just looks top heavy. OK, so turns out I'm pretty good at entertaining myself. An hour passed before I even thought of calling my parents. Didn't have their cell. Grr. Gave up.

Maybe they said the Peppermill? Maybe... wouldn't be the first time. This sort of day is my specialty, it seems. No wonder I'm so content just wandering around-- my terrible sense of direction forces me to do it all the time. Enjoyed the sunshine on the way, then submerged myself in the neon ocean that is the Peppermil. (A far more practical choice than the Eldorado. After all, I see pepper mills all the time.) Nope. Screw it. Put on some good tunes and went home.

So, three hours after leaving, I walk in the door, and immediately apologize to Dad for missing his big gastronomical celebration. Mom says, "Maybe next time you could take responsibility for getting to the right place." Yeah, maybe. Or maybe this whole trip was just the universe telling me to examine my home town a little closer.

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