The Vegas Diaries – My First Time
Everyone remembers different aspects of Vegas during their first time. Unfortunately you only get one. I remember the heat; it was the first time I was really exposed to the desert and the dry air that comes with Cacti and strippers. Hot air that hits you in the face as you step out of the airport. Far away from reality, and into the taxi line where everyone is waiting. The line was at least 100 people long, but that’s not what amazed me. It was all of the different walks of life: race, gender, sexuality, and age all with the same look, the same glisten in their eyes. They all had hope, they all knew they were going to have the time of their lives, or at least, a moment as they go for it. I know I had it. I could tell this was going to be a different experience when our plane descended in and I looked out and saw the strip. My leg began involuntarily shaking, a tear formed in my eye.
I check in at Bally’s and then I headed right for the Black Jack table. Technically I was there for work, but it was only for a conference and I didn’t plan on going and SPOILER ALERT: never went. Anyway, what do they expect sending a twenty-one year old kid out to Vegas? I guess that’s why they asked me if I’d been before and wisely I lied and said yes, twice. When they asked me if I gamble I scrunched my face as if it was worse than touching a child.
Back to the table, in no time I was playing Black Jack and already down fifty dollars, but with free drinks on the way and beautiful women ever two feet I quickly fell in love with Las Vegas.
After the first night I was down one thousand dollars, half of my life savings, but it was okay. I still had two more nights and now I knew Black Jack wasn’t my game. The next night I would play roulette, but first, I would play the horses. I had a system. Despite only sleeping four hours I felt reenergized. I went down to the sports book, but since the horses hadn’t started yet went to play roulette. I purchased $100 worth of chips and placed half of them on the numbers five and eight. Systems are made to be adjusted. Next spin was eight. I collected my winnings (over $700) and put $300 on black. The ball rolled forever till it landed on Black 5. I collected my money and went to eat a nice big breakfast. I was back to even and the horses were going to start in one hour.
Three hours later I started drinking heavy. I walked to the bar located in the center of the casino because the “freebie” drinks were just not coming fast enough. Again, I was down one-thousand dollars. I went back to roulette and lost another five hundred before going back to the bar and drinking until I passed out.
I slept most of my last day and then it was my final night. My last chance to win my money back. Maybe even win a couple of dollars. After all, I had come to Vegas to win, not lose.
By 6pm I was broke, I went to the ATM and maxed out my one credit card and then lost that as well. I went to the bar to spend my last few dollars. This is where I met Sheila, who was also known as Trikki. She was an escort that worked the Bally’s casino high rollers and on slow nights the strip. She listened to my story and I guess was saddened, but also very wise. She mentioned my expense account and that I could still party and given it was my last night in Vegas – it was my duty to party. You have to trust me that this all made perfect sense at the time. She asked me to take her to my room where we spent the night dancing under the covers and ordering room service. It wasn’t until the morning that I thought about how I was going to explain the five bottles of champagne in one night on my expense report, but then again it didn’t really matter. I was coming off one of the best nights of my life. It was my first time in Las Vegas. The next morning I was dead broke, probably losing my job and riding shotgun while Sheila drove me to the airport. Despite my bleak outlook I was sporting the Vegas grin.