Vegas Diaries: You would be so nice to come home to
Before I even go home, I stop at the bar. I just can't bear going back to that empty apartment, not after this. I need to be around familiar faces. Surprisingly there is a crowd there, big D and the gay Vet. They ask me about my trip, the gambling, the shows, the food. I don't lie, but I don't tell them the truth either. I sit in my cowgirl hat and smile and talk about Princeton's ball ringing incident, the gay bar, the Frog Prince. And they laugh, as they do at my stories. How much of my life has been sacrificed to making people laugh at my life? How much of it has been lived just to make them laugh?

At three, I ask to borrow somebody's cellphone. Kiss Kiss has left me two messages, in one he says he would have waited on my front steps if he knew when I was coming home. Thankfully the poor boy didn't hold a vigil there, but it gave me the strength to face the apartment. He promises to come over the next night, just for company. He has learned to read me by now. The sound of my voice, even when I'm silent, he knows what it means.

The next night he comes over, just to sleep, just have his body next to mine so I won't be alone. He's exhausted and so am I, but I start to cry. He asks me what is wrong, but I can't even begin to say. There aren't even words. He tells me that it's over, that I'm safe now, that everything is ok, but, of course, it's never over. The rest of you live in the shadow of Vesuvius, but I'm already burned. It's not me anymore, this person, I don't know who she is, just the cinder outline-like those at Pompeii. Perfectly preserved in their last moments. Even the dogs. Frozen in their loss. And there is no comfort for this. No getting over it. There are some losses you do not recover from. All there is, all there can be, is how long it takes to kill you. Some believe that time heals all wounds, and I'm sure that it is a comfort to those who can believe. But Time can be like acid on the skin, not healing, but eating away through flesh and bone and muscle until there is nothing left to heal because there is nothing left at all. But there are no words for this. And even if I could say it, who would want to hear such a truth?

While he attempts to sooth me, while I am thinking these thoughts Princeton calls and leaves a message. Turns out he remembered leaving his Michael Kors blazer at the gay bar and went back to retrieve it. Miraculously, not only was the blazer there, but when he went to claim it, the woman running the door said "Oh where is your little friend?" That's fame for you. When you can walk into a gay bar at one in the morning on a friday night in Vegas, stay for an hour and two days later, they still remember you, you are at the very least a memorable and entertaining shade of the person you used to be. He says that he misses me, that I was the only fun thing about the trip. He says we should do Vegas again, only this time stay in a hotel and go to the shows and the spas. Just the two of us. Sitting on a balcony at the Venetian having morning tea and croissants before indulging in fullbody massages or spending the day losing at blackjack. We know how to be decadent, he says, and have fun.

But, of course, I don't answer the phone so I can't tell him there is absolutely no fucking way.

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