Home is Where?
"This isn't life. This is just stuff, but it's become more important to you than living." American Beauty

So the Frog Prince picks me up at the casino and takes me to a bar where he proceeds to lose about three hundred dollars playing video poker while I slowly sip a Grey Goose and tonic. Finally he's lost enough money and isn't feeling "the vibe", and so he takes me back to his house. Walking through his house I had the same experience Richard Jeni has watching porn films-I am forced to ponder what the fuck I have done wrong in my life that this guy with the emotional warmth of a totem pole and about the same rugged good looks and intelligence should have this kind of house and I continue to live in a rather large cubby hole. I'll start with the library...filled with Reader's Digest books and decorated with a print of Pompeii. I complimented him on the picture and commented on having been there recently. The blank look on his face attested that he didn't even realize that there was an actual place called Pompeii. Next onto the pool with tropical plants, waterfall, and hot tub. The entertainment room with pool table, bar, and large tv decorated with oh so tasteful neon beer signs. He has several bedrooms including his own which inexplicably has a working fire place. The dining room, which remains perfectly set on the off chance someone stops by, is clearly never used as is the front parlor, and the kitchen as big as my entire apartment was apparently only used for storing liquor for guests.

As he takes me on tour he keeps telling me that he works six days a week and is never home. What then is the point of all this decadence bereft of a unifying design concept as well as empty of personality as the owner is? I feel like getting him a copy of Rousseau's on Civil Society where he says that the members of a society should only take as much land as they need. As we sit in the living room drinking cranberry tonics, as he never offers me dinner but seems to live on the Hemingway diet, he asks me about how I live in New York. "I don't know how you live without your own place" he says while I wonder at why exactly he needs all this space. I think he and I should trade spaces. I mean this guy has a fucking library, and he can't even fill it with books. Even a graphic novel or two. Does he really need a three bedroom house with its own gym?

On the other hand the self contained nature of the house explains why, in part, he isn't good as socializing. He simply doesn't really need to leave the house to talk anyone, so he doesn't and this is reflected in his idea of engaging chat. He keeps asking me about my job as if that's what I want to talk about when I'm on vacation. Yes, yes, I escaped it all and came to practically another fucking coast so I can sit here and talk about office politics, tenure policies, and freakin' grading systems. Of course, almost everyone is a student at some point, so the questions they ask are in the "You know I was tortured once by an awful teacher. Are you like that teacher?" bent not realizing, of course, that I too was tortured by teachers once. Do they not realize I know? Do they not realize that part of how I don't teach is formed by those horrible experiences that I do not wish to inflict on anyone?

In the end, he takes me to another bar/video poker place across the street where he proceeds to lose another three hundred dollars. I realize this isn't going to be the Vegas vacation everyone else has-going to the MGM grand to see the snow lions, the shark reef at Mandalay Bay, and The O Show at the Bellagio. I realize that yet again I was going to see the "local's side" of Vegas. Luckily I have my own bathroom complete with tub and figure worse case scenario I can pretend to be a mermaid in captivity and just spend the whole vacation soaking in the tub. My only hope for anything vaguely ressembling fun are the arrival on Woman of the Year and Daddy Warbucks the next morning.

I should have remembered Annette Benning's line from American Beauty "You can not depend on anyone but yourself."

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