Stumbling around the check in and registration area of the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada I reach into my pocket and feel the thin, crumpled plastic baggie that contains the homegrown magic mushrooms a friend of mine at work recently gave me.
It's going to be a good night.
Not even twenty minutes ago I was so tired I thought for sure we'd be checking in and I'd be curling up in bed, but clearly I have forgotten the pulse of Vegas. The city itself is the anti-sleep; a mecca of artificial environment designed specifically to combat the human mind's insistence – after so much time spent awake and engaged – to shut down and recharge itself. With such a cluster of Will and agenda all shared by so many powerful ideas out in the middle of nowhere (read: no ideas) the City of light that floats in the middle of the Mojave Desert is itself something of an entity; a sentient being that beckons people in and then consumes of them what it can. Some it gets worse than others, just as some drugs or people can become parasitic to people, and bit by bit, year by year the vast and hungry egregore* that is Las Vegas, Nevada grows more and more powerful and is able to feed itself better, much like a person starting a job at entry level and slowly working up the ladder of position and pay rate, until it's no longer required they 'dine within their budget'.
Think about i: Las Vegas is such a powerful entity that the laws we know in the United States of America breakdown and do not completely apply within the city limits. What other person or place can sidestep such tried and true societal guidelines such as 'No prostitution' or 'no public imbibing of alcohol' (We're talking in the U.S.)?
So we checked into the Luxor and before we'd even made it up to the 6th floor of the West Tower I'd consumed most of my bag of party favors. Sleep still skirted around the peripheral of my consciousness but now it spoke to me in a manner that promised to return when called upon.
After the night's adventure had run its course.
Adventure here may be a bit of a misleading word. There was no wham bam excitement. No after hours parties, high speed chases or fist fights. The adventure I had in Las Vegas boiled down to a conversation. A conversation I had with an ancient, mystical being whose conscious body on Earth is a tiny fungus known by, among other names, Amanita Muscaria.
There are plenty of cultures, all quite older than our own, that consider the psilocibin an old and wise citizen of the Universe, one who beckons interaction with us. You see, Muscaria is a teacher, and it is always looking for new students to hear its stories. Why wouldn't we want to?
Why wouldn't we want to learn? To challenge the, frankly, pedestrian view of the Universe we as human beings on Earth in the twenty-first century have? Because it challenges the status quo? Let me remind you again that Mr. Vegas gets to challenge the status quo, and he wins.
So that's it; the jumping off point. Mr. Vegas might seem an affectionate, embellished moniker from a fiction writer, but he's real (or she – I'm lazy, not sexist), and I challenge anyone to try to kill him. You can't. Thing is though, it might be really interesting to study him as a hit man studies his kill. Day in, day out. Then who knows what might happen one day?
* Which for simplicity's sake I will quote Wikipedia's definition here: an occult concept representing a "thoughtform" or "collective group mind", an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people. ...