You Shouldn't Have: Meditations of a Feverish Bunni
I have been receiving concerned emails from some of my regular readers because I have been "quiet" about what is currently going on in my life. I was being quiet because, well, I figured you really would want to know. Today one of my students used the word "guinea pigging" as in "when doctors are guinea pigging patients..."I discovered the blog of one my students who referred to me as "everyone's favorite midget" (I've refrained from adding the link as it uses my real name. I rarely use real names here, and certainly never have even when referring to students. I have at least had the decenecy not to humiliate them in public like that.) Turns out Eric Kinsman is still on Friendster as he recently looked up my profile. Where is he now? He's in a relationship in California. I've been living a loveless existence for the last five years.So I've wasted five years of my life here in NYC doing what? Writing bar stories, being professionally unlovable, and failing to teach.

And the first person who says anything about "self pity" I swear to god as sick as I am I am going to find you and make Hostel look like a Disney film.

What a Difference a Day Makes and Oh Strippers...Not Again: Vegas Diaries
I can't stand women who lie about needing a man. If you need a man, I understand. I'm not one of these "Listen you should be happy who you are, and you are everything you need" types of chicks. I understand some of us need another person to feel fulfilled. Christ, if growing up disabled has taught me anything, it is to understand weakness and dependence. If you understand this about yourself, power to you. Go find yourself a man.

What I can't stand, what I truly despise are these hypocritical proselytising "I don't need a man or anybody for that matter" women who are so desperate for man they are willing to walk over a desert of razor blades on their tongue and then drink lemonade just for a date. As I said, if you need a man, I understand. But if you do, don't take up my time telling me how fulfilled and independent you are. And certainly don't cast a jaudiced eye at me as I've been without a serious boyfriend for five fucking years.

Not that I'm bitter.

The Showgirl had been going on from the morning about how wonderful things were between her and the Frog Prince. They had been friends since high school. He had been in love with her then. Vegas was lovely. She heard the schools there were great. (I had first hand knowledge from several of Eric's friends that this is not the case, but ok.) The move might be difficult for her daughter, but there was so much opportunity here. She had talked to a psychic before she left on the trip, and the psychic had told her a man from her past was going to come back and she would marry him-that they had been destined to be together-that he was the One. But what was really wonderful about being with him is that she knew he would never hurt her.

One of the inevitable side effects of every relationship is pain. Put two people in a room together and lock the door and no matter how much they love each other, eventually they will hurt each other, even if they don't want to , even if they don't mean to. In the geometry of desire, pain is a given.

According to Freud, depression is what happens when reality interrupts fantasy. In other words, it is mourning the loss of something you never had. Now I could have plunged her into a dark depression by revealing certain realities to her. But what was the point? At the end of the day reality is where we live, eventually it was going to crash through this crystal dream of hers, but why should I take away what little enjoyment she had while she could have it? Besides isn't Vegas all about fantasy and illusion? So I simply sat and slurped my soda and pondered what body glitter to wear.

We went back to the house and prepared. It turned out our big night out was to go see Wonder Boogie at ....wait for it....Texas Station.

Wonder Boogie is simply three guys with big afro wigs and a trunk full of faux seventies clothes who sing covers of songs like "At the Car Wash" and "YMCA." The Frog Prince was getting us rounds of drinks including several Illusions for me. Whenever my drink was running low, he asked me if I wanted "Another martooni." This is what passed for a personality in Vegas.

Princeton and I had a hell of a time shaking our asses, but the Showgirl was increasingly despondent. The Frog Prince was flirting with other women. Not paying much attention to her. At one point she told him he better take her home or they would be forced to have sex in his office. He didn't even smile. She kept going on to me about how he was an "asshole, but it didn't matter." I was more convinced by the student who told me that she was consistently late to class to because she had a self inflicted sleeping disorder.

Finally I dragged Princeton aside and told him the situation. The whole night was becoming very middle school dance-and I don't just mean the music. We decided we were fairly disgusted with both of them, when suddenly we were leaving. The Frog Prince had to work the next day and suddenly the Showgirl was whispering to me that I had to take Princeton to a gay bar and stay there for an hour.

And this is what I hate. Because I've been that chick. When a guy treats you like that, flirts with other women in front of you, you don't immediately take him back when he decides to leave with you. It never ends well.

In the car, I begin to realize how drunk Princeton is. I'm tipsy and tired, but I figure one hour at a gay bar-what could happen? Princeton is one of those people who the more he drinks the more deaf he becomes. Well, he doesn't really get deaf, but it takes him about 17 repetitions to understand what is being said. He is trying to get a spare set of keys from the Frog Prince so we don't have to be reliant on them in their post coital bliss to let us into the house. The Frog Prince keeps trying to tell Princeton he doesn't HAVE a spare set of keys. "Of course you do" says Princeton, "who doesn't have a spare set of keys? Where is your spare set of keys?" "I don't have one." And this keeps going back and forth with Princeton getting increasingly annoyed because he is convinced that Frog Prince is lying or just being obnoxious.

Meanwhile, to try and insert some levity into the scene the Showgirl keeps calling Princeton's cellphone which he had set on vibrate and thrust deep into his pants pockets. Every minute or so Princeton would dig into his pocket see it was the Showgirl and put the phone back into his pocket. I was the only one who was aware of how pissed Princeton was when finally he yelled "SHOWGIRL, YOU GODDAMNED TWAT STOP RINGIN' MY BAWLS!" At which point, I dissolved in laughter.

As we passed the strip, I saw some of the old places-Mandalay Bay where he had taken me to the Shark Reef and where I had one of the best moments of my life, Treasure Island where we had our picture taken with his family, the Bellagio where his mother had asked me at dinner how I knew he was the one, the Stratosphere, which he hated, but was one of the last places we had our picture taken together. I looked out the window at these places, places he hated. Places he was terrified he would never escape. Clearly I didn't have enough to drink yet.

