Tagged: las vegas strip

New Real America

Dear Planet Earth,

Two cars, six rest stops, and nineteen stale cinnamon rolls later, we’ve made it Los Angeles. I’m charging up my electronics in the least disgusting Starbucks on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — it’s hard to tell if the mole men made this place such a rotting hellscape or if this is what LA always looked like.

I’ve only been to California twice for vacation, and even then my mom made sure to keep us only around the San Diego area. Still, there’s a charm to this place, a feeling in the air that we’re experiencing the real heart of America’s past, present, and future. It’s the same feeling I’d get sometimes walking the Strip back in Vegas.

This soulless neon cesspit, I’d think to myself in a drunken stupor. This is life.

But that was all a different life — in a different world. Homework, money, sexual frustration. My problems today involve constipation and an elderly woman going through a complete mental breakdown.

Mrs. Bing started wailing uncontrollably somewhere past Barstow. She begged us to stop driving, to let her go and meet back up with her daughter. So, we’ve stopped. We’ll try to find some other survivors, stock up on supplies, and hope to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that Mrs. Bing gets her shit together before we’re ambushed yet again.

Maria later whispered to me that her daughter was one of the many we lost at Apple Valley.

Help!

Dear Planet Earth,

Help! SOS! Ayúdame! Avengers Assemble! If anyone out there is actually reading this, this isn’t a joke. Diana and I have been held captive for the past two days by a group of homeless people with AK-47s. I repeat, this is not a joke.

They rammed us off the road with a Hummer — a fucking Hummer — blindfolded us, and brought us to this abandoned motel where we’ve been imprisoned ever since. We were taken about half an hour north of the Strip on the I-15 and they drove another half hour to get here. I can’t find the name of the motel on anything, but outside of the one non-boarded up window I can see an In-N-Out Burger facing a Denny’s.

Please, please, please send any help you can find. As far as I know, the LVMPD is still functioning, though their website — like every other law enforcement agency’s — is completely offline. I’ll try to post again if these guys don’t find my netbook, kill me, or reenact their favorite scenes from Deliverance. I will clarify once more, this is not a joke. Help!

On the Road Again

Dear Planet Earth,

And we’re off. Diana and I are heading outside the city to check out the strange object that appeared after the quake. We scored the keys to a decent pickup (it’s no Ferrari, but beggars can’t be choosers in the pre-post-apocalyptic world), and I even found a new netbook with working broadband wireless capabilities so we can access the Internet on the road. Finding power sources to recharge it might be a problem though.

Something weird happened as we left the Strip. There was a big group of homeless people holding those signs that read, “The end is here! All upworlders will die!”

Diana, who apparently has the bigger cajones between the two of us, pulled over and asked one of them what their message meant. He laughed in our faces. He laughed so hard he started coughing violently, and when he was finished, he smiled with the few teeth he had left and said, “You’ll see, kids. You’ll all see very soon.” When she asked if he or any of the others wanted a ride to see the spaceship, his face quickly changed and he gave us a stern warning not to go anywhere near it. Cue The Twilight Zone music.

Diana

Dear Planet Earth,

I think I’m in love. Some say opposites attract, some say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I say full scale invasions of our planet lead to strong, monogamous relationships.

Diana works at the front desk here at the Bellagio. Or at least she’s pretending to. She was a sophomore at UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) until the tremors hit and they decided to cancel classes indefinitely. With nothing to do, my ambitious amour decided to fulfill her lifelong dream of working at one of the ritziest hotels in Las Vegas. She hired herself since most of the staff had already abandoned their lives here to flee west. This is pretty much how I and, according to Diana, countless other young vagabonds scored free hotel rooms (though strangely enough, not a single homeless person has tried).

But I’m getting off point here. The point is I’m in love. Diana Sunday is smart, funny, and has tits the size of my id. She’s everything I’ve imagined college girls to be. Even her name sounds cultured, right out of a James Bond film.

We’ve spent the past two days together and tomorrow we’re planning to trek outside the city to investigate that strange object I took a picture of the other day. She’s betting me $500 in spa credit that it’s an alien spaceship, but I’m starting to lean towards something more terroristy. This isn’t exactly how I pictured my first date with a girl would be.

Viva

Dear Planet Earth,

Greetings from my new digs, room 21014 of the luxurious Bellagio Hotel and Casino. Sneaking into one of the Strip’s most high-end resorts is really only one immoral step above looting a supermarket and other petty crimes (or it would be if the words “petty” and “crime” had the same meaning they had one month ago). In our pre-post-apocalyptic world, stealing a hotel room is just as easy as picking up one of the many room cards from the lobby floor, where countless tourists hastily discarded them in their rush to flee whatever it is we’re supposed to be fleeing.

You’d never know that people are freaking out about an invasion while inside this fully-furnished-room-service-included bubble. The electricity, water shows, and spa are all up and running; the front desk even still has a cute girl who doesn’t seem to mind freeloading teenage boys milking global catastrophes for everything they’re worth.

And you can stay this happy and stupid as long as you don’t look out your window.

The dust is still everywhere from the quake and it’s crazy to see not a single car on a stretch of road internationally famous for having bumper to bumper traffic 24 hours a day. The real mystery of this picture is whatever that object is between Planet Hollywood and Paris. It looks to be about two miles away from the strip and it is definitely not any building I’ve seen in the city before. My crummy camera phone doesn’t project the whole alien spaceship vibe I get when looking at the real thing.

Whatever. I’m still giddy, I’m on a high. I feel like I could steal a Ferrari.

Liberty

Dear Planet Earth,

I had to get away from the house — every house, really. They’re nothing but constant reminders of normal, domestic lives filled with schools, jobs, and families. They’re a stark realization that I may never again have what I never really wanted.

I walked down to the Strip again to see if there was anything new. It’s strange to think a place that once  symbolized every sinful, unrestrained impulse of America has now become my source for world news. I met a guy who said he was coming from Missouri with his family to escape the earthquakes they were having there. The last words he heard from his radio said that similar quakes were occurring all along the East Coast and that FEMA was starting evacuation measures. I don’t know if I really believe his story — or if I want to believe his story.

I heard other people too, with less reliable information. One girl swore she saw a swarm of UFOs in the sky the night before the tremors started. Another man claimed he saw a news report about the Russians starting a controversial military exercise before every TV channel went off the air.

Before I left, I stopped by the New York-New York again, which undoubtedly got hit the hardest during the shakes. It was still insanely dusty, but I was relieved to see that a little bit of order had been restored. Two weeks ago, I would have been suspicious seeing a cop walking around and asking if everyone was all right, but today it really brought me a sense of peace. For a second, I started to think that everything just might be okay as long as we stick together and help our fellow man. I snapped this:

And it just took a second.

Escape from “Escape from New York-New York”

Dear Planet Earth,

The more I look at the picture I took yesterday, the less real it seems. I’ve seen plenty of crazy invasion movies, and each time I see the Statue of Liberty (the original Statue of Liberty) discarded on the ground like nothing more than the one hundred fifty-one foot monument that it actually is, the image loses a little bit more of its symbolism.

I keep telling myself, “This isn’t a movie, this isn’t a game,” and then I take another shot or drag of Jack or Mary to convince myself again that none of this is really real. The laxatives entered the picture a few hours ago.

It’s safe to say that I’m literally scared shitless.