I went to Las Vegas, ostensibly to play video games, but also because I had never been there before. I walked around the casinos, and was amazed by the decadence, the elaborate decor, the disorienting lack of sense of time (especially when a blue sky is painted on the ceiling). It was mind-boggling that these palaces of consumption and vice exist in the middle of the desert, occupied by throngs of tourists and generating thousands of jobs.

Strolling through an indoor garden
Strolling through an indoor garden
It's always daytime in Venice
It’s always daytime in Venice
A dress made of flowers
A dress made of flowers

I watched an aquatic acrobatics show called Le Rêve – The Dream.  The stage is a pool in the center with platforms that lower and raise from the floor. The audience circles the stage, so the sizable roster of performers create aesthetic magic for all angles. The performers had to be immensely talented in gymnastics and swimming, pulling off incredible trapeze tricks and high dives. From prop trees, ropes, and cages, they would jump and spring from branches, do pommel horse maneuvers, flawlessly execute flips. It was all very beautiful. At first I was trying to follow all the characters – the devil, the demon, the sage, the clown suitors, as they led the female protagonist on a journey through her psyche, but then I realized there was not much of a plot. Different aspects of the show and symbolism resonated with me and my friends, and we each interpreted the show differently.

Le Rêve - the dream is over, everyone woke up and left
Le Rêve – the dream is over, everyone woke up and left

Anyway, I was in Las Vegas to play Smash Bros. Melee at Evo. I had not played in a few days, did not warm up, and got destroyed. I wasn’t expecting to make it out of pools, but I was very disappointed with my performance. There weren’t a lot of friendlies setups, so we left to play some blackjack and ate a lot of good food. The food eased the pain of being a loser. I recently started watching Masterchef, so we went to Gordon Ramsay Steak to try the beef wellington. It was delicious. We went to the buffet at the Bellagio, also delicious, especially the desserts.

Beef wellington at Gordon Ramsay Steak. "This side dish tastes like SHIITake mushrooms."
Beef wellington at Gordon Ramsay Steak. “This side dish tastes like SHIITake mushrooms.”

It was fun to watch the final brackets, even for games that I do not play. The crowd was so hyped and energetic, they would cheer for any cool looking combo or surprising turnaround. These were the best of the pros, the pinnacle of their respective games. Most were sponsored. I wish I could be as good as them, but I know it would take hours of practice each day.

Anyhow, I had fun. There was New York City, a volcano, escort card distributors, Walgreens. The Bellagio Fountains was my Fountain of (Broken) Dreams, my favorite stage. Vegas was everything I expected and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *