Continued from Chapter 3
No Desert in the Desert
I walked and walked looking for a bit of desert that we could bed down in.
This is when I began to realize that there are no more bits of desert in the City of Las Vegas. Probably hasn’t been for a very long time. This area had grown up and died since the last time I walked this part of town.
This part of Vegas is a long long way from the Strip in circumstance not distance. Run down low rent businesses, abandoned buildings and lower middle-class homes. Not a decent place to get out of sight for the night.
Really getting tired, I lowered my standards. I starting looking to anywhere I thought we could get away with laying down for a few hours. I had passed an abandoned motel that looked possible but really rough. It was time to circle back and see if it would work.
No Tell, No Pay Motel
It was an old two-story L shaped motel like there used to be an endless number of in Las Vegas.
Now most are gone or boarded up. They just can’t compete with the Casinos and the Hostel is the only way I’ve seen that works to revitalize these properties.
This one was solidly boarded up and had good bushes in front of the rooms. It was filthy, litter everywhere. By the trash it was obvious someone had stayed in the corner of the L. No one was there now. No one here at all, which wasn’t a good sign. Where were the homeless?
I found the cleanest bit of sidewalk that was well concealed behind the bushes. I put down Yeehaw’s bed, blocked the sidewalk with the wheelchair and hung my Veteran ballcap on the handle. Just in case that meant something to anyone who happened by.
We cuddled up together, it was really too hot for that but we both needed the reassurance of a cuddle.
My prayers were for us to be safe tonight and that in the morning everything would sort it’s self out. We would meet Tony and everything would be great. I believe prayers are always answered, just not always how we want them to be. Clearly this was to be one of those times.
After finally dropping off to sleep, I was awakened by someone saying; Hi and Yeehaw barking.
I sat up quickly and quieted Yeehaw. A figure in the gloom jumped back and said; Sorry, sorry just want to see if it’s ok to crash here. I said that I hoped it was, and he was welcome as far as I was concerned. He said thanks and shuffled off to the corner.
It was still over 90 degrees and it was making us both miserable. Back to sleep again, eventually.
I was dreaming of talking with Tony Robbins when I was awaked again by Yeehaw jumping up and barking. This time there was a bright flashlight in my eyes and two large dark figures standing over me.
I have PTSD and hypervigilance is a problem for me. I cannot abide having anyone stand over me. I jumped up and took a defensive stance ready to fight. They stepped back quickly and said Whoa, hold on. It’s OK! I stopped and got a grip on myself; tried to calm Yeehaw but she wasn’t having it and kept on barking. Uniforms, badges, guns; rousted, FUCK ME!
They deescalated quickly, saying; It’s OK, take my time, again and again. I had to go, but they attempted to be compassionate. I realized they were private security guards.
So that was why we hadn’t seen any homeless people anywhere around the abandoned buildings. They said they were sorry but it’s their job. They carefully outlined where they patrolled and where they thought I might be ok for the night.
That was nice but they were wrong. There was no place to lay down and sleep where they pointed me. I walked, walked and walked some more. Yeehaw rode through the night on her chair like the Queen she is but she had a very worried look on her furry little face.
I have had an extraordinary amount of real world experience with the mentally ill on the streets of America. They just come to me. They are all but invisible to most people; we are careful not to engage or heaven forbid make eye contact. Least we become tainted somehow, infected with their mental illness or poverty.
I have learned something really strange and disturbing, many of these people aren’t so crazy after all. Some are brilliant but twisted somehow, others see and live in the world my Shaman teachers taught me to negotiate.
The land where the boundary between worlds is thin and old way and old things still exist. I treat these special people the same way I do any respected shaman. I honor them and listen. I try to interpret the symbols they are using despite the lack of coherence at times. To find the meaning behind what looks like just plan fucking crazy to everyone else.
Did you know that if you hear voices in your head you are schizophrenic, unless you are religious. In which case, you are sane and you can go around telling people about your voices. And they will build you buildings, give you riches and do every silly thing you say.
Given all that, I wasn’t shocked when we crossed paths with the Sin Eater.
She had been a very beautiful woman in her day, but that rose had faded long ago. She was a little blond woman who was clean, reasonably well-dressed sitting on the island between the 4-lane road and the right turn lane.
She was in distress. She was sitting down with a nice purse, the contents of which were scattered across the traffic island.
When I said hello, she looked me in the eye and asked if she could talk to my dog for a minute. I said sure and introduced her. She proceeded to put her face in Yeehaw’s and they got to know each other. Not something Yeehaw usually tolerates.
Then she gives me another piercing look and asked if it would be OK for Yeehaw to help her? She promised she it won’t harm her or me. I said sure and she started talking with Yeehaw about how much she was carrying and it was too much. Yeehaw was totally engaged and OK with much more familiarity then she normally allows anyone but me.
