“So you’re in Vegas staying at Fat Andy’s house?” asked Norm Rosenstein, my accountant, whom I put in charge of all of my former business interests from way back in my empire building years of insanity.

“Yeah, he has an extra bedroom,” I responded…Norm usually gives me the business about my lack of interest in the business around this time of year.

“You have fifty-seven unoccupied houses, two in Vegas, why are you crashed out at Fat Andy’s?”

Frankly, I had forgotten about the houses in Vegas. “That many houses? I didn’t realize…I get lonely, I prefer to stay with friends…”

“Stan, fifty-seven houses, one hundred and four automobiles, a G-4 and a Citation all costing money and nothing you seemingly have any interest in. Besides my fiduciary responsibility as the trustee that you appointed, some of your friends and family are calling me…”

“C’mon Norm you’re stressing me out…Why don’t you come out and have some fun?”

“I read your blog last week along with a million other people…You don’t really think that the ghost of Howard Hughes is riding shotgun with you these days?”

I looked over at Howard who was indeed sitting next to me in the Benz…Apparently he really likes my car. He mentioned, that had he not died, he would have designed this exact car.

“Norm, I was kidding about Howard…I’m delusional not crazy! Anyway, I need to pull into Starbucks and do some writing can we pick this up tomorrow?”

“Stan you have to grow up again…I mean what happened, you used to be a business machine?”

“Money is base Norm…It bores me. To be continued…” I hung up the iphone.

Howard gave me a thumbs-up. “I thought you handled that superlatively,” he grinned that haunting grin.

“Norm means well. And he’s made me like a billion dollars or something, but I just can’t get into it. I like to write, it’s my passion.”

“I know, I felt the same way about flying…You will be confronted with the catalyst for your change (awakening) you know—sooner or later.” Again that haunting grin.

So as I sat at Starbucks updating my facebook status it really was no surprise that the last girl I had wanted to marry, before giving up on the conventional empire building life that Norm wishes I would regain my zeal for, popped up with a comment. I don’t know how Howard knows the answers to everything from curing zombie fever and if I may digress for a moment, I don’t know what’s better, having sex with the zombie girl who keeps on biting me or the antidote of sleeping with the married midget who looks like a mini Megan Fox, but this is, in no small part, why I haven’t gone back to LA…Anyway, Howard was right again, we all have our own path, but there are circumstances that for better or worse influence how we get to where we are meant to go.

Out of kindness I’ll just call this girl G…

“Vegas baby! I’m in Vegas for my Birthday!” Read the comment on my facebook status.

Since we hadn’t spoken, but for a chance meeting ten years ago in Central Park, for fifteen years, I found this to be an incredible coincidence. But the fact that we had become facebook friends surely meant that there was still some type of closure needed…I accepted her invitation to meet her and her friend at Tao for dinner.

To her credit she was nice on the phone and she was actually at Tao. When we dated G was the kind of girl who could better deal you at a moment’s notice and leave you hanging in a city where you didn’t know a single person – on your own dime of course. Another plus, she actually looked good for her age. Given 18 to 21 is my preference this too says a lot, but the hint of old age that comes to us all around 40-years-old was in her face. I could see old G not too far in the future—white pearls and all. Finally, the personality still had some of the bubble, which caused me to want to be with her all those years ago, but she was still full of sh*t—knows all the big shots, but doesn’t have a pot to piss in…I always say, even a mutt is cute when it’s a puppy, but when it grows up it’s a mutt.

I should mention here that her friend was about as charming as a wet, mildewed, rag. If there is such a thing as a personality lobotomy—she had one. You know the old saying, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy,” well after ten minutes of this spinster in my presence the only thing I wanted to make love to was a bottle of Jack Daniels!

“You said you’d see me when I’m forty and single with nothing…” G gabbed on…And I did tell her that, but at the time I was trying to get her to understand that it’s hard to find a good guy and if you do, it’s best to close the deal—I didn’t really mean it to be a curse. And by the way, to all of my female readers, if you find a good guy—don’t f**k it up! You don’t want to be this girl. “And I think it’s great that you’ve done everything you’ve ever wanted…” she continued.

Anyway, the night wouldn’t have been complete without the two of them complaining to the manager about the bill…I kind of wondered if they didn’t have some lesbo thing going on, which might have been interesting to watch, but no such luck, we went up to the club where G gave her friend the rag a tour and they both were too tired, thankfully, to drink or dance.

“We’re exhausted, we’ll go out tomorrow, which is really my birthday anyway.”

“Okay,” I replied.

“Are you alright here on your own?”

This almost caused me to burst out with a laugh. But instead I gave a subdued nod. “Oh yeah…” I looked at all of the young, underdressed guys at the bar who didn’t stand a chance of getting anything but my leftovers once I rolled up…And this is going to be the subject of another blog, but seriously guys if you don’t start dressing better when you go out—you’re putting yourself at risk of a middle-aged writer pulling your chick. “I’ve been in clubs before…”

We kissed each other on the cheek, the corners of our mouths glanced just slightly, and some of that old chemistry that once caused me to orally pleasure her for five straight hours one night in New York City was there. I could tell this crossed her mind in that moment and then she was gone.

“Jack and Diet,” I said, cheerfully to the bartender at Tao—the main bar off the dance floor. Some poorly dressed, not so great smelling Pakistani kids had gravitated toward me. And behind me I sensed the presence of a cute girl—the glow from her phone radiated forward as she pretended to text away and squeeze into the spot next to me.

“Hi, where are you from?” she asked.

I glanced down at her low cut top and enjoyed her beautiful olive colored skin for a moment before answering. “Born and raised in Los Angeles. And you?”

She smiled. “You’re very intimidating…I’m kind of nervous right now.”

“Is that why you were hovering behind me for ten minutes pretending to text?” She nodded. And I held up my glass to hers so we could have a little drink to settle things down. “To my new friend,” I toasted genuinely.

We chatted for a few minutes and the youngsters around the bar looked on. Since the word count is getting up there, I’ll forward to the good part. “I’m leaving Las Vegas tomorrow for Philadelphia…I’m getting married, my husband is stationed there.”

“So this is a one shot deal?” I asked, not wanting to be a home wrecker.

She put her arm around my waist. “Of course it’s a one shot deal. Let’s be honest. You wouldn’t marry a girl like me.”

I stooped slightly and kissed her on the lips. She had soft lips, definitely not a smoker. Our lips parted and I whispered in her ear. “You should see what I wanted to marry.”

She kissed me on the lips and whispered back, “The right one is coming. But the right now one is right here and ready to get out of this place.”

As I walked out of Tao, with a girl whose name I can’t recall as I pen these final words, I felt better about some things that had bothered me for a long time—even though I didn’t know, until Howard mentioned it, that they existed somewhere in my consciousness. I felt a little sad for G, we could have had a nice life together if she had decided to be a better person. Anyway, a few minutes later I was inside of my new little friend and the past was the past. “What a funny magical place Sin City can be,” I thought to myself. “No wonder Howard doesn’t want to leave.” And then trepidation. “What if he’s not the only one?”

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