My Summer Rendezvous with Las Vegas: The City of…Gin

“It was as though the drink in hand granted access to “the club”, the ticket to getting in and fitting in. It signified the common connective thread woven through a medley of colors, sizes,  shapes, and textures.”

My friends and I plunged past the hoards of bodies to submerge our singed skin in the pool. The DJ spun top 40 songs mixed with a house/techno beat, and inside the water, beaming people gulped drinks intermittently whilst executing bold dance moves. As a result, different beverages – piña coladas,margaritas, well drinks, beer – sloshed into the already murky water from sweat and grime. We swamin it anyway. Up the stairs was a pseudo stage buried in shallow pool water, where a wall of swaying bodies and glasses colored by different liquids shifted about. A girl, whose tattoos could have been featured in an art exhibit at the MOMA, grinded on an older, portly man with a beer gut. She continued to jam her behind against him, the man grinning and looking to his friends for kudos, until they finally exchanged a mutual laugh and clink of their bottles together.

“Despite the fact that I did not have a lot in common with these people, I began to overlook that, as we had a common goal.”

Just ahead, a short, Latin boy danced with a very tall, very pale girl with hair that cascaded past her waist. The two could not have appeared more different, and yet their dance moves were synchronized, fluent, and passionate. I’d also seen them guzzle about six drinks already. As they gyrated and lifted their legs, they splashed water on spectators sitting at the edge dipping their feet in the water. Those splattered with water did not care. To my right, a group of men flaunting tanned, gorilla arms began cavorting with Amy Winehouse doppelgangers, who bore the funky, eclectic style of Camden, England (and the accents). The girls sported bathing suits dating from the 60s, with the high waist and full coverage over the breasts. Their tops, in an exhibit of tourist pride, rendered the American flag. I would not have foreseen the two groups merging, but they did all carry a frosted bottle of Bud Light.

As I surveyed my surroundings, a girl approached my friends and me. “I’m number 6! Vote for me!” Melinda, as it read on the ballot she handed to us, coyly batted her fake eyelashes and adjusted her glittering bikini. Throughout the day, MGM’s Wet Republic pool party had been hosting a contest to win $100,000. I still hadn’t quite distinguished the criteria to participate, but from what I could tell,the competition amounted to a sort of ‘beauty’ pageant. I stared at Melinda’s flat abdomen and sighed, remembering the Wolfgang Puck pizza I’d gorged on circa 5am the night before. All around me on the outskirts of the pool, women in stilettos, seemingly enrolled in the competition, flounced about in puddles overflowing from the pool, their ironed curls bouncing rhythmically with their steps. While #6 continued to solicit us, I stared at the derriere (which almost seems too polite of a term) of the girl next to her, exposed by her thong bikini.

Despite the fact that I did not have a lot in common with these people, I began to overlook that, as we had a common goal. We wanted to get drunk, and we wanted to have fun doing it. What better place than Vegas to accomplish this, where sober folk are scorned? Every single person, pierced, Greek, short, or chubby, held a drink. It was as though the drink in hand granted access to “the club”, the ticket to getting in and fitting in. It signified the common connective thread woven through a medley of colors, sizes,  shapes, and textures.

At the end of the day, #6 did not win the competition. But she did get at least six free shots.

What’s your favorite summer 2012 memory?