She turned to me again and explained. She was over full of sin. Not her sin, sin she takes from little kids. As she explained I remembered reading about something called a Sin Eater. A person that could absorbed another’s sins. I suddenly realized that is what she is or at least thinks she is!
She asked if I would hold her hand while she worked with Yeehaw for a minute. I took her hand and it felt like a powerful energy was moving. I wasn’t really involved, it felt like I was just giving her stability while Yeehaw did something. We stood there on the traffic island. Cars whizzing by at three in the morning and it felt like being in Church.
She released my hand and I was back on the street corner sweating in the middle of the night. She thanked us and we said good night. As we walked away she settled back amongst her stuff and was talking to someone who I couldn’t see.
Bat shit crazy, or is there such a thing as a genuine Sin Eater? Who am I to judge.
She felt much better for the little bit of dog and human contact. We walked on.
Senior Center Sleeper
The building on the corner where the Sin Eater sat on the traffic island was the Las Vegas Senior Center. It has a REALLY nice green lawn. This is very rare in Las Vegas and a big problem for Yeehaw. She is a connoisseur of lawn, it’s as important to her as a nice bathroom is to a woman! I unloaded her and we played on the grass. Yeehaw was so HAPPY, grateful for grass! I was happy because she was happy.
Then I noticed that on the side next to the street there was a big wall and one bush. It was an isolated spot and I had to lay down! It was clean and nice grass, heaven!
Big upgrade over our last spot. Then I realized that we were on the side of the Interstate on ramp. Every few minutes it got amazingly loud. The freeway noise bounced off the Senior Center brick wall and then off the wall we were next to. Like being inside a speaker box!
I put down Yeehaw’s bed and we snuggled in together. I prayed just to be left alone until daylight and this one was answered as I wanted. No one bothered us the rest of the night. I should have asked for sound sleep ;) the on ramp seemed to have a Harley blasting up it every time I dropped off.
Oh Thank Heaven
Sunrise was glorious! And I woke up sleeping outside on a nice lawn. The smell of fresh green grass in my face; it brought me back to my childhood sleeping out in my parent’s yard in the summer. What a treat! I am so grateful for that moment! That vivid reminder of times I had forgotten, when life was new and magical. Being able to enjoy little moments like that is a big part of my renewal magic. For that moment, I was in a simpler time and all of the drama of today disappeared.
I sat up refreshed and really happy. It was that desert morning coolness, I could feel the sun working hard to change that. But for now, I wasn’t sweating and Yeehaw wasn’t panting! I hugged Yeehaw and loved my little spot of the world.
And kitty corner across the street was a beloved 7-11! A Big Gulp iced coffee was steps away! Life is good!
Senior No Center
When I had found the Las Vegas Senior Center I thought it was a God send. I needed a place to operate out of while I Life Hacked my way into Tony. Being a senior, it seemed perfect, air-conditioned coolness with bathrooms and Wi-Fi! Maybe a snack or lunch. Perfect, right?
So, armed with a Big Gulp of Iced Coffee we made our way into the center. At the front desk, a prim and proper lady looked at Yeehaw and me like we might be infectious and asked how she could help. I gave her a big smile and said I was a senior and would like to use the center.
She didn’t smile and said that I would need to register and that it was $10 a year. I thought about that, 1/3 of our available cash but it buys us a cool place to hang out all week, deal! I said OK and moved to the counter where I could see the forms.
She stopped me and said but we have a rule about the size of bag you can bring into the center. Yours is too big. Huh, my bag is too big? Really? Yes really. Is there some place to store it? No.
OK I will live it outside. NO, she said. You won’t do that because then it would be an unattended bag and the bomb squad will be called to blow it up.
What? Did she really just say they would blow up my bag if I left it outside the Senior Center? Really? I needed more coffee in me I was still a little slow.
I played the tape back in my head to be sure. Ya, she did and she was dead serious. Holy shit, thinking about it, Bomb Squad and there was SWAT and Homeland Security on her side. And I was about to joke about what did she think I was going to do, blow the old people up? HOLY SHIT! I could go to jail as a terrorist over this!
How did I go from just wanting to peacefully enjoy a senior center to being threatened with SWAT, Bomb Squad and being a terrorist? Well to be fair, I thought up most of it. But it was a logical progression from the Bomb Squad being called. And that she had definitely threatened.
I left quietly before the Sheriff, whose office was just around the corner, was called.
I Wana Go Home!
As Yeehaw and I walked away it was starting to get hot and again I felt like crying. What was going on here? Why had I EVER thought this was a good idea? I JUST WANT TO GO HOME! NOW!
