Min leaves us at the bar because he is feeling rather drunk and extremely tired from the flight. Min flew out because when we were ready to leave he was lagging and he lives about thirty minutes out of our way, so when he told us to “hang out for a bit while I get my shit together” we told him to “fuck off,” so he took a cab to the airport and bought a ticket for the next flight to Vegas, and he had been up since six in the morning on Friday after a vigorous night of “partying” (read: drinking and masterbating) on Thursday night, so he was tired.
Min stumbles away from us at the bar and wanders to a neighboring and still unidentified casino in the forty degree Vegas pre-dawn where he gambles an undisclosed amount because that is his “scam” to get free drinks. Feeling even more drunk and tired still, Min stumbles back to the Flamingo Hilton only to get lost in the maze of tables, flashing lights, closed store fronts and a cocktail of geriatric ointments and cigarette smoke which combine in the air to form the best kind of MacGyver smoke screen ever.
Min is lost. Min is drunk and lost in the Flamingo Hilton and none of the staff are willing to help him find his room because he is not on the guest ledger, does not have a key and in all likelihood couldn’t operate it if he did. He does what feels natural, invokes his animal instinct which organizes priorities as: shelter, warmth, and apparently: sleep.
Min wraps up in his jacket, zips it up, walks to the nearest elevator, pushes the button, gets in, sits in the corner and lights out. I imagine him dressed in black on the floor of the pink walled elevators snoring at an incredible volume while strangers shuffle in and out, up and down, somehow not surprised that a brown man is using the elevator as his personal crash pad because after all, this is Vegas where the drunker you are the more money you spend and as long as you spend money you’re okay.
Min wakes to bright lights flashing and hushed laughter. The smell of perfume, red wine, and cigarettes stings his nose and he puts his hands up to shield his eyes. The hushed laughter stops and a sweet female voice asks, “Are you okay?” He nods his head and struggles to stand up, eager for the attention.
“You girls want some more pictures?” They roar with laughter, the same sweet voice replies in the affirmative and the bright light is back, and the giggles, and the warmth of a hip touching his hip and these women are connecting with him.
“Where are you staying?” One of the girls asks him.
“Flamingo Hilton,” he mutters.
“Then at least you’re asleep in the right elevator,” and the laughter erupts again.
“I’m thirsty,” he slurs, “really thirsty, with a capital thirst!” He smiles and puts his arm around the one standing next to him, and although he can’t see a bit, his arm is still aware of what to look for and he checks her sides for muffin tops which aren’t there. His arm runs halfway up her back before reaching the lower edge of her long hair and he smiles again.
“We have some drinks in our room,” the photographer or someone standing next to her says and the elevator dings. The one he is holding pulls him off the lift car into the hallway where he stumbles like a retarded raptor all the way down the hall, pauses while one of them opens the door, and struts into the room with the two girls who were taking his picture while he was passed out on the elevator floor.
He hears a beer pop and feels it cold on his free hand. He wont let go of the girl next to him, and she doesn’t want to be let go. She leads him over to the bed and sits down. He hears two more beers pop and he takes a sip. Cold, so cold and refreshing like the first sip after a salty dinner and it turns into a gulp, which turns into a chug and his beer is empty.
He crushes it in his hand and throws it onto the floor, the two girls follow and giggle, the one sitting next to him gives him a kiss on the cheek. “You’re cute,” she says. “We rode the elevator for twenty minutes trying to wake you up so we could take you back here,” she confesses and Min grins.
“Oh yeah? What for?” He asks, and the girls are silent. The one sitting next to him lays down and with his arm around her he is pulled down as well. He feels his grin growing at relatively the same rate as, well, other things that are growing in anticipation but as soon as his head hits the mattress the room starts to rock back and forth.
Back and forth over and over and over and then around and around at an incredible pace. Even though he is blind he can still see colors swirl and the voices start to fade even though the breath on his neck is just as hot as when they were close up, and this realization makes the room spin faster and faster until Min springs up and yells, “I have to pee!”
He slides off the bed and feels for the door, slides it open, turns on the light, which starts the room spinning again so he turns it off and walks to the sink. He splashes water on his face and his vision is restored. He splashes more and more until his shirt is wet and the floor is slippery from all the missed droplets that form a thin puddle on the tiny tile. He steps back and slips a bit, catches himself on the counter and the room’s rotation starts up again.
He holds on for dear life, every fiber of his being convinced that if he lets go of that counter he will be spun off the earth and float away into space never to be heard from again. His stomach growls at the constant rotation and he feels a burp rising in his chest. He breathes deeply to push the burp back down but with every breath it climbs closer to the top of his throat and eventually out. It isn’t a loud burp, more like air escaping a balloon, but the smell is horrendous. The room spins faster now but on a new axis that weighs him down to the floor and his shoes feel like they’re made of bricks.
Still holding on to the counter but walking in place to get used to the changed gravity of this strange bathroom universe another burp rises. This one faster and there is no stopping it. It breaks through and brings a stream of vomit along for the ride. It splashes onto the mirror and into the sink which is really just a bowl with a drain ontop of the counter and very post modern, especially with the mixture of crown royal, Johnny walker black and stomach acid bubbling down.
Min’s survival instinct kicks in again and he turns to run but his heavy feet provide no better traction than his old ones and he falls into the puddle of water on the floor. He throws up again, this time half alcohol and half sushi, once more mostly sushi and again but nothing comes out besides spit and an awful groan for medical help. He is disgusted by the mess he has made, pulls the towels off the hooks and starts to wipe it up, dry heaves some more, wipes to no avail, then tries to get up but the gravity is still against him so he gives in, piles the towels up and uses them for a pillow.
A knock on the door awakes him. Men in black leather boots force the door open and walk dangerously close to his face. Their voices are assertive and booming considering the mess they are there to take care of and the general acoustics of a bathroom. They hoist Min Tun up by his elbows and drag him out of the room past the two girls that called security when they heard the first load squirt onto the mirror, down the hall, into the elevator, up to the seventeenth floor and to room 17004 where it is discovered that Min doesn’t have a key.
Min asks to be let go, they comply. He pulls his wallet and gives them each a twenty and they disappear. He takes off his vomit covered jacket, rolls it into a ball and lies down on the floor using his head as a knocker to wake whoever is inside up. When he regains consciousness he explains to me this story, and that I saved his life by dragging his puke smelling half-corpse in and putting him on the couch before heading back down to the casino floor to watch the sunrise, which sounds like something I would do, but only circumstantial evidence to prove my case to myself, so I am still not quite sure.