Foreword by Stan Lerner: “The Phantom Of The Opera – And I” is not only the first blog of the new year 2010 for this writer, but is by definition the first blog of the new decade for this writer as well. To write about a masterpiece such as The Phantom Of The Opera is both a great honor and immense responsibility — I hope dear readers that you find that this writer has done The Phantom Of The Opera justice.
The email went something like: Sorry to bother you Rob, but I’d like to write a piece called “Dinner And A Show” so I’ll need some dinner reservations and tickets….
For better or worse, in the world of business, which I hold in moderate disdain, I am fairly well known for calling anyone. More than a few billionaires have taken my call, some have become close friends. For the record, many men of wealth and power have not taken my call—far more have not, than have, in fact. And I admit to the fact that I am offended by those who decline, for I am of an overly sensitive nature—this too is well known.
So why email such a request to the President of The Venetian Hotel and Casino for what in the grand-scheme of his day is a seemingly trivial matter…To date the vast amount of the words I have penned with respect to Las Vegas are of the 25 to 50-year-old adolescent having a vicescapade, variety. And yes, I did just invent the word vicescapade. Did I choose this voice for my stories of Sin City? No. The voice chose me as there was no serious point of origination, no anchor—stories of drinking, drugs and zombie sex ensued. And make not a mistake, all to the delight of most readers. There is no shortage of appetite for my debauchery among my faithful bibliophiles. But before leaving Las Vegas, this time, I am compelled, by some phantom, to write a story with a soul. And even if this involved only the forwarding of my email to the person in charge of dealing with someone like me—there is a point of origin at the very heart of The Venetian for all else said. The Phantom Of The Writer’s demanded this and now our story may begin…
THE NIGHT BEFORE
The desert’s clear sky insured that it would be a cold, winter night, but regardless of climate I would be cold, for I am always cold, my soul that of a lover of God, yet my blood perpetually chilled by the sins of my flesh. It was my sixtieth, consecutive, twenty- hour day of writing—usually she comes by day forty-five, oh but she is an unfaithful lover. You see there is a phantom assigned to all of the world’s tasks, but it is the Phantom Of The Writers that I am a slave to, she is the siren of sirens as there is nothing more powerful than the craft she presides over. And there is no greater ego than found in those of who practice it…
“I’ve been waiting for you,” I said looking up from the computer—today’s quill.
She walked towards me. And like a virgin experiencing love for the first time my heart trembled, my breath became uneasy. The fragrant scent of her body filled my nostrils, intoxicating she is. Her white skin, close to translucent, as she is the nearest creation to Eve—in Eve’s original state of being, before Adam demanded opaqueness from mankind. Her eyes are smoldering coals. Her lips, perfectly formed, are red and filled with life. And the most beautiful face in the Universe is framed in black hair that shines with a life unto itself. A gentle wisp across my own face is enough to cause one to want to die—happy.
“Tales of Sin City, my love,” she said sitting down in the chair next to my own.
“I think every city should have its own voice, so I’ve given this city…”
“No need to explain, people are entitled to have some fun…” She smiled, which was a more than adequate conclusion to her thought, “How banal the use of the talent I’ve given you.” Continue reading