Every time I pass this lot on Koval and Harmon, just a block east of the Las Vegas Strip, I remember how I woke up there one morning with vomit in my hair and an outbox full of typo-ridden text messages.
I had three days left in Las Vegas and everyone from my work was going to a hotel party at an all-suite boutique resort just off-Strip. At the close of my first summer in the desert, I considered it to be my going-away party (although they actually rented the room to celebrate a coworker’s birthday). I was excited and sad to be spending one last night out with the people I had come to know and love during my summer internship, and I wanted to go out with a bang.
My boss and I shared an infatuation with Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, so I bought a 750ml bottle for the two of us to split. When I arrived at the party, I took two solo cups and divided the bottle completely between the red chalices. I handed one off to the boss and kept the other to myself, sipping it straight from the cup all night like a cocktail—without mixer or chaser.
I heard later that I was jumping from bed to bed in the suite and that I encouraged a mass skinny-dip in the pool that no one partook in. One of my friends back home told me that I called her, infuriated, saying that no one would take me to Del Taco. And there were quite a few outgoing messages in my phone with jumbled letters, surveying my friends to see who could take me home.
I woke up at 6AM to the hot Las Vegas sun magnified through my windshield in my face. I had locked myself in my car in the parking lot near the resort. There was a large puddle of puke outside the door…and in my hair, on my shirt and—oh god, in my car. I was supposed to pick up my mother from the airport in a few hours. I was supposed to go to work soon.
I went home and cleaned the sun-baked vomit out of the carpet of my vehicle and proceeded to attend to my responsibilities. I felt terrible all day, but luckily I soon had my mom there to help me pack up to move home and to take me to Cheesecake Factory at the Forum Shops at Caesars to load up on greasy goodness. I'll never again love Las Vegas as much as I did during those 24 hours.