When Jordan and I drove to Vegas, we hadn't sent any requests to Couchsurfers until that very afternoon. By 6pm that night, we hadn't gotten any responses back. Ironically, we weren't worried. We were only staying there for one night, we reasoned, and it was the city that never slept– we didn't need a couch!
So we parked in the Paris Hotel parking deck, brushed our teeth and changed in the car as usual. It was Jordan's very first time in the Sin City and although I had been there about 10 times before, this was the very first that I was of age. I was excited not to be kicked out of the gambling floor for once, and actually participate in the club life. We were starving, and decided to do what every other person does in Vegas– go to a buffet. $40 and three plates from the Paris buffet later, we weren't feeling that well. Actually, that was an understatement. I was feeling sleepy, despite it only being only 8pm, and Jordan was getting stomach pains. While he spent some time on the toilet, I took my bra off at the table. It was that bad. Never again will I do buffets.
After we felt that it was safe again for us to walk, Jordan and I began our walk through all the hotels along the strip. Jordan was mesmerized– he had seen nothing like this. Although I had, it was the first time that I actually was old enough to pay attention to the kind of people of roamed Vegas. It was an odd mixture of families, young people looking for a good time, old people looking for entertainment, bachelor and bachelorette parties. Then there were the people on street corners and walkways that played an accordion for money, or flicked photos of almost naked girls in your face. We saw a girl sitting outside of Excalibur with a sign that said "I'm here because I'm a bad prostitute." I know that the sign was meant to have the element of surprise and be funny, but we didn't find it humorous at all. On the contrary, Jordan's heart broke for her. "Have some self-respect!" he said. One can only imagine what she had been through that made her resort to that sign for some pocket change.
We had walked all the way to the end of the strip– me with a strawberry daquiri and Jordan with a 40 in hand. We didn't know where else to go, so Jordan said we should go to a gay club. We searched it on our phones, both of which were dying, and asked around. All of the clubs had about $20 cover, which we did not feel like pay at 1am. Someone suggested that we go to a gay club called Piranha, though we had to get a cab to get to it. By then I was feeling frustrated and wanted to stay on the strip.
"We always to go gay clubs!" I whined, "Why don't you want to just go to one of the hundreds of clubs on the strip where we don't have to pay cabfare?!"
"Like where?"!" said Jordan.
This was the first time that Jordan and I had gotten even remotely close to a fight, and both of us were annoyed. Jordan was irritated that I was in a foul mood, which I admittedly was, but that's because I was impatient and didn't want to get a cab in the middle of nowhere. Finally, I gave in and Jordan paid for the cabfare. The moment passed and I decided to cheer up.
Piranha was exactly what I thought a Vegas gay club was like. Once we got there we bought some drinks and went on the dancefloor, where I quickly made friends with two Hispanic girls, one of which was deaf. I had never seen a deaf person out in the club before, but I realized that it actually made a lot of sense. The music was so loud that everyone ended up resorting to body language anyway, so I ended up inventing my own version of signing. While I stuck dancing with the girls, Jordan wandered around the club scouting out boys.
I met a few straight men there too, but mostly tried dodging them. And then I saw what looked like Jordan leaving the club out the back door. Maybe he was just going to have a smoke, I reasoned, not ready to leave yet. Then I quickly realized that not only was my phone dead, but his was too. Uh oh. The club was closing (it was 4am) and I desperately tried to find Jordan in the club to no avail. The girls followed me, trying to help out as well. I even got a guy to go into the Men's bathroom to look for his red Ked's, but he wasn't there. When we all went outside, I couldn't find him either. I tried not to panic. Where could he go, he was way too drunk to go far. We would find each other eventually. YOLO.
The girls started talking to these two boys, one of which said he worked in Disneyland as Aladdin and was here on vacation. I believed him– he looked the spitting image of Aladdin. The five of us weren't ready to leave yet so we moved onto a bar across the street, where there were about two other people including the bartender. There was a stripper pole there, so naturally we took turns on it.
It was about six in the morning when we left the bar and the sun was rising. I can't believe I was still awake. Okay, I said. Now I need to find Jordan. I figured I would start by going back to our car, since that would be the place that made the most sense to meet up at. Then, all of a sudden Aladdin shouted, "THERE'S YOUR FRIEND!!!" I jerked my head over to where he was pointing and saw him, slumped against the wall of Piranha with vomit stains on his shirt. Everyone from my group starting running across the street chanting "WE FOUND HIM! WE FOUND HIM!" and I couldn't stop laughing. I still didn't know any of their real names.
One of the girls (not the deaf one) said that she would be willing to drive Jordan and I back to Paris hotel so that we didn't have to get a cab. They were great. Once we got back to the parking lot and finally found my car (we had to stop on level one so Jordan could puke some more), I started driving towards LA, at long last. I had been awake for over 24 hours at that point, and Jordan was still belligerent. "Do you want me to drive?" he asked earnestly, when I said how tired I was. When I replied that no, it was okay, he quickly said, "Good, I think I'm too drunk to drive."
He was right.