Fear and Loneliness in Las Vegas

It’s 2:00 AM and I’m looking out my hotel room’s bathroom window while I floss my teeth. As I scrape the gunk out from between my molars I look at the light beam streaking out from the tip of the Luxor Hotel. A cab driver told me that the beam’s intensity was lowered at the request of the FAA, but that the glass and steel pyramid’s light can still be seen from space. As I idly wonder how high the Luxor’s electric bill is, I feel small lump on the roof of my hard palate with the tip of my tongue. Funny. That wasn’t there before. As I probe the new addition I wonder where it came from. Maybe it’s a burn healing from the hot pizza I had last night. That’s probably what it is.

As I continue flossing a quiet and lethal whisper cuts across the cold, sterile bathroom tile and bores into my ears. Maybe that lump is cancer.

A shiver runs down my spine. I remove the floss from my mouth and look in the mirror. The mirror is illuminated by those lights that show off every imperfection on your skin. Since I’m naked I can see quite a few. Some clinical, distant part of my brain registers that my respiration has increased and my skin has turned cold and clammy. I feel dizzy.

Bathrooms are good places to lose IQ points to blunt force trauma – lots of hard surfaces and sharp corners. I sit down on the edge of the hot tub and hold my head in my hands. Slowly breathing though my nose, I try forcing myself to relax. As my blood oxygen levels attempt to normalize I tell myself that I don’t have cancer. I have a burn on the roof of my mouth and that’s all it its. If it gets bigger or is still there by the time I get home from Vegas I’ll go see my dentist. “Man up,” I tell myself. “You’re making mountains out of molehills.”

The dizziness passes and I continue with my oral ablutions. After I finish I slip into a toweling robe and walk into my suite’s darkened living room. I was dead tired a few minutes ago but now I feel like I could run a marathon. That’s what happens when your adrenal glands speed dump their entire contents into your blood stream. I wonder if I can order some benzodiazepines from room service. No, probably not.

I walk over to the mini-bar and liberate a small bottle of Johnnie Walker Black. I pour it neat into a water glass, sit down on the couch, and take a sip. Drinking alcohol’s not good idea when you’re anxious but I don’t always do what’s sensible. As I look at the Vegas skyline I take another sip and start psychologically debriefing myself. Why did I jump to such a catastrophic conclusion when faced with something so trivial? Why was my reaction so powerful?

As I watch the traffic snake along Las Vegas Boulevard I think back to a moment I had in a casino coffee shop earlier that afternoon. I hadn’t slept well the night before, I was hungry, and I felt emotionally wrung out after doing interviews with two very different people. I ordered bacon and eggs and started reading the newspaper. Noise from the slot machines outside floated past my table, sounding like baby Satan shaking his avaricious rattle. I looked up and saw a woman sitting on a stool by one of the slot machines holding what looked like an empty pail. She was crying softly. I looked back at my paper.

My mid-afternoon breakfast came and I dug in. After a few forkfuls of food slid into my belly I looked back to where the tearful woman was sitting. She was gone. It was then I felt incredibly homesick. I realized I was a stranger in a strange town with some very strange people. I missed my bed. I missed the sounds my apartment makes. I missed my dog. I realized I was all alone in a big hotel room with a big bed and no one to share it with. That hit me pretty hard. But I had another appointment in several minutes so I stuffed my feelings into a watertight compartment and sealed the hatch.

Several hours later, sitting in my hotel room and rolling blended scotch past the offending pimple on the roof of my mouth, I realized the seals on the watertight door failed. I’ve lived in my head a long time. I know that fear can burst over me like an unexpected summer storm. I also know that most of my worries are born from exhaustion and loneliness – especially loneliness. If I was in a close relationship with a woman and brought her on this trip I’d probably not be feeling what I’m feeling now. I’d have said, “Hey I have something on the roof of my mouth.” And she’d have said, “It’s probably the pizza. You burned the roof of your mouth remember?” Then the worry would’ve passed without all the physical special effects. My problem is that I deal with my most of my fears in lonely place. Loneliness maims. Loneliness exaggerates and warps perceptive. No one should really be alone. Not really. Not ever.

