By Emily P.
I think Desi Mo was right when she said that money is a means of control. I was getting money before, so I felt like I was in control. But I didn't have the most money, and therefore didn't have the most control. It seems so simple, now that I've strayed from that path.
Now I'm broke, living with my grandpa. What can I say? It's possible to move forward without regret. It doesn't make it any easier to see where you're going.
Mostly I just chill. I scroll listlessly through Tumblr. I play guitar badly in my room. I let my nails grow extra long and then I play with their clippings before flushing them down the toilet. I fuck with my hair.
Grandpa lives in a Victorianesque two-story with fading Robin's Egg Blue paint, across the street from a park in Sparks, Nevada. I forgot how sometimes, as I grow older, it can feel like places are actually getting smaller, while I stay the same size. It's not the feeling I expected: a child coming to terms with the objective size of the house. It's staying that little child, watching the world shrink.
I have a lot of free time to rifle through Grandpa's shit. I play his "Elvis Sings Gospel" record on his decrepit turntable and when I get really bored I try and scratch with it. I take clippings from old magazines and turn them into covers for mix tapes. I stroke off to his stag mags, ones with titles like "I Am a Small Town Call-Girl," "Gentle Slaughter of the Virgin Bride," etc. etc.
Grandpa worked for the Post Office on Virginia St. in Reno when he was on furlough from the Navy. He used to take post cards home with him, he said he just liked to tune in on strangers' lives now and again. He always had a voyeuristic streak in him. I had to get it from somewhere.
Let's check out some of these post cards, eh?
The MGM Grand. I was there once, on a family trip as a kid, and then again as an adult for work. Both times, I found myself standing in front of a shower, periodically venturing my hand in to see if it was warm enough to step into.
Jai Alai is a Basque sport. It's kind of like raquetball mixed with lacrosse. It had some golden days in the late 70's. I met a guy who played it in the MGM Grand in Reno, before it changed into the Hilton, and then again into Grand Sierra Resort. He confided in me that those were the best years of his life.
I can relate. It can feel very lonely out there in the desert. It's somehow more comforting to be alone out there, though, than feeling alone in a crowd of people.
Living in Nevada, you sometimes wonder why silver is inherently less valuable than gold. Which starts to lead you down the worm hole of trying to figure out why we value different materials differently, of trying to recall who taught us to value them. Silver built this state, so what does that mean if we're built on an inferior precious metal?
"Having a fabulous time at night, but couldn't stand it long." I feel you, Hope and Larry. When I'm out, having a good time, there's usually a point when it suddenly changes, and I realize I have a choice to make: to keep pretending like I'm enjoying myself, or to turn suddenly morose and bum everyone out. It can be one of the hardest choices to make. I usually go for the first approach.
It's been a great journey watching the process of this new bridge. I remember seeing them lay out the sandbags before demolishing the old bridge. That was when the levels of the Truckee were slowed to a depressing trickle, an almost swamp-like puddle, riddled with clouds of flies.
It was easy to tune out the construction zone, it felt like it was there forever. Then, suddenly, I found myself downtown, and the new bridge was finished. There are lights on the bottom of it that reflect on the water. It's beautiful. Good job, Reno.
"Night descends on this Nevada city. Churchill County Museum is located here."
Never before have two sentences more perfectly encapsulated the town of Fallon. I might be going there soon to buy a car. It smells kind of weird.