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C.A. Reed

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1979 chevy impala
By C.A. Reed
Monday, May 05, 2003

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Recent stories by C.A. Reed
· southie
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narrator's first-time experience in las vegas...

i don't want to go to vegas. what the hell is there in vegas but casinos and garish lights and a grand lot of drunks crawling like rats out of sewers, moving out of hotels onto the strip.
gangs of tourists, overweight middle aged americans, giggling, barely-legal spring-breakers and the random locals who couldn't possibly be from nevada. those bitter relocatees who'd grown tired of their prior lives soon again found disenchantment. smooth talking men made plays in lobby elevators and found about as much luck as the blackjack, backarack, craps and roulette tables had proffered, leaving empty pockets and broken hearts.
discotheques in swanky, new hotels drew overdressed men and women, hungry for meat. shady taquerias yielded former east-coast project whores and welcomed them to their tables, where booze and coke passed the lips and noses of now call-girls and madams.
"i have my own house that i bought with my own money", she said. she sold herself, a not terribly pretty woman, most likely in her thirties, her skin like milk chocolate under dancehall lights.
once the sun hid its face, artificial light overtook the city.
the locals lingered in bad punk rock bars with names like sasha's, and dnaced to moddish 1980's tunes, pumped with amphetamines and cheap beer, reeled around in short dresses and tight pants with newwave hairdos. how fucking boring.
back in the dancehalls, middle aged men from brooklyn danced with any woman that would tolarate them for any short interval, before realizing they'd dole their telephone number out on cheap paper napkins and distribute them amongst the multitudes, none of which would ever really call, recognizing the blatant desperation in those aging countenances-- the lack of suave or interesting conversation to sustain curiousity...
at 3 a.m., casinos had become ghost towns, the gamblers had retreated along with the drunks, often, it was difficult to differientate between the two. the hopeful and hopeless were the only ones remaining, alongside the dealers and bartenders, the lonely cocktail waitresses, porting unfortunately skimpy outfits, intentionally so, to solicit bigger tips from those enticed by such cheap tricks. hardly. but that was vegas, artifice was its most prominent feature, like a roman nose, a cleft chin, a gapped smile. plastic, burning up electricity, generating sulfur, like an old abandonned aircraft, infiltrated by vagrants, taken over. welcome to fabulous las vegas, nevada.

(end chapter 1)

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Reviewed by borstalboy 6/12/2003
It has potential and a lovely voice, but , and, or: the story is far more interesting than the narrator's commentary. As in the story and images have more wisdom and grip. You don't have to tell us: We can't fall in love with people you hate or that disgust you.... Or can we?
Reviewed by Dennis Burke 5/10/2003
nice intimations of Raymond Chandler. A little more rap rhythm might get it further into that neon eros. Swing it. The hopeful and hopeless were the only ones remaining --great.

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