Wednesday, November 30th, 2005, 1:40 pm
Back in college I went to see the movie Awakenings with a girl I adored. Unfortunately I also went with one of her girlfriends, whom she unexpectedly brought along. And, no, the evening did not end as fodder for a “Letter to Penthouse”. God, what a rotten night that was. Anyway, Robin Williams plays a doctor (Oliver Sacks, yes?) who treats Robert De Niro, who’s been in a sort of coma for years. De Niro had a neurological disease that makes the body lose motor control, and what happened was that the loss of control was so complete that it froze him in place. Williams gave De Niro a new medication (the aforementioned L-Dopa) and suddenly he wakes up and his able to walk and talk and love again. The movie doesn’t have a happy ending, nor did my date. I remember a long, brooding walk around campus in the wee hours.
But enough about my hilarious attempts at romance. No, my point is that I think my detached outlook on the Vegas trip is based on much the same total sensory overload. I’m excited to go, yes. But I think there’s TOO MUCH to be excited about for my nervous system to cope with.
First of all, this is my first trip to Vegas. That in and of itself is enough to get giddy over. My brother and I are going to drink and debauch and do things that our parents will blissfully remain unaware of, at least until Christmas Eve dinner when we get a few beers under our belts.
Second, I’m going to be immersed in poker all weekend. Playing poker, watching poker, talking poker. Poker is nice, I love play poker. I’m playing in a game this weekend, and I’m very much looking forward to that.
Third, I’m excited about the whole travel/adventure part of the weekend. I’ve never been west of New Orleans. Well, the cruise I took might’ve been wester…I dunno. Don’t care, it’s not important. The thing is that I’m a country mouse, I haven’t traveled much at all. So this is a big deal for me.
And of course I’ve mentioned my fear of flying a few dozen times. By wheels-up I will be giggling drunk.
So we have all this stuff going on. And yet what I’m looking forward to most, by a wide, huge, landslide margin, is meeting about 100 people I’ve been reading and talking for about two years. I mean, I started talking the other day about the people I’m looking forward to meeting and drinking with, and it got over 30 pretty damn quick.
It’s too much. It’s much too much. It’s like…it’s like this–it’s like you’re going to bed Christmas Eve, and you know, you KNOW, that Santa brought you that bike you wanted. And that BB gun. And that GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip.
Oh, and Christmas Day? The Steelers are playing in the Super Bowl that day. Against the Arizona Cardinals.
Oh, and guess what else? At halftime you’re losing your virginity. With the girl you, uh, think about all the time.
So the mind whirls and whirls and whirls until everything is a seemingly static blur. My ability to think about subjects other than shots and G-strings and flopped quads is a symptom of my inability to think of anything else. I appear normal, but in fact I’m a rapidly-fraying spool of high-tensile wire. Get me on the plane. Get me on the ground. Get me a drink, a rack, a seat. And then, I’ll be able to relax.
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