Thursday, March 21, 2013


Seen watching the fountains show outside the Bellagio, March 18th, 2013

The last time I came here it was showy, but not so showy. The lights were softer, but I was seventeen and they were the brightest thing I’d ever seen. They shone off Al’s gold tooth, which was the third one on the upper left-hand side. I ran into him outside El Cortez. He smiled at me, twisted his arm around my waist. He made me feel so small, and it seemed like a feather was inside me, tickling my stomach and then whiffling its way down, down, gloriously down.

“Doll,” he said—I don’t think he ever called me by my name—“Doll, this is my lucky tooth, and tonight you’re gonna be my lucky girl.”

And I believe I was. He won a great deal of money, as I recall, but it’s all a bit hazy seeing as he bought me my first vodka gimlet. I do distinctly remember when he kissed me. He bit my lower lip, and the gold tooth was colder than the rest.

All the Al’s are gone now. I don’t know if that’s because the city changed, or if it’s because dentistry advanced. Nobody has false teeth anymore except ugly old women like me and our male counterparts, and our dentures look just like anybody else’s teeth. Or maybe it’s because no one needs to be made a woman of anymore. Girls are born women nowadays; they wear less clothing, and they laugh loudly, and they buy their own drinks—beer, exactly like the men. They don’t need euphemisms. Why would they ever need an Al? They shine just as bright as all these new lights.

Second story from Vegas. Exciting stuff. I like this one. It was fun picturing a whirlwind Romance in Vegas in the late 40s or 50s--I haven't quite decided. What do you think? 

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