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xmag.com : December 2000 : The Gospel According to Viva Las Vegas

The Gospel according to Viva Las Vegas - "the laziest gal downtown"

Hurtling towards the obvious, eh moonlight lady? You can try to prevent it, forget about it, derail it....but we are all indeed hurtling towards the obvious. Our paths are set, and no amount of mind shrinkage, drug drinking or soul fucking is gonna change it. I'm hurtling towards luminous, murderous mediocrity. And you? Here's derailing it: jump off a bridge, or an eight-story parking ramp for that matter. Take charge.
This year the obvious came and stole lots of people I knew and loved. Before they left, they seemed just one of us, the usual mortal slime. But once they were plucked from the now, they began to take on this ghastly destined-to-die...they were NOT like us. They were too beautiful, too kind, too sensitive. Their hearts literally too big, too easily wounded.
I depend upon people to come in and fuck my shit up. Drugs are too predictable. People aren't. The theologian Martin Buber said, "All real living is meeting." I couldn't agree more. I meet a LOT of people. To undermine the scourge of the obvious, I throw myself into the strangest circumstances, where I feast on the humans I meet. Sometimes I even love them, but I try not to. TOO GODDAMN DANGEROUS. But the sneaky bastards can get under your skin!!
I am an anthropologist by schooling and by disposition. We are an intentionally dispossessed lot, always observing communities, families, cultures, and yearning to belong. But we don't allow ourselves to fit in, because that undermines our dispassionate observational skills, our compulsive ideology of FREEDOM.
But freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. Down at the Magic Garden, I managed to get entangled in spite of myself. Who knew that in the bowels of a chinatown in the goldrush newWest was a little community where I inexplicably belonged? For four years now I've been snaking around there, paying homage to nicotine and Jim Beam. Lots of people pass through the joint, some stay forever. But man it's quite a spoonful who started out year 2000 with us and just ain't around no more.
In the spring, L.A. Kid and his Girl did a nouveau Romeo and Juliet a la stupid fucking horse. Same pony ride left a great bass player and a beautiful punk rock girl cold on the floor. Michael and Alexa were killed in the fall by their own beautiful hearts. And last month Christian, our beloved bartender and everyone's best friend, died choking on those country-fried songs he loved, worshipped and was....with his boots on.
If only we could have this year's Christmas bash with the ghost of Christmas past!
But we're too busy, hurtling towards the obvious.
Here in front of me, standing on the corner, is the ghost of Christmas now. A Mexican in tight jeans, gorgeous alligator boots, a long black mane and wrap-around sunglasses. Chewing gum cockily as he walks up Burnside into the sunset. Chewing gum and strutting in the face of certain ruin. Draped in vanity and soul, walking upright in spite of the weight of the world, which is something like 32 feet per second per second, which is really very, very heavy when you think about it. He's hurtling towards the obvious, and doesn't even seem to care! The BALLS.
Here's to you, ballsy pimp-dressin' dude. In the new year I wanna follow you into the sunset. You've got it down. I'll not laugh in the face of death necessarily, but clad myself in gorgeous armour, the trappings of life. Every moment is so precious that it can be overwhelming. So I'll try not to think on it, but celebrate in minutiae: codes of dress, a swagger and a cowboy hat. Four-inch heels to the grocery store. Why the hell not?
When people die, they haunt the familiar, and occupy huge psychic spaces with their ghosts. It makes the world around you look a little less real.
But I'll tell you what's real: pink snakeskin high-heeled sandals that make matching little pink puffy scars in your feet. Somebody bought me some in the dead of winter. He's inscrutable. They aren't. They are real.
Here's to 2001 and gum-chewing (getting hitched, having babies) in the face of doom. And, if I could ask for one thing, let the black angel's death song play on away from my little life a while. I promise I'll be good.



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