“It is not good for man to be alone,” I say, raising my glass to the city of Las Vegas. The city stares back at me in gaudy silence. Maybe God is blinded by the light from the Luxor and can’t see me. I’m disconnected and floating high above a city made of illusion. Maybe that’s why the wrong things look big and what’s important seems small.

I finish my drink and go to bed. After listening to the air conditioning crank on and off several times I fall asleep.


Comments

Fear and Loneliness in Las Vegas — 82 Comments

  1. I know exactly what you mean, Waiter. I broke my ankle a few weeks ago and without the emotional support of my friends and girlfriend I’d be in a much darker, lonely place. Breaking a bone doesn’t seem like a big deal either until you realize there are many things you can’t do alone.

    Keep your chin up. There is someone for you out there.
    -Sol

  2. Strange how the mind leaps to those kind of conclusions. When my dr told me I had a ‘growth’ on my ovary and it needed to be removed I swear I jumped to the worst possible conclusions. I made myself sick thinking of every scary thing imaginable. Thank heavens my husband was the logical one because I was a basket case. It was a large cyst and I was just fine …and you will be too Steve! And you will meet ‘her’ and it’ll be worth the wait!

  3. Steve,

    I realize that loneliness is often the sensitive introspective’s quickest alleyway into unabandoned fear. But, until the professionals diagnose your pimple, why worry? As a former seminarian I would think you should well know that not trusting your Creator only encourages ‘baby Satan shaking his avaricious rattle.’

  4. Being away from home makes things like that worse too. A sad story, but tomorrow is another day and daylight makes things seem not so lonely or scary. Laying in bed alone at night can be the worst. I do the same leap to ridiculous conclusions often. Mostly laying in bed alone. Chin up. There are a lot of people “out there” who care about you just because we feel we know you from reading your blog. Like me.

  5. Shit, I hope you don’t have cancer, man, you write well… not that that is the reason you shouldn’t get cancer, but still, you do.

  6. This entry is why I check this blog every day. You have an amazing way of explaining your story in a larger context. Thank you for such a beautiful gift.

  7. Much better to be alone, than in a toxic relationship with another. You know how you lavish attention on the other person….now, you can lavish all of your attention on yourself. What a good husband you will be!!!!
    btw..I blame those hurtful little things on the roof of my mouth on food (hot/spicy), it will be gone in two days.

  8. The old expression is so true, “It’s better to be alone than to wish you were.” Getting dumped, or knowing you need to break up with someone just sucks.

  9. this is truly some of your best work. wrought with raw emotion – steve, you don’t hold back from your readers, and i think that’s why we feel so close to you. there are many people who read this tonight with a tear in their eye, whether it be for you or for them does not matter. you bring brilliance to the written word – and we all sincerely thank you for it.
    -matt

  10. I understand this feeling. I always find comfort in knowing if my mother didn’t hear from me for a day she’d have the national guard at my apartment which would save me from being ate by my cats. (It’s this odd fear I just can’t explain. I can’t take a shower with the cats in the room because I’m sure I’ll slip and fall and that’s the fate that waits for me.)

  11. If you can see the Luxor beam from your hotel room…

    …you’re not staying at the New York New York, are you? That’d be incredibly ironic. K

  12. How did you get into my brain? All morning I’ve been allowing my worries and fears to loom large while the good things are shoved in a corner. I have to say though that even with people around you and someone to love who loves you back the loneliness still creeps in every now and then. It’s those times when I think I would love to just put up my hands, walk away from everything and start a new life somewhere else. Then whatever worries I have now would be left behind and I’d have a clean slate. I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t actually be the case but it’s nice to dream.

  13. Waiter,

    At your age mouth cancer is pretty unlikely, even if you’re a pipe/cigar/chewing tobacco fan. I understand “paranoid” though and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

    Next month I celebrate 20 years in remission. I was diagnosed with Leukemia when I was nine and I’ve spent many a sleepless night wondering about some offending bump or mole or even just an odd feeling of exhaustion.

    No, the irony of laying awake at night wondering why I’m tired was not lost on me.

    We are – all of us – confounded by our own mortality and it is no judgment of your emotional state that you fear that unknown.

    In that lump you see a judgment of your life as sad and lonely – a frightened man drinking alone in Sin City.

