It’s 4 a.m. and I am making my way down the strip in LV searching for a cvs that the casino security guard assured me was in walking distance. The unnamed one needs some more Benadryl and none of the 5 or 6 convenience stores in the grand has nary a pill. There must have been a run on them. I admit, I was a little hesitant to take this stroll at such an hour but I had memories of a recent early morning run in search of pastrami in NY Greenwich Village that did not result in maiming or robbery so perhaps I would be safe here in sister city.
I made my way past the sleeping homeless sprawled on the sidewalk like discarded newspaper, the groups of runaway teens talking/ dancing /fighting away their methadone induced high, the hoochie mama dressed ladies of the night pacing in a small circle looking bored and tired, the sign carriers asking for handouts, jobs, prayers. I had stepped into an altered universe. I quickened my steps as I saw the nearby red lights of the cvs about 3 blocks away. I walked with that I’m a bad sistah and don’t you mess with me cause I might cut you look. It worked, no one said a word to me.
I purchased the precious Benadryl and returned to the room. By 8 a.m the welts on the unnamed one were starting to disappear. But I was growing irritated… with the room, the lack of ventilation, the loud partiers, the shower with 2 speeds, cold and scalding hot, the no-service-will-be-given-during-your-stay and you must flag down housekeeping if you want a towel. Enough is Enough. I broached the subject of speaking to the front desk with the unnamed one. I’m not sure he heard anything I said because Tiger was playing. However, I persisted in my best Virgo/Libra I used to be a Paralegal diplomatic voice.
You know this is Not right. We should be in a better room. You paid for a better room. Are you just going to let them take your money? And then my Angry Black Woman tone. Why don’t you just man up and go down there and fix this problem! I’ve already had to deal with Expedia, Delta and the changed seat screwup. Not to mention playing nursemaid to you and your Ialmostdiedfromthis unidentified welt problem.
Sorry Maam, nothing we can do about the seat change. But You could pay an additional $59 each for seats in the front. May I speak to a supervisor. Excuse me Sir,this is your fault not mine. Well, maybe we could put you in the emergency seats. If you agree you are able bodied and can assist the other passengers in case of an emergency. Just sign this form. You mean like the plane going down and I have to play flight attendant? My Xanax supply was getting low.
The unnamed one was unmoved… literally. I donned my new paisley printed two piece and headed to the grand pool. It was a beautifully designed area complete with cabanas, fake palm trees and a sea of deck chairs. I found a nice pale blue chair that complemented the pink paisleys in my suit and donned some suntan lotion. Yes, Virginia good black does crack in 100+degree heat, and settled in for an afternoon of fun in the sun. After about 15 minutes, I realized that this sun was not the same sun I sat under back home. This sun was a fireball radiating spears of heat that obviously were on loan from Hell.
I headed to the nearest pool peopled by folks of various ages, sipping iced drinks and talking in a cornucopia of languages. Oddly, I noticed that of all the people in the pool, there was only one other dark hued person, a brother with a group of blonde tanned guys.
Flashes of 1960s movies and innocent little black children dipping their toe in the community pool and suddenly running for their lives as the pool was drained played in my mind. It must be the heat…this was 50 years later…nothing like that could here. Could it? Nevertheless, I found an unoccupied corner of the pool and carefully looked around before lowering myself into the heavily chlorinated water. Minutes passed and nothing happened. People continued drinking, talking, frolicking. I was safe.
Within minutes, I found myself in the center of a group of young men from England who were on holiday in LV. They offered me drinks and conversation noting that they liked me because I was like the women they knew at home. They had been warned to stay awake from the LV women who would steal their money and credit cards. Ah, Mother England. We chatted for awhile. One of them even snapped pictures of me. I began to feel waterlogged and a little high from the icy, sweet drink so I bid them adieu.
I reluctantly returned to the room. Several hours had passed and surely Tiger had won or lost by now. Tiger had indeed lost and the unnamed one was not in a good mood. I politely inquired if he had given more thought to the room situation and he said he was going to take care of it after lunch. He abruptly left the room and I proceeded to take a cold shower almost scalding myself when I accidently jiggled the knob in the wrong direction.
Lunch was a buffet. I am not fond of food that has been handled by strangers with grimy hands. So I settled for a glass of water.After lunch, the unnamed one quietly walked to the front desk of the grand. I followed at a polite within in hearing/video taking distance. Unnamed one picked out a young, friendly Hispanic clerk and began to explain the room situation in that I am a veteran and used to be a mailman friendly voice.
There was a lot of gestures and hmphs and uh huhs exchanged. Finally friendly desk clerk said he was going to grant our wish and give us the room we had reserved…a grand king in the tower part of the hotel far from the dank, dark world of the west wing. We were given shiny new keys and instructed to move our things immediately.
In a flash, we were out of the old rom and stepped off the elevator into a well lighted section of the grand where the walls were painted in soft hues and adorned with pictures of Frank and the rat pack. The carpet glowed with freshly vacuumed cleanliness and the quiet was palpable. This was the grand I had seen online. An older part of the hotel but clean and well kept with lots of character in the room furnishings. And there was a tub, a desk, a chair, an expansive view of the strip, mountains, airport and even the iconic grand sign high in the air. I could feel my breathing lighten and I put the Xanax deeper in my purse.
(Oh, Reader, you thought this was when you found out if the Unnamed One made it on the plane back home? Dang! Well, it’s called a plot twist…you know to derail the reader’s expectation. But I promise, the last and final installment of this TRUE story is coming to you. Stay tuned and thanks for Reading. Comments are welcomed…and Appreciated!)