...If it does follow you home? That I can't answer yet.
The next morning, Tuesday, we had to get up and check out of the hotel by noon. Well, we could have, but TheCat didn't want to be rushed so he called the front desk and asked for a half hour. After we finished packing, we sat in the window some more, taking it in for the last time.
For me, I could feel the questions begin to crowd my mind, but I pushed them back cuz TheCat said " Don't worry about it now. We still have 10 hours."
We checked out of the hotel (the hostess' ID pin identified her as being from Astoria, NY) and checked our bags with the bellhop. We walked across the street to Harrah's to see what "Free!" stuff they were giving us for becoming Total Rewards Members (a bag, some beads, and a coupon for the buffet place) hit a few slots (lost), and then went to "Flavors-The Buffet!". With the dining voucher we'd gotten for going on the timeshare tour, and the coupons from our membership, our $30 buffet costs us $4 and change. Food wasn't too bad. TheCat, for someone so tall (6'4", although he tells everyone he's 7 ft) eats very little and had a variety of things he picked at. Me, I'm a fat girl at heart, and ate everything I picked up; sushi, roast beef, fingerling potato salad, green salad, fruit. Then we went for dessert; TheCat got a rootbeer float and I got a huge chocolate cone. It was freezing in the casino, so we walked and stood outside Harrah's in the crazy desert heat, watching folks walk by.
Then we went finally, to see the Secret Garden. Boy was it hot. Like "sit-on-you" hot, but because there's no humidity you don't feel it inside of you, the way you do in New York. But it's hot. The dolphin pool looked really yummy, and it reminded me that we never did get to a pool the whole time out there.
The big cats were stunningly beautiful. It was interesting to me, since I've been to the Bronx Zoo several times, that the animal's enclosures were landscaped to be attractive, rather than mimicking the natural habitat. And you could see the animals are semi-tame. But TheCat, who's animal is a lion, was completely enamored.
They have three lion cubs at the Garden, sequestered in a plexiglass shed right outside the souvenir store. We lucked out; while we were there it was time to feed them, and they made the weirdest noises I've ever heard, clamoring for their bottles.
After the Secret Garden, we went into the Forum Mall, attached to Caesar's Palace. I kept thinking how happy Shoefly would have been in that mall; Anne Fontaine , Custo Barcelona, Jimmy Choo, Prada, DKNY and some others I knew she'd know. Our big thrill though, was seeing the curved escalators and the moving statues. In fact, the moving statue show at one of the fountains was TheCat's third favorite thing next to Tupac's Corner and the White Lion.
Finally, we just started walking through Caesar's (which is pretty spectacular) and outside got our last drinks of the day. Definitely one of the most cool features of Vegas... openly walking around with alcohol. No paper bags. No Po-lice run up on you or take it away. I got some lemonade thing with tequila (a LOT of tequila) and he got some banana-slushy type thing with Hennessy.
We walked to the Bellagio, and realizing a fountain show was about to start we sat on the pillars and waited... and then the little fountain spouts rose up out of the water, Andrea Bocelli began singing through the speakers and the water roared up into the sky. Perfect.
While still walking the strip, I called Aunt LV and asked her to meet us in one of the little malls since we weren't going to make it back tot the Mirage at 7:30P like we'd planned. She found us, and then took us back to get our bags. So that TheCat could collect himself in a quiet spot before we had to board the plane, we decided to take food back to Aunt LV's house, and decided on California Pizza Kitchen. After we ate (Aunt LV insisting on us using plates... but TheCat successfully defied her by eating out of the box--she cussed him out) Aunt LV and I sat and caught up while TheCat went to check out the GINOURMOUS metal giraffes she's got out back.
And then it was time to go.... she dropped us off at the airport ( literally 5 minutes from her house) and we waved goodbye and walked in.
Once inside we made the mildly annoying discovery that all flights back home had been delayed due to bad weather at JFK. Our flight, scheduled for 10:30p, was just under 2 hours delayed which all things considered was pretty tolerable.
