(Yours truly at Stevie’s Santa Barbara Bowl Concert in 2010. It was a magical night.)
March Madness was upon us, so my Lady Friends and I did what any self-respecting hoops fans would do: we hopped a flight to Vegas. My boyfriend at the time, a six-foot-five-inch giant gentleman who went by the name Kooman, dropped the four of us off at Chicago’s O’hare airport. As the “Koozilla” vanity plate on his tiny maroon Volkswagon Jetta disappeared into the night, we were officially on our way to America’s Den of Sin.
We landed in Las Vegas at midnight and checked into our room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. We were all staying in the same room to save money for more important vices like gambling and spirits. After our luggage was safely tossed into said singular room, we rolled down through the casino and into the Sports Book, four Lady Friends on a mission.
It was roughly 1:30 a.m. when we began our vigil in front of the seventeen big screen televisions. We commandeered one of only four tables with luxurious, plush leather chairs in the entire joint and vowed to remain there until the games began the following morning and beyond. Fuelled by a will stronger than steel, and about two dozen complimentary Screwdrivers each, we made good on our vow. As night became dawn became morning, basketball fans began filtering in and the Sports Book filled up early and became standing room only. There were a couple extra luxurious, plush leather chairs at our table, and their worth was not lost on me as I noticed the doe-eyed stares of envy that came our way. Several men approached, hoping we would take pity on them. Pity was not taken. Until Rico came into my life, that is. Rico approached, clothing askew, hair that defied Newton’s laws of gravity and for some reason- not wearing any shoes. He looked me dead in the eye, smiled and said, “I’m sitting here with you ladies”. And in an instant, I knew he was one of my soul’s true mates. Not in a romantic sense per se, but in the way where you meet someone and you recognize yourself and your spirit in them. Rico was family, from the minute he sat down, uninvited. Soon, some of Rico’s friends joined us and we continued our morning revelry. We gambled, betting hopes, dreams and cold cash on Butler University and Gonzaga University. We watched our teams claim victory, and celebrated with even more Screwdrivers. “Beat scurvy before it beats you!” I cried before guzzling more of the delicious gut-rot vodka and orange juice concoctions.
Around 2:00 pm, having not left the Sports Book for over twelve hours, we decided a trip to the pool might sober us up. But not before we sold our luxurious, plush leather chairs for $200 a piece to the most desperate sports fans in the joint. We were sitting on expensive real estate, and knew it. Wallets newly flush with a cash infusion, we stumbled up to our room to change for the pool. I put on my suit and wrapped a sarong around my shoulders, noting how I resembled a late 1970’s Stevie Nicks circa the Rumors Album. This greatly pleased me as I have been a longtime fan of the high priestess of magical mysticalness and have, in the past, spent countless hours perfecting my Stevie Nicks karaoke skills with which to honor her.
It was with this mindset that I found my way to the wave pool and proceeded to take a plunge, sarong still wrapped around my shoulders. Then, fuelled by liquid courage and channeling the spirit of the high priestess herself, I began sashaying about, knee-deep in the pool, entertaining the masses of sunbathers with renditions of “Gypsy” and “Gold Dust Woman”. Unfortunately, the lifeguard was really good at his job, and told me I had to leave the pool. At which point, seemingly possessed by Stevie Nicks herself, I looked at him and shouted, “Don’t you know who I am?! I AM STEVIE FUCKING NICKS!! You can’t kick Stevie Nicks out of the pool!” And for a few brief minutes, I actually believed I was Stevie Nicks. Until a security guard forced me into early retirement by informing me that I was not, in fact, a rockstar. So I left the pool, my stage and my beloved fans. But not before belting out a few lines of “Second Hand News”. I figured Stevie would have wanted it that way.