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On Reader Expectations: Las Vegas, NV

A couple weeks ago, Trish took the kids to Wichita for a weekend and left me home alone. And, no, I’m not talking about my lonely Christmas. This was a few weeks after that.

It was on the calendar as an opportunity for me to get some work. I tend to do that when Trish takes the kids away, whether it’s for the night or for a whole weekend. This time, I had two things on the schedule:

  • Pick up my friend Dan from the airport Saturday morning
  • And meet with my publication team all day Saturday to develop a publishing process

That left my free Saturday pretty booked up…but my Friday night was wide open. I was getting toward the end of my work day when I got a text message from Dan, who was at a convention in Las Vegas. It read:

Dude, hop a plane to Vegas tonight. I have a plan and need a grease man.

I laughed because, y’know, “hopping a plane to Vegas” isn’t the sort of thing I do. I sent him back my obligatory “lol,” then I packed up my stuff, headed out to my car, and pointed my way home while I tried to figure out what I was going to do with my evening.

Just then, a big ol’ Boeing took off right in front of me, curled gracefully through the air, and pushed its way out west. It wasn’t such a surprising sight — as I’ve said before, I write documentation for the FAA, which puts my workplace half a mile from the Will Rogers International Airport.

So while I watched that plane take off and wondered what I was going to do for dinner…I couldn’t help thinking, “Why not?”

I’d dropped him off for his flight out Wednesday, so I had a good guess there might be another going out in about half an hour. I popped over to the airport, pulled into the overnight parking, and headed toward the terminal to see how much this was going to cost.

Halfway to the door, I thought to call Dan. He picked up on the third ring, and said, “What?”

I asked, “How serious were you?”

“About robbing a casino and needing an accomplice?” he said. “None. None serious.”

“Well,” I said, “I was just thinking…I’d need to find out how much it costs to pick up a ticket last-minute, but I could come over for the evening, crash in your room tonight, and we could fly back tomorrow morning.”

He laughed, and it’s no surprise. Like I said, I’m not the adventurous sort. My night was wide open, though, and with all the crazy things I’m doing in my life these days (by which I mean “The Consortium”), hopping a plane to Vegas seemed almost reasonable.

He popped my bubble with one small correction, though. “I’m not flying back in the morning. I come back at nine tomorrow night.”

I stopped where I was, ten feet from the door to the airport. Couldn’t make it. I had an all-day publishing meeting scheduled for tomorrow. And then, standing there, I finally stopped to think through how much it would really cost. I couldn’t afford that! And how much hassle it would be to fly out tonight and fly back tomorrow.

And, really, how much would I get out of the trip? One evening in Vegas? I’d either get one really expensive dinner and then┬áspend the rest of my time there sleeping, or I’d be absolutely wiped out for the next week. I’m not as young as I used to be.

So I turned around, went back to my car, and headed home. I watched the clock tick over, watched it pass the time I knew the plane would be taking off, and felt a deep sense of regret that I hadn’t at least gone those last ten feet and asked.

It’s kind of a sad story. It’s a missed opportunity. But it’s also fun in ways, because I really was that close to having an adventure, and until Dan told me it wouldn’t work, I barely even hesitated.

More than that…my all-day Saturday meeting was a blast. I worked with four amazing artists and we came up with a plan, we accomplished real things and set even bigger things in motion. It sounds like a downer ending — skipping the overnight jaunt to Vegas to spend a Saturday in work meetings — but it’s so much better than that.

My life is an adventure now. My new job’s boring old demands feel a lot more like a party, and my coworkers are some incredible new friends.

I’m playing against type. My life has become surprising, in every way, and I absolutely love it.

One Response to “On Reader Expectations: Las Vegas, NV”

  1. Why is it that I heard an Aaron Pogue “Muhahahaha!” after the words “the Consortium?”

    (…dot DOOM.)