Dear Las Vegas, I am sorry.

Dear Las Vegas,

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for all the things I said about you. I’m sorry for saying how much I dreaded visiting you for work. I’m sorry for what I said about how fake you were, how crowded and expensive you’d become, how uncomfortably hot you were. Yours is a dry heat, and that is the best kind. I’m sorry for saying that you’d gotten too big, that you reeked of smoke, that you were killing the planet with your frivolous use of electricity, water and the Backstreet Boys. I’m sorry for dissing you for consorting with anyone who’d have you, no matter how coarse and corpulent; after all, I was one of them.

After so much time apart, I’ve come to realize: I miss you.

I miss your swanky lobby bars. I miss your five-digit room numbers that kept my mind spry. I miss the 20-story window-clings for DJs I’ve never heard of, the showrooms featuring acts I’ve forgotten about, and billboards for “revues” that have relocated Strip-adjacent. I miss your cooking; you could cook anything and everything! I miss your excitement, your sexiness, your million-dollar style. I miss your action, your excess. There is a hole in my heart that can only be filled by your audacious neon-spangled swagger.

I’d like to see you again.

I know, it sounds crazy. After all, you treated me pretty bad over the years. You shredded my knees and warped my feet with your detestably thin and grossly designed convention carpeting. You forced me to “fudge” a few details of my expense reports (but never with my current employer!). You exploited my weakness for the tables, the slots, the ponies and the up-all-night benders. Okay, those weren’t entirely your fault. I have only myself to blame, along with a few bachelor parties and that guy from sales. Why did you have to be so gosh darned irresistible?

Again, I’m sorry, I didn’t want for you to be hurt. All I want is to be back with you and so many other things I treasure: the people and the work that have enriched my career and life.

Be well, Las Vegas, stay healthy and know that you are loved.

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