Frog Prince dropped us off at a bar with a rainbow flag outside, and we went in. The place was packed, but it was refreshing to be in a bar without any video poker or slots. There were male go go dancers. Princeton ordered us drinks and then began shoving five and tens down g strings. I was amazed at how he could stuff a five down a g string and then stand casually talk to the guy about where he was from and how long he worked in Vegas like it was the most bizarre cocktail party. He asked who my favorite was-I pointed to a slender tattooed dancer with a pierced lip. He reminded me of an old boyfriend. Princeton gave me a five an insisted that I give it to him. Because my height, the dancer dropped his body to the floor and the slowly arched back so I could reach his g string. I tucked it in and ran. I just couldn't casually talk to him. After a while my favorite came back around. "Go, here give him this" Princeton demanded giving me another five. The same performance but this time, he insisted on grabbing my hand and kissing me on the cheek. There are almost two constants to all my vacations: Irish bars and male strippers. I can't complain.

By this time, Princeton could hardly stand, his eyes kept shutting. I took his cellphone, my battery having long since died, and told the Showgirl I didn't care what condition they were in, it was time to come home. There was no way I could carry Princeton, and he was about to pass out. Turns out she was just heading home too. She was pissed because Frog Prince hadn't taken her home, but taken her to a video poker bar where they drank and played poker. Finally when she was insisting on going home to have sex, he told her she was needy and gave her his house keys. She was heating up the hot tub as I spoke to her. I gave the cabbie the phone so she could direct him to the house. Princeton passed out in the cab immediately. When I woke him at the end of the trip, he was only conscious long enough to sprawl like a starfish on my bed. I went out to the hot tub and saw the Showgirl in there naked with a glass of wine.

"What the fuck?" I thought. "It's not like either one of them is going to remember tomorrow ." I stripped off my clothes and jumped in. We sat there were the hot water both of us silent-staring up at the clear night sky-pissed at the universe for different reasons-our breasts gently bobbing at the surface. Finally sodden and drunk I made my way up Princeton's room and passed out in his bed.

I'm Not What You Expect: Vegas Diaries
The Showgirl and I made a twenty minute search of the kitchen before we found the tea. A great host, our Prince. I emptied a pot and boiled the water while she smoked out by the pool. It was a beautiful day, like the days I keep hearing about from Californians-warm and sunny with blue skies and palm trees. Far from the damp foliage of New England.

The Showgirl and I decided we were going to get massages. The Frog Prince was working, but he left us the car. That night there was supposed to be some sort of entertainment. Considering what had been lined up so far, I wasn't particularly enthused.

Honestly, I was dying to go to the strip. And that was a bad sign, when I look foward to seeing the snow leopards and the elvis impersonators and the fucking Stratosphere (Eric always hated that place), you know things aren't going well. When I heard we were gettting massages, I envisioned this glorious decadent spa day at some place like the Bellagio. This local Vegas thing-I had already been there, done that, have the t-shirt, bought the film rights, play the cd, memorized the tag line. What I was looking here was something new. If I had to be in Vegas, I could at the very least get a little decadent indulgence. Isn't that what Vegas is supposed to be about?

Over tea, the Showgirl told me that the Frog Prince liked me but "you aren't what he expected. Princeton, well, he is exactly as I described, but you, well, he didn't expect you."

I should have that printed on my business cards "Bunni Speigelman: Not matter what you think, I'm not what you expect." It is hard to anticipate, however, a four foot six professor covered in three kinds of stripper dust accompanied by a stuffed killer rabbit named after her deceased father.

The house had one of those dramatic staricases favored by soap operas for dramatic entrances and exits. We heard Princeton call out "Descending" as he came down the stairs.

As Princeton made himself coffee, he asked," So did you uh get any last night?"

I nearly snorted tea all over the countertop. "No, not last night" a slow smile spread across her face, "but this morning. And it's big." She holds out her hands. I avert my eyes. No way do I want to know what Frog Prince in packing. The Showgirl and Princeton giggle over sexual details, while I decide to go immerse myself in a pre-massage tub.

We drive to a few places in Henderson before we find another local's casino. The spa can't accomodate us until the following day and so my would be husband ensconced himself at the blackjack table while the Showgirl and I went shopping. She was entranced by the outside shopping mall that seemed to be modeled after Southstreet Seaport without, of course, the historic charm. All the stores were these "not your grandmother's department store" stores like Talbots, Coldwater Creek, and Chico's. One of the places we walked into actually had a corduroy leopard print skirt. I found a little place that sold over the top clearly junk jewelry Vegas style store and bought a few necklaces.

Afterwards the Showgirl and I sat and had a soda and talked. Despite the temperate weather, two christmas carolers in full Dickens regalia showed up to sing in the courtyard of the shopping complex. They must have been sweating.

After spending all afternoon wandering, we picked up Princeton at the blackjack table and headed back to the house to have cocktails and rendez-vous with the Frog Prince. The Showgirl had been going on all day about how wonderful Vegas is , how she would love to live here. As we walked across the parking lot, I pointed out the sunset-a flourescent pink halo of light. Both of my companions shrugged and got back in car and continued gush over the buffets and the stores, the conveniece of Vegas. I felt like I did when I went with my friends to Amsterdam. Sure there is culture in Vegas, paintings, museums, exhibits. There is even natural beauty in Vegas. But I'm the only person who wants to go and see it.

Upcoming Posts: What a Difference A Day Makes: Vegas Diaries Continued and a Special Birthday Blog Extravaganza for the Amazon

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