    But that you fear mortality at all suggests that there is more to smile about than you’re letting on.

    Buck up, Waiter; and let your pizza cool down next time.

  14. No one has said it yet… but it’s not just being lonely. It’s being lonely in Vegas.

    There’s just something about the town itself that amplifies the pit in your stomach at the thought of being there alone. It’s looking out and seeing all of the people in groups – couples, even families. It’s sitting in a dark hotel room that smells slightly of smoke (even in a non-smoking room) with a glass of booze in your hand.

    It’s the realization that this particular city was made to separate people… from their money, from each other.

    Loneliness sucks. Loneliness in Vegas sucks worse.

  15. Steve, For anyone with any kind of sensitivity, Vegas is the coldest, loneliest place in the world (and I mean sensitivity in a good way). It is designed to separate people from their cash, that’s all, nothing else. Just a mirage of happiness and fun. Don’t take anything you feel in Vegas seriously. Get back to your real life in NYC.

    P.S. Are you a fan of Raymond Chandler? You have a great hard-boiled style going there.

  16. You’re not alone–you have all of your readers! We’re out here, even if not with you physically.

    and you’re gonna be okay, Steve. Don’t worry.

  17. Hey Steve, we’ve all felt this way at one time or another. The requirements and responsibilities that we all have to live up to on a daily basis make it essential to bottle our emotions at times. Luckily, most of us have family, friends and loved ones that we can show our true feelings to. You’re in a very tumultuous and exciting time in your life, and when things settle down a little bit be encouraged and take time for yourself and with those you care for. This too shall pass.

    Hugs.

  18. Lonliness is a fickle friend. She shows up when you feel least capable of entertaining her, yet when all you want is the solace of her presence, she’s no where to be found, off to Vegas to bestow her unwelcome presence on someone else.

    The good thing about lonliness is that there is a treatment. It doesn’t need to be a relationship, per se, but anyone who you can trust to share your thoughts with. Though the treatment requires some effort on our parts, to open ourselves up to another, to trust them with our fears. A family member, a friend, sometimes even a stranger in the right context, can be a welcome antidote to the venom of lonliness. Though eventually, no matter what your station and relations in life, the old wound will always flare up, reminded you that she has left her mark.

    I hope you are able to banish her to the outer rings, and that when she does barge in, you are ready and waiting with all the antidotes you have built over your life.

    Thanks for this post.
    -R

  19. You have the unique ability to capture human loneliness, fear…negative emotions…and make them very beautiful.

    I’m glad that I’m lonely at home tonight; not in Vegas.

  20. This was just such a brilliant post that I can’t seem to find the words to express my appreciation of it. Steve; you are beyond eloquent. Thank you for that.

  21. As someone who has traveled alone a lot, I have felt this way often. Although I have to say I enjoy traveling alone anyway. Patrick, I had never heard the expression “It’s better to be alone than to wish you were.” But having been several times on both sides of the equation, it’s a good one. It’s so much better to be on your own than with the wrong person (at least for me it is, I realize a lot of folks don’t share that view, and that’s OK too). As always Steve, this was an incredible essay that really touches the heart on so many levels. I hope you find your balance soon. ou will, we all go through these periods.

  22. I hope to God you made enough money to last you a while. Vegas a great way to lose your grip on reality. Been there 3 times, enough for me!

  23. As the man said,
    People are strange when you’re a stranger
    Faces look ugly when you’re alone
    Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted
    Streets are uneven when you’re alone.

    Sadly, entirely true.

    Come back (God help me) to Jersey. Come home.

  24. Waiter,
    As Alice Walker said, “the gift of loneliness is sometimes a radical vision of society or one’s people that has not previously been taken into account.”
    At least you know what to do with your gift.

    Best.

  25. Yes, but the next lines to that song are
    “When your are strange, nobody remembers your name”. Well Steve, your readers remember your name (even if we can’t pronounce Dublanica). The strangest experiences in my life occurred either in Las Vegas or that poor man’s Vegas, Reno. It’s the culture and people doing things they would never think of doing back home. It is a fantasy world that goes bad very quickly. Go home, don’t worry, be happy! It was all just a dream.

