For forty years the Israelites wandered through the desert looking for the promised land.
Imagine walking for what must have felt like an eternity in search of a land that flowed with milk and honey. I think by hour forty I would need that land to flow with craft beer and Big Macs for me to even think about continuing on the trip.
As days turned into weeks turned into months turned into years, I bet it took an increasing amount of strength to not be the angry Hebrew that shouted, “Screw this you guys; I’m going back to Cairo.” But they pressed on and eventually found that destination that made the entire journey worth the effort.
My week thus far has been really busy and fairly trying. I dropped and broke my phone (this is, of course, only a short time after I broke my computer). I’ve had panicky students in my office expecting frantic, last minute help at the expense of my sanity. Apparently some of my bosses think that my twelve years as a slave have already begun based on the amount of extra work I’ve being asked to do. I’ve been on the brink of reacquiring the flu. And my dog’s breath smells like nightmares.
But none of that matters because I am going to Las Vegas on Friday.
I am not ashamed to admit that I am a Vegas guy. Something comes over me when I enter Sin City. For as long as Moses and his peeps spent trying to leave the desert, I wish I could stay in that Nevada heat forever. I feel free. I feel uninhibited. Most importantly, I feel like I’m not in LA. I love the Vegas bubble because it represents a great escape. It is the Promised Land — the land flows with slots and money, that promises to make all your dreams come true before it bends you over takes all your dignity. (So far I’ve had the good sense to leave right before this happens).
It is important to have a carrot dangling from the end of the rope attached to your neck. If you have nothing good to look forward to, it is almost impossible to suffer through rough times that darken your day. Every time someone stresses me out, I just think about all the fun that I’ll have and not be able to report in LV. For each kid that gives me grief, that’s one more pull of the slot. For every extra bit of baggage, that’s one more free drink on the casino floor.
If you see me smiling, it doesn’t mean that I’m happy. Underneath my calm veneer there may very well be 500 real and imagined concerns. Life is really stressful.
But that’s why there’s Vegas.