I felt reality closing in.... I checked email for the first time in days. One of them got me going and I was about ready to fire off an answer when TheCat said calmly "Babe! You don't have to do that now. Don't answer it. Leave it for when you get back."
Which is such an obvious thing but really... it's awfully nice to have someone else be logical for you for a change.
We discovered, once on the plane that TheCat was to have the aisle seat and me the middle seat. In the inside windowseat sat a rather large man. TheCat refused to let me sit in the middle, and later told me he wasn't going to let the guy get any free feels. Considering everything, this amused the piss out of me. But I didn't argue. We took off about 10 minutes after midnight.
I mostly slept on the flight back, and TheCat mostly didn't. The flight attendants had pulled all the shades down on the plane, which was a good thing since when we crossed over into mountain time, BLAZING sun could be seen peeking through the windows. It was extremely disorienting.
TheCat did much better on this landing though, and we took the monorail to the subway to the upper westside where the car was, and then on home to the Rock. The air in the City was so heavy that I needed my asthma pump; I could really feel the difference between Vegas and NY.
I showered and went to bed.
For the next day or so, we barely left the house and I was glad, because for just that little while extra we managed to keep the glow of Vegas safely trapped in the cocoon of my red couch. We only moved to eat. On Friday evening I went into the City to see the family, and on the way back I met up with Shoefly and the Moon and a freind of his, along with the Professor and Blossom, at a fastfood seafood place on the Rock. But then TheCat came back...
On Saturday I went to the Thunderbird Pow Wow with the family which was fun... it's my favorite Pow Wow but I missed my little boy.
On Sunday, I was alone, and it was awful, but by Monday morning I had managed to pack TheCat away someplace inside of me, and managed to get downtown to a meeting at the hospital. After my meeting, I went by to visit TheCat where he was working... only one other teacher and PracticalMama were there but to me it felt really very odd... like a foretelling of what life will be like when school starts, when reality hits again, and what happens then?
I think it threw both of us of a little, and I wanted to run. Fast. And so even though I knew TheCat wanted to come back to the Rock with me, I knew that if I went to the Rock I wasn't going to leave and so I continued on with my original plan to go to Yonkers, to karate. I just needed to feel normal. TheCat drove me, but as we got closer to Yonkers I could feel major discomfort in the air, and I knew some of it was him. The ball of fear got bigger and bigger inside of me, sending me into a state of panic so bad that several times along the way I was this close to asking him just to let me out of the car, and I would go alone... but I squelched it.
And when we got there, parked in front of the dojo I decided to face fear and panic, to be brave. I told him I know that Vegas made everything seem possible, but that we're back in NY now and things will be different. And some other stuff I forgot, but the end result was that we both admitted to missing each other... and just simple things like being in the same room. It made me feel happy that he missed me... because at least I know it's not completely one-sided.
The work out was great. Painful, but great. I worked out with the white belt teenagers this time, since there was no Sun and it wasn't too much technique but a lot of very painful leg work. Like practicing splits and horse stances and whatnot. I thought I would tear. And then I sat and talked to BigSensei for awhile while LittleSensei continued teaching and it felt so good to be there, even without the Sun. The Brothers Sensei have become a huge part of my life over the past two years or so (or is it three) and they really are like family. The routine of going up to Yonkers, no matter how long the trek, is such an ordinary thing for the Sun and I and on that day I really needed to feel that. Vegas was so disorienting.
TheCat texted me that he would come back to get me so I waited downstairs even though the brothers left. I couldn't help myself... I was happy he came back and he teased me "Are you all giddy cuz I came back for you?" "Yes I am! So what of it?" I said with as much attitude as I could...
So here I am... still sort of in LaLaland... still holding my breath. The Sun comes home about midnight Saturday and that will be the first taste of new reality. I have questions. So many many questions, and sometimes I'm hopeful I'll get answers I like, and sometimes I'm fearful I'll get answers I won't. And I'm trying not to "see" past August into September. Actually, I'm trying to not even see past tomorrow which is really hard for me. TheCat is snoozing on the red couch as I write, but I gotta wake him and go back to reality....