  26. Great post – take it from a guy who stays in hotels weekly – never set the A/C or heat to auto on. Always keep the fan on or off – especially if you’re a light sleeper. Most will regulate flow based on temperature.

    Cheers
    JC

  27. Las Vegas does not bring out the best in people, and often brings out these dark feelings of loneliness and isolation. It’s like any overindulgence in that way, and in this city of excesses overindulgence is a given.
    I love Vegas, but to live there you have to get away from the Strip, into the city where there are more churches per capita than in any other city in the U.S. and there you’ll find it’s soul.

  28. Know the feeling, found a weird thing on my face attached to a mole while I was on business in Austria. Just pretended every day it was nothing. When I got home and went to the doctor it was nothing, thank god, but the thought was always “cancer”.

    Don’t go to the casino’s because of the crying people. It is just to sad.

    Unless you are at the fun craps table with winners.

  29. God is never blind to those who acknowledge and look to him. Have faith, be strong and know that you are loved, respected and blessed.

  30. It’s a terrifying thought, but your essay expressed exactly the feeling, so well written! I have the most supporting friends and family, but despite how wonderful they are, they can not provide the same comfort as a lover who is there for me and I am there for him. However, I know one of the thoughts that has comforted me is that I know I have experienced Love in the past, and even though it left me heartbroken, I am reminded that there are people out there who despite their many relantionships, still don’t know the definition of the word!

    “All the lonely people, where do they all come from?”

  31. Let’s get a grip people. It’s not so bad to be alone. In fact, most of my married friends and family members often make comments like, “I’d love to trade places with you, believe me.” (I’m single)Yes, it’s great to have a companion around a lot of times, but it’s also great when they leave!!! Most people don’t want to hear this, but how many married or committed people do you know who are really happy, and have no regrets about being “trapped?” The fact of the matter is, there are a LOT of people stuck in relationships but “can’t” get out for a variety of reasons, kids being one of them. A lot of people got married because that was what they were “supposed to do” when they reached a certain age, or that’s what society, their religion, and their families “expected” them to do. They didn’t do it because they were convinced that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with that person. They caved in and now regret it. Misery loves company, thus the reaction that married people have when they find out you’re older than 35 and have never been married. They would kill to be free!! If a lot of people truly listened to their gut, they would have pulled the plug before walking down the aisle instead of being divorced now or still trapped in a sucky, sexless marriage. Or, if they could do things all over again, they would be single. I know a few long-time couples who are still genuinley enthused to be together, but they are an anomoly. Ask anyone who you can get an honest answer from, not just a patented, “Yes, I’m happy,” response. Cherish your freedom people!!!

    Steve- Here’s to you finding an independent, really cool woman to hang with soon. In the interim, be thankful that you’re not immersed in a relationship that you’re trying to extricate yourself from.

  32. I try to tell myself I’m not lonely, just alone. There is a difference. You brought my fears to the forefront and expressed them far more eloguently than I every could.

  33. I always look forward to your blogs. Thank you for your honesty. Loneliness, to me, helps us appreciate people. We are lonely no matter what season of our lives.

  34. Beautifully written piece.
    That said, should I address the bump?
    If it hurts when you or food touches it, it’s probably a wound, either a burn or cut. It will heal. If it isn’t sensitive, there are a lot of things it could be besides cancer. How hard is it and where, exactly, is it? If it is directly on the centerline and hard as bone, it’s a torus, that is, a bone spur. They are common and completely harmless. but they do get cut or burned a lot because they stick out. I have also seen them off center, but that’s very rare.
    If it’s soft enough to be fluid filled, it’s not cancer, but could be various other stuff.
    If it’s hard but not hard enough to be bone, get it checked. There are still lots of other things that it could be, but it needs to be determined.
    That said, oral cancer has the highest cure rate of any cancer precisely because you can find it early. Good luck.

  35. Hey Steve,

    Longtime reader, and this post hit home. Late last year I had a strange sequence of events that caused me to suffer a very similar sensation, though now I have it most of the time. I think I turned into a full-fledged hypochondriac. Now every lump, bump, every strange sensation in my gut as it tries to work through my lunch, it’s all bells tolling for me. I’m fortunate enough (and so are you) to have a little bit of perspective that keeps me sane, if occasionally sad. I have a wonderful girlfriend who helps me through, but sometimes I feel lonely too. Communication has never been a problem until now – I try to spill it all out in the hope that something will make sense, but I feel sometimes like it never does.

