Viva Las Vegas


It’s 6 ish am and it’s 109 degrees here in Las Vegas. The Monk is doing his morning service, chanting in Chinese and next door the Australians are having an argument. What is there to argue about at 6 am? Nothing. Consciousness has barely taken a foothold. In my world no words should be spoken above a soft whisper before 8 am.

Yesterday we went to Walmart and a young man carefully approached us in the hardware aisle and asked the monk why he was dressed that way. This happens wherever we go and it always surprises me. Not that people are curious but the people who muster up the courage to ask are always a little…strange.  This man made me feel like we should maybe leave immediately. I think it may just be the after effects of recent events AND we watched Nightingale the night before and David Oyelowo’s brilliant performance was still swirling in my brain. The idea that people in such excruciating pain are walking among us shopping, going to church, pumping gas and all the while they are sinking into a deep madness.

And we’re in VEGAS! I’m going to breakfast in my jammies. Then we’re off to Zion National Park. This WOULD be the week for a heat wave and by heat I mean fucking outrageous 3 digit temperatures. We have lots of water and my hope is that the temperature will plummet down to the 80’s by this evening. Wish us luck.



  1. That really hit me, what you said about people in such excruciating pain, walking among us, sinking into madness. What does the monk say when people ask why he is dressed like that?


    • He is so gracious. He talks to them and usually gives them something. He carries around what he calls Buddha Bling for just that purpose, but being a New Yorker, he doesn’t practice what he calls idiot compassion. Like today, before giving someone in need a beautiful silk bag full of change, he asked to see the man’s hands. He says he can tell things by the look of their hands.


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