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Friday, October 6, 2017

Another Day, Another Chance





About two weeks ago I walked along the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard between Mandalay Bay and the Tropicana, beside an mostly empty lot that had been used for various gatherings from time to time.

I felt happy, aloof, enjoying the night, free and safe. A few others walked the same route, some ahead, some behind, all drinks, laughs, phones and photos.

Last Sunday night some 22,000 people became random targets in that very same place. Many people died and many more people were shattered. And that many more again family members had their love, faith, and believe in a good life shattered as well.

Those of us that are media bystanders to these events won't suffer the way those physically affected by this tragedy have and will. But we've lost something too, and many of us are affected in profound ways.

Some are defiant in resolve to go to Las Vegas anyway. Some are reluctant, shaken. They've cancelled plans, at least for now.

Right now, Vegas is not what it was. And we wonder if it will ever be again.

This blog has been a place that mirrors the joy I feel in Las Vegas, 98% silliness, celebration, frivolity, and 2% reflection and trying to find meaning in some of the perplexing parts of the whole experience.

I wonder how can I be that happy Vegas guy again, making light of everything including myself, spinning words out of control just for the fun of it.

I even wonder if I should.

How guilty would I feel to be enjoying a party in a place that has become a killing floor? How dare I?

I wonder how those who were lost would feel about my living in celebration and debauchery. If it were me, I know what the answer would be.

Live, and be happy, or the madman wins.

In life, people pursuit, more than anything, happiness. It is no mistake that some wise men included the 'pursuit of happiness' as a basic human right in the Declaration of Independence of the United States.

Not all of us are very good at finding it, and some of us would seem to have had the promise, the right, ripped away in a torrent of bullets.

Today is full of sadness and shock and horror. But like the day, these things will pass into night. And it is assured that the sun will rise again, providing light, and at the very least, hope of the smallest of new beginnings - another day, another chance to be happy.

Until then, we grieve, we comfort, we move step by step through the fog of the day. We wonder how it could happen, and where our beloved Las Vegas has gone.

I am far from wanting to attempt to pick up where I left off. But I noticed something in the days since the shooting. People still came to the blog. People still read posts. They read about gambling and hot dogs and dumb mistakes and music and high hopes and long shots and friends and laughter. And I have been puzzled how they could want to still experience that view of Vegas in light of what has happened.

Maybe they are choosing to be happy for just a few minutes. Maybe they need to laugh, because if you don't laugh, you'll cry. Maybe they need the distraction.

So, when my sun comes up, eventually, it would seem that I have a part to play in all of this, and that carrying on has value. More so to myself than anyone. I must choose to be happy. The alternative is too dark, too lonely, too deadly.

Live today. Love today. Help someone who needs it. And someday, choose to be happy. May your sun rise again.






10 comments:

  1. Thank you RF.

    I share many of the same sentiments. Thank you for putting it in words. My husband and I were at the Cosmo on Sunday night - there was a moment when everyone ran -I got separated from my husband and we met back in the room.

    The following day was met with sadness - I was numb and in shock. I did not want to leave my hotel room. I also changed my flight to return home early. I could not see myself carry on with my vacation while so many others were suffering. Vegas has always been a special place for me - my heart was hurting for this City and the victims, families and my fellow Vegas community.

    We are back home and I now vow to return and support the city that brings me great joy.

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  2. Well said sir. This event will inevitably bring changes in and around Las Vegas. Establishments will try their best to hide those changes, but in the back of our minds we will know they are there. To quote a wise and humorous man:
    "Live today. Love today. Help someone who needs it. And someday, choose to be happy. May your sun rise again."

    I choose happiness.

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  3. As a Scotsman ( a country without guns ) I have been to Vegas 6 times and the recent events will not stop me coming back ,not just to vegas but to America in general .
    But what I have just read is the best piece of writing ever FULL STOP.

    THANKYOU , LIFE WILL GO ON , thankyou for not mentioning gun control it is something nobody can change to americans it is just a way of life , to us in Scotland its just fucking mental

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  4. I, too, choose happiness over despair.

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  5. Well said, RF. This week has been surreal. I have walked around in a fog. How could something like this happen in a place I consider my home away from home?!? I've been on an emotional rollar coaster -- shock, so much sadness for the victims and their families, and anger at the asshole who dared do this to my beloved City.

    This event could NEVER keep me away. I plan to be in Las Vegas in three weeks -- the City that I love so much, my happy place -- with bells on.

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  6. Beautifully said, Mr. Flusher. Thank you for expressing what so many of us are feeling, and putting words to the anguish and ambiguity I've had about my upcoming trip. But I will choose to seek happiness, and support the city I consider my second home. Peace to us all.

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  7. Well said Mr RF.....Laughing = healing. Enjoy life.

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  8. As always, Mr. Flusher, you have put into eloquent words what many of us, myself included, have been wrestling with in our minds.

    Anyone can run away from a scary situation and hide in fear. It takes a much stronger person to look it in the eye and even laugh in its face. Please continue to do so.

    I was near MBay the Wednesday after the shooting, and I made a point to eat breakfast there. It's a small gesture, but I hope it meant something to my server. His livelihood shouldn't be impacted. He didn't have anything to do with it.

    A small suggestion: If you're uncomfortable writing funny stories about your exploits in and near MBay, perhaps you could include a brief note and/or a link in each one to a profile honoring one of the victims?

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  9. We get an occasional reminder that life is fragile. It's always frangible but we can often stash that somewhere that isn't inconvenient in order to pursue what makes life worth taking risks. If we alter that pursuit in any way the terrorist wins. Dylan may have said it best.

    "Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night."

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