    You aren’t alone just because you don’t have a girlfriend or wife. You have friends and loved ones too, who may be thinking of you now. Give them a call and say hi. Compared to what things could be (or how they could end up), being occasionally sad isn’t so bad.

    Be well.

  36. Hello Waiter,

    I love the way you write and how the readers (most of them) respond to you. Hugs for you, you’re going to find a woman with sweetness and depth that will make you a happy man – it’ll happen.

  37. For most of my life I was the original loner and can honestly say that for the majority of those years I did enjoy the single life. There were relationships in my late 20s however for the most part they were a disaster and eventually I would end up the grateful single man again once the dust had settled.

    I was 30 when I met my soul mate Jem and we have been together for 15 years. Can say with hand on heart that I cannot imagine life without her now and when I think back to my single life it feels like another person.

    The funny thing is that our paths crossed so many times in the past that there is every possibility we could have met years ago however we were different people then and the attraction would not have been mutual. Our experiences in then past help to shape the people we are now and we genuinely cherish what we have and we never , ever take anything or each other for granted.

    It will hit you too sir from the most unexpected source, believe me.

    Take care

  38. Steve, I have been reading your blog for several years now, but haven’t posted to you before. This post made me cry. Well, granted, a lot of things make me cry these days, because my formerly-wonderful husband of 16+ years, who was my college sweetheart, just moved out a few months ago, and is continuing an affair with a girl half our age (and, incidentally, two or three times my weight–I kid you not). Given my decades-long history of depression, I have been on antidepressants since I first found out about the affair, about a year and a half ago, but I quit with the meds a few weeks ago because my husband lost his job a month ago, so medical insurance is in limbo and I am not sure I can keep paying for the meds along with all of the other household bills I have had to take on (I don’t make much money at the moment).

    I know a lot of people will not understand or agree with my approach, but I am committed to praying and standing for the complete restoration of my marriage. Yes, in spite of what he has done, and in spite of how painful this whole experience has been for me. No, I am not an idiot (you wanna see my Mensa card to prove it?); just a person who believes in following through on her solemn promise before God, and who also believes that God is still in the miracle business.

    The circumstances would be different if we had not spoken those vows to each other, but we did (and I believe we both went into marriage with our eyes open–no secrets, no hesitation, no marrying for the wrong reasons) so I consider myself bound to work for his benefit as well as my own, regardless of what he does. I think everyone should be very, very sure before they get married–we dated for almost seven years first. I think that before you get married, you should look very hard at whether this is someone you can fully commit yourself to for the rest of your life. Look for anything that might make it unwise for you to marry this person. And then once you take those vows, STOP LOOKING! The decision is now made, so every day you have to figure out how to follow through on it, and suck it up whenever things get rocky. And if you believe love is all about how you feel, you are guaranteed to miss the boat, my friend. Love is about ACTION, not feelings. Feelings follow action, not the reverse. With the possible exception of your own young children, what makes you feel warm and fuzzy toward someone? It is because of something (or a collection of somethings) they have done in the past, isn’t it?

    Ask anyone who has been married a long time, and I will bet that they can tell you stories about horrible times they went through in their marriage. But guess what? First off, people go through hard times whether they are married or not. That’s the price we pay for being alive. If they aren’t married, sometimes the problems they have are BECAUSE they are single. And for the longtime-marrieds, they were there for each other during the hard times that weren’t due to failures in their relationship, and in the case of their relationship problems, they persisted, refused to give up on each other (one of them did, at least), and eventually came out the other side, and if you asked them at that point whether they regretted getting married, they would tell you “absolutely not!” I really think that a lot of marriages fail because the parties just give up too soon.

    Sure, being married is hard sometimes–in fact, at times is is absolutely brutal. (I think I can speak with some authority there.) But do you know of anything worthwhile that isn’t?

