Las Vegas. Lit in a blaze of neon and fueled by alcohol, the city itself seems to be weighed down with secrets and promise. The polished gloss of its sparkling skyline is a siren song to anyone searching to become someone else – if only for a weekend. Whether it’s the darkness of the kinky sex that permeates the background on CSI or the sunlit drunken amnesia of The Hangover, Las Vegas has been the setting for numerous stories that twist like tangled vines through its history. The truth is, most of the fiction couldn’t hold a candle to the facts.
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but is that really true? The basic premise of this catchy and oft-repeated slogan is that Vegas cultivates the idea that it’s okay to lie, to change who you are and to do things you would never do, because when you leave, you leave it behind. But memories are like fingerprints; everyone has a unique set and they will always be a part of you. Everywhere you go, your experiences are stamped in your brain like initials in sealing wax.
My experience in Vegas is usually a whirlwind of bad behavior, chance encounters, dance beats and hotel sheets- somewhere between Ke$ha’s “Take It Off” and Katy Perry’s “Waking Up In Vegas”- but nothing I wouldn’t do in any other town, including this one. The only difference in this equation is the introduction of a brand new catalyst. Or two. Or three at a time. Maybe it’s because for the very reason that people believe they can be and do whatever they want within the confines of this jewel embedded in the desert, it changes their attitude and their approach to others.