Friday, August 20, 2010

Hell With Rhinestones

The weather report says it's supposed to get up to 107 degrees today, and I think tomorrow it'll be 152 or something. It's just plain freakin' hot here. I mean, Maryland is hot in the summer, but we seldom reach these kinds of temperatures. Sure, back home it's akin to a swamp and Vegas is a dry heat, but hot is hot! You can sort of tolerate it while you're outside, but as soon as you go inside and hit air conditioning, your pores open up like floodgates and you are drenched. Not only that, it takes forever before the sweating stops, leaving you spent and miserable.

Therefore, I've been staying mostly cooped up in Lucky's trailer, which is to say I'm mostly alone. He's hardly ever around since he's at work or out with the cast all night and sleeps most of the day. In the beginning, we would spend his days off going to the movies or wandering around the casinos, but now he seems to find excuses to go elsewhere. It's like we jumped from the early stages of dating right into old couplehood without the nice courtship part in between. Once in awhile, he practically attacks me with a burst of sexual passion, but it feels like he's working off some nervous energy rather than wanting to be truly intimate. I've never actually lived with a man before, so this is all new territory for me.

So I spend most of my day noodling around on the computer and diddling myself in front of the computer for much of the night. I'm way past feeling any embarrassment or humiliation about this whole undercover gig. I just go through the motions like a well-rehearsed play, except that it's largely ad-libbed based on audience suggestions. Detachment is my coping mechanism. I refuse to be upset with these creepy men ogling me from hundreds of miles away. I refuse to get frustrated over Lucky's lack of attention. I refuse to worry about my mother dating a new man. What does any of it matter? It's just one long roasting in the Vegas oven.

Except that it does matter. Everything matters and the only way I can be effective at my job and at life is if I'm totally alert and focused. Sometimes I yearn to be back in the Navy defusing bombs. Back then I always had to be on top of my game or people would die, including me. It wasn't a death wish that drove me. I don't know that I even thought about dying back then, at least not in a real tangible sense. It was all about the adrenalin. I fed on it. I craved it like some people crave chocolate. It's what I lived for and what made me love life all the more. There was nothing better than being in the moment and figuring out the workings of an IED (improvised explosive device to you civilians). Nothing better except for the exhilaration I felt when I knew the bomb was defused and I would live another day. That was when life was worth living.

I thought this job would provide me with a similar focus, but it's so much more ambiguous. The objectives are less clear cut, the plan of attack is less concrete, and the measurement of success less certain. All of this adds up to a very unhappy Angie, and my malaise could get me in trouble. Just the other day, I noticed a white panel van parked outside the trailer. It was idling away with a distinctive sound that reminded me of an old cop show from the 70s (wacka-cha, wacka-cha, wacka-cha). There were no markings on the van and I didn't see anyone getting in or out of it. Still, I just assumed the van belonged to some contractors doing work in the trailer park.

The next day, I heard that distinctive idling sound. I looked out the window and saw the van parked outside again. Oh well, the contractors were back, I thought, even though no one was around. It wasn't until the third day when the van reappeared that I started getting nervous. Could they be conducting surveillance? The LVPD was purposely not informed of my presence in Vegas, and I'm not entirely sure of the legalities regarding an online porn site. Maybe the cops are investigating me. Or perhaps Lucky is the target? He never lets me know what he's up to. Maybe he has some friends with broken noses who would like to speak with him?

Finally, I got off my lazy, self-pitying ass and went to investigate. I slipped out a window of the trailer on the side opposite to where the van was parked. To avoid detection, I took a circuitous route behind other trailers and the dumpsters until I managed to get behind a hedge just a few feet away. I don't know what I did wrong, but they must've spotted me because they took off abruptly and haven't been back since. I cursed myself for being sloppy.

If that little incident wasn't enough to wake me up, I was informed yesterday by The Colonel that one of the men who has been frequenting my site works for a major arms dealer we've been targeting. We think this lackey may be scoping out prostitutes for the arms dealer in advance of his arrival in Vegas. I have to stay totally focused. I can't let this one slip through my fingers.


David Dust said...

Happy belated birthday Mr. Minx!!!

Anonymous said...

Knocked over a bottle of cologne? Is this life imitating art or the reverse? I am really enjoying what I've read so far, Neal. It's great! Good luck in getting published!

Kim Savard