    Well, I have gotten a little sidetracked, and this wasn’t supposed to be all about me anyway; the point I wanted to make is that I have to respectfully disagree with those who believe marriage is a “trap,” whether or not they are married themselves. A single person who believes this obviously isn’t ready for marriage. Despite my current situation, I never wished I were “free” from being married. I really loved being married, and I loved my husband (still do–although it’s much more complicated). In fact, for the first 15 years or so that we were together, I believed I was by far the luckier one in the relationship, because I don’t consider myself an ideal mate (what with the depression and all), but he seemed pretty terrific…and this wasn’t just the early-relationship “love is blind” factor, either, since it went on for 15 years! I still believe in marriage; I still believe in togetherness, in commitment for life, come what may. I believe that although some are not called to be married, those who are, are called with a purpose. One of the things that has always stayed with me from when we were going through marriage preparation classes is the occasion when the long-term married couple who was advising us said, “One of the purposes of marriage is to help each other get to heaven.” I am not sure where my husband would go if he were to die today, but–although I never speak to him of this–I am doing what I can to see that he ends up in the right place.

    Anyway…thank you for writing that blog post. I don’t know that everyone is meant to be married sooner or later, but I suspect that if you do have the desire to be part of a couple, there will be someone out there for you. And being lonely helps you appreciate the opportunities you have to be with someone else, and to cherish those when they happen (to try to make a virtue of necessity).

    Sorry about writing a novella in your comments! Best wishes to you as you seek your place in the world, and I hope to see many more of your fine essays in the years to come.

  39. I hate to say it and it took me a really long to learn it myself, but a significant other will never ever fix any of those psychological issues. The issues exist within your head. No woman in the world can fix it. However, relationships do often put tons of pressure on an individual and force him/her to change and this can lead sometimes to a stronger individual, one who can eventually be happy either with or without a significant other. But a woman can never truly fill a hole in another person’s psyche. In as much as a significant other is used to fill such a void, the bigger the void, the more unstable and volatile the relationship.

  40. That was beautiful and sad. Someone out there will be a very lucky girl to have your wit and sensitivity to adore! PS Did your “bump” go away yet?

  41. It is kind of amazing how we make the silly things so huge and ignore those that are so important.

    I’ve had one minor health issue after the other lately and a part of me knows there’s nothing to be worried about but when you have very little to keep you grounded it is hard to remember that and keep things small.

    You’re not alone.

  42. The nurse says, think logical, you know better than to let your imagination run wild.

    The single gal says, loneliness is a temporary condition, it will pass.

  43. “My problem is that I deal with my most of my fears in lonely place. Loneliness maims. Loneliness exaggerates and warps perceptive. No one should really be alone. Not really. Not ever.”

    this is so true for me too, it hit a note with me.. and it just occured to me that if so many people out there are lonely, atleast we are together in our loneliness, right?

  44. You do an important thing, by humanizing that loneliness for the rest of us. If at least you are alone, it’s good to know that you’re not alone in being alone, and the rest of us take comfort in that. You’re made of something tough Mr. Waiter (I still can’t get it in my head to call you anything otherwise), but even the tough are human and it’s the trials we face that make the accomplishments worthwhile. I imagine you’re less alone than how it feels, and it would be a shame to this earth if you got cancer, so I wouldn’t be too worried about it. Keep it going, because people listen to what you have to say, so if anyone has a reason to keep going, you’d be the one.

  45. God – your posts are the reason why I will read you before any other … hope you are now back home and not lonely anymore, but thanks for the immense pleasure you bring us mortals however you feel! :) Beautiful writing!

  46. gdj, you suck. Actually, you fucking suck. Your willingness to sit there and make such pronouncements about someone you don’t even know, solely to make their life a little bit worse says a LOT about you. I’d take “doughboy flash-in-the-pan-success,smoking ex-waiter” any day over your jaded, hateful self. Not to mention that even if you have read every word Waiter has ever written, you know nothing about his “venereal disease” (not that he has any) or his “conceited amourous attentions”. What, do you fancy yourself a writer? Your talentless, overblown prose would turn off any true editor. Get a life.

  47. There was an article in the Times a year or two ago that stated in Manhattan, single people nearly exceed married people.

    I can’t wait for the day when marriage becomes just another option and not the society-pressured, ‘license to condescend’ that it really is.

