Self-Portrait in a Hollywood CarClay Matthews
Beginning with the end of righteousness and I put my money in another slot machine and give the go a whirl while in a far corner someone is winning their religion back. Tunica, Mississippi, Sam’s Town Casino, and oxygen for all of us thirsty little people. If you take away the desert from Vegas this is what you are left with: better payoffs and the vagueness of a much wetter metaphor. And across the street or down the road the Everly Brothers as always and everly keep on singing those top twenty hits of the gone year, while I mumble along and blow three times on my chips for good luck. It’s morning or evening or the in between but it doesn’t matter because upstairs there’s a big beautiful buffet serving prime rib and eggs all day. And I’m walking around wondering if it is wrong to pray for good fortune because I’ve never really understood god’s stance on this and if I tell myself I don’t really believe in prayer does it make any difference anyway. I’ll tell you what I do believe in, though: free cocktails, losing money, and fine automobiles. In the lobby they’ve got the actual Batmobile and one of those Deloreans from Back to the Future. And so I’m left broke for the moment with the question that has faced us since the beginning, I suppose: should we try and save the world or just try and save ourselves. Sometimes just nodding and saying yes will get you through your entire life. But what is a good life, lived goodly. The questions come more often when I’m tired. Sometimes by saving the world you can also save yourself. But then you have to look in the mirrors that line the lobby walls, and watch the people behind you going in and heading out, and ask yourself if you are cut out for this sort of thing, or if the world is even worth the saving, or do you feel lucky, punk, well, do you? I walk into the bathroom and splash a little water on my face, and wet my hair down because in most cases I like to make a good impression in public. And yes the front door beckons as does my own un-magical, un-technical friend of a car. But the open floor calls me back as does the feel of the water behind my ears, and free coffee, better than you’d think, and the bells and lights and tables one after another, covered in their softest and finest green.
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