But I didn’t have a ticket. Remember, I only bought a one-way ticket. With ($33-Coffee&Yeehaw Treat =) $30 left, I couldn’t even buy a bus ticket home. It would be Saturday before I had any more money coming in.
If I really really wanted to go home, I would have to ask someone for help. And just what would I say? I was a real dumb ass and got myself stuck in Vegas. Help! Really?
The story would be I got myself there and when it got rough I bailed, without even trying. I couldn’t live with that.
I realized that I had to at least try. I would push through today and see if I could get to Tony. If it didn’t work then OK but I had to at least try. I haven’t come this far just to come this far!
Tony Robbins Business Mastery was being held at the Cosmopolitan. A rather anonymous seeming tower of glass and glitz among the themed Strip hotels. We made our way through the casino to registration a block away it seemed. We stopped at the restroom and cleaned up.
I had already checked it out, they had a Fed-X Business center in the hotel. We learned it was on the 3rd floor and Tony Robbins was on the 4th floor.
I had a plan. I had a $25,000 Las Vegas Poker Chip. I found it in a box of office supplies I’d been given a while back. It looked real, holographs and all. I tried to find out if it could possibly be real on the Internet and well, I couldn’t prove it wasn’t real.
So, it became a Schrodinger’s Cat to me. It could be real or it could be worthless. Until I opened that box I would consider it potentially $25,000.
I was of course seriously afraid the cat had never lived, but it was strangely comforting to have a potentially $25,000 in my pocket. I’ve kept it that way and didn’t really want to find out. Besides it looked like I would have to go to Vegas to find out for sure.
So now I am in Las Vegas and do I find out? If it’s good I’m in with Tony and living large. If it’s not I’m broke and begging.
I decided to leave that cat in the box. I decided to offer the chip to Tony for my admission and I would redeem it for face value. Twenty-five thousand for a ten-thousand-dollar seminar. It was a hail Mary but one I was here on site delivering. If I could only get it into his hands.
Tony has an organization! He is so in demand there were layers of people between me and him. People whose job it is to see to it that he isn’t randomly bothered. That every nut job with the next great thing doesn’t get to waste his time.
Hacking with Fed-X
I cased the joint and considered my options. I found the Fed-X Business center, I needed to print out my proposal to Tony. I talked with the woman at the counter and she gave me an email address to send it to.
I sat down and sent it to her from my phone, I thought. Checking a few minutes later it hadn’t shown up. Turned out it was having a trouble getting out of my phone. So, I decided to sit down at the desk provided and plug in my devices. I really didn’t mind the wait because I wasn’t at all sure about what came next.
While I was killing time, there was obviously a problem behind the counter. Two people were talking about a package that was signed for but .. then it became three. Next thing I knew there were five people behind the counter all focusing on several “lost” packages.
As I listened I couldn’t help but hear it was packages for Tony Robbins that had gone astray. They were all in on solving it and soon had a solution.
But it gave me an idea. With my proposal printed, the offer of the poker chip hand written and the only copy of FOVC the Book all in a Fed-X Small Pak envelope. I wrote Tony Robbins, Hand Carry, RUSH!!! on it.
I went up to the 4th floor where I had scouted out Tony’s operation. There was a whole room full of people just handling the details. Other rooms full of people that were Tony’s helpers.
I parked Yeehaw out of sight and told her to guard. She would be fine and so would our stuff.
Houston, we have lift off!
One of my first jobs was being the delivery boy for an old-time printing and engraving company. There is a particular look you need to have on your face when you walk in with a package. It’s a mix of determined, you are doing a job here someone is going to take this package; and bewildered, because you don’t have a clue what’s going on here or who to talk to. Help? I put me delivery boy look on and walked into the command center.
After standing there for a moment someone stopped and said may I help you. I said I have a package for Tony Robbins.
Now this is the critical part. Will they accept it? Unsolicited hand carried packages are a big no no these days. If that is what they saw this as, which to be fair it was, they would never accept it. Let alone get it to Tony. It was important to me I didn’t lie in any way. It all depended on my delivery.
I looked pained, like somebody screwed up and I have to be here to take the blame. I made the statement; There was a screw up with Fed-X this morning.
Someone else said; Right! I moved to hand her the package. Got up and took it. Saying; I will get it to him ASAP. I handed it over and carefully controlled my expression. I nearly had to hold my breath to get out of there without yelling YES!!! My package was on its way to Tony Freaking Robbins ASAP!
Thank You for Reading Chapter 4! Chapter 5 is in process. In it Yeehaw and I life Hack our way to Tony Robbins and our Homeless in Las Vegas adventure continues. Thank You for reading so far. I really appreciate your comments and feedback. Jess