    How horrible for a person in this day and age to feel obligated to share their lives with another just because parents want it, or someone wants a ‘big day’, or worst of all, because they think it’s what they should do. Yet day after day people still stand at altars or before clerks and commit this very injustice to themselves. Right now as you read this some poor soul has just said ‘I do’ knowing in their hearts that they most certainly ‘do NOT’! But hey, at least there will be nice photographs and cake…

  48. I just had this horrible vision of the Pillsbury Doughboy walking into a doctor’s office with a lit ciigarette in his mouth and whispering, “I’ve got this itch ‘down there.’”

    He’s over forty and has never been married so he must’ve picked up his “dose” from his “long chain of women” like Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima, and Sara Lee. Poor little guy. I never knew his anti-social ways would get him into so much trouble.

    I’d love to hear what everyone who got married for the first time after 35 has to say to gdj’s comment!

  49. Today’s post brought tears to my eyes. Know that there are a lot of us out here saying a prayer for you today.

    Take care.

  50. For f*ck’s sake, you said it yourself. Man the f*ck up. Lack of a woman is not cause to be lonely. It just means you’re single. To all you saps lamenting about your being ‘lonely’. Remember, it’s not being forced upon you. If you’re ‘lonely’, it’s your own fault. Do something about it.

  51. Maybe not in ‘Vegas, but it’s good to be alone once in a while, for more than a few minutes.

    Without the distractions of other people, introspection is good for you. Like those moments spend looking in the mirror (literal and metaphorical at the same time!), spending some quality time with yourself can be disturbing, but I think it’s worth it.

    RE: your comments on how it’d be better with a close woman friend, maybe, but it’s very hard to be a satisfying long-term partner to someone else if you’re not firstly comfortable with yourself! There is no “knight in shining armor” who will come in and fix whatever’s making you unhappy!

  52. Oh honey. It would be cool if you met someone off your blog. Did you know that Fred Norris of the Howard Stern Show met his wife on a random dating game on the radio? They’ve been married forever and have a little girl.
    Some girl lurking, commenting, who knows you well from what you’ve written could be out there. Ahhh. romance.
    You are an awesome guy and you won’t be lonely for long. Swear.

  53. for admin @68 — I got married for the first time at a week before turning 49. We’ve been married for ten years now (well, in three weeks…). We will be together as long as we live — we are a great pair. Our relationship is very even — we love each other equally and we take turns being needy or strong. We support each other and we lean on each other. And most of all, we enjoy each other.

  54. for admin@68- married at 32 for the first time to a younger man. He was 26. Thirteen years later, I still love my younger man. Tell gdj to take a flying leap.

    Steve, aloneness is not necessarily a bad thing. I think loneliness, like misery, is optional. Good luck and good writing.

  55. Isnt it ironic how its the most crowded places that can make you feel so alone. I mean here you are in the city that never sleeps, in a city that is bursting at the seams with people. Every Lobby, Restaurant, Casino Floor, Night Club, are jam packed. It makes you feel a bit smaller. You become a shadow behind the “whales”, Starlets, Madison Avenue Tycoons, and even those regulars who in their regular world are just another somebody, but in Vegas they are the Champions of the Slots, The King of the Table, The Queen of Roullette.

    In times like these, especially when you travel alone that you can sometimes fold into yourself, and the demon of doubt sets in. I have experienced it myself. The best thing about the Demon, is hopefully the next day you get up, you go out, and you meet some wonderfully amazing people and added to your life is the depth of learning from others, and even though for a moment you felt so alone, you enjoyed the experience of getting out of the familiar apartment, and challenging yourself to try things that are new, and now when someone says, “When I was in Vegas…such and such.” You can relate. You have been there.

    Life is about the experiences you have and the people you meet along the way. I thank you for sharing those moments with us. We are all enriched by your experiences.

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  57. If all lonely people in Vegas would carry a tag, then all lonely people could get together and make new friends. I am in Vegas now, all by myself. Fortunately I’m 51 and experienced. I can handle the feelings of loneliness and no friends. But you will not make friends by being needy or chasing them. You have to occupy your time with activities, exercise, treat yourself to healthy food and then, by virtue of your being content with yourself, the right people will pop into your life and the wrong people will, well, leave alone, which is really best. Read this in Feb 2014, 5 years after the original post. Wow. Steve is probably married by now with children.

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