Around Christmas 2004 I was in Vegas with my mother in her mobile home for the holidays, just me and her and her sleeping a lot because her heart disease was slowing her down to stop, although we would not know this until a couple of months into 2005.
The day after Christmas, my mother slept and slept and slept.
I waited and then I didn’t. Decided to give myself a treat and at 8:30 A.M. I drove in her beat-up car to a casino on the Strip. I wanted a nice breakfast, or an American Breakfast, something I couldn’t get in Europe, something that would clog my heart values at least through lunch.
I went to one of of so-called classy casinos, The Bellagio, which I thought might have an upmarket breakfast the day after Christmas. I didn’t know America and its ways anymore. I was just guessing the possible.
Entering, there were less bells ringing or money tingling slot-machine sounds. Compared to other times, I could even say muted, if muted were a word that went with Vegas.
I went breakfast hunting and walked by one, two, three closed restaurants. Four, five, six closed themed mini-cafés. Where was my post-Christmas day breakfast hiding out? This was America; everything was on offer 24-hours a year. Seeking breakfast down another corridor, I spotted midway down a line of people waiting. A-ha. I walked down to checked where the end of the line went, wanting to know what kind of breakfast I could expect.
It was a compact, hole in the wall ice cream joint. The only place open for breakfast in the whole casino. People came out gripping tubs of ice cream covered in melted chocolate sauce. They sat at thin, painted white wrought-iron tables, and with large plastic spoons, they devoured their Sunday morning breakfast with a scary, steady concentration.
I left before 9 A.M. to find a Denny’s or another casino or nothing at all, I don’t remember anything else about that day. Except muted. I remember muted, though.