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View Poll Results: Should I post AC TR as a preamble to Vegas March Madness TR?
Yes. I'm bored in my cubicle and willing to waste my employer's resources. 55 80.88%
No. This is a LAS VEGAS thread. Plus, Atlantic City is stupid and weird. 6 8.82%
Bastard. 10 14.71%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-23-2018, 06:54 PM   #76
livegamelive1
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Ummmmm


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Old 02-23-2018, 09:28 PM   #77
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Wow Pixelpusher, great start, great writing as always. Building the tension, looking forward to the big reveal.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:32 PM   #78
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

The master has returned.
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:42 AM   #79
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Looking forward to the rest of the story...
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:49 AM   #80
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Looking forward to this....
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:37 PM   #81
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

I like it

"I been gone for a year, crazy stuff happened, some posts were not made by me,its unbelievable and Ill tell you all about it...."

But first here is a hand that I played
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Old 02-24-2018, 03:12 PM   #82
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

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Originally Posted by IAMthepokerhack View Post
Looking forward to this....

x100
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Old 02-24-2018, 03:14 PM   #83
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Cliffs; More walls of text, basketball; the Rio; Penn and Teller.

I wake with a start on Thursday, look at the clock and curse myself while I think about the line downstairs in the book. Then I remember that Iíd gotten a few bets in at Caesar's and opened an MGM account last night. I gleefully place a bet on Notre Dame while in my underwear. With no urgency to get out of bed and stand on line, I order room service and settle in to watch the game. Ghost, who is not making an appearance this year, and can go radio silent for months at a time, is suddenly active on the group chat. He thinks Notre Dame is facing a trap game, and sure enough I can barely hold my eggs down when they win but fail to cover. McLovin, surprisingly, is awake and responsive; heís at the Hard Rock. He agrees to meet at the Aria book in an hour and a half.

An hour later, I am showered, dressed, and walking into the Aria poker room. I put my name on an already crazy list and go find a seat at the bar outside of the sports book. I slowly piss away $100 on video poker when McLovin arrives, looking like something the cat dragged in. This is his accustomed state while in Vegas, but this time it is not due to 37 white russians and a 29 hour craps bender. He claims to be feeling better but I keep him at armís length anyway. I donít want him breathing those McLovin superbugs on me, God only knows what new infective agents he invited into his system by walking into that clinic. We stroll into the book. McLovin hasnít downloaded a betting app yet, but since he always skips the line by betting horses, it doesnít matter. We have opposite ends of the Vanderbilt/Northwestern game and itís a sweat. I win my first basketball bet when Vanderbilt inexplicably commits a foul while up by one. Northwestern calmly sinks two free throws to take the lead and Vandy canít hit a game winning basket at the buzzer. Huzzah.

My phone buzzes; my PLO seat is available. I get quickly coolered in a couple of situations and lose $300 in no time. The game is super nitty, which is super annoying. Go play NLH you nut peddlers. I take a smoke break and go check on McLovin. Heís drinkingÖ.coffee? Apparently he is taking doctorís orders to heart. For now. My stomach grumbles as I exit the book and I see thereís no line at the 50/50 pizza bar. This must be a sign, thereís usually a long line all day. I grab a slice from the cheery, beautiful woman at the counter and when I turn to head toward back to the poker room, I see that there are a dozen people now behind me on line. Serendipity. Maybe my luckís turning.

Iím not that lucky. The game stays nitty and I run cold for a looooong time. Iím relieved when McLovin comes in and pulls me away. Heís got tickets for us to go see a taping of Penn and Tellerís TV show Fool Us over at the Rio. I rack out with a loss of just under $500. After a quick change and a short disco nap, we meet up and grab an Uber. Somehow, in all of my trips to Vegas, I have never set foot in the Rio. Because of the cyclical nature of my work, I can never play in the WSOP - late spring and early summer are my busiest time of the year - and work always takes priority over poker. My knowledge of the Rio comes from friends who play the series annually and the reviews have not been kind. So Iím surprised that the place feels downmarket but pleasant. Iíd had visions of floors uncleaned for decades and circle bars infested with $17 hookers. Itís actually pretty cheery in there and I look forward to doing a bit of gambling after the show. My mood darkens when we reach the hall outside of the Penn and Teller theatre and see lines that stretch seemingly forever.

Pixel: WTF?
McLovin: Itís a big theater, and they need to fill it for the TV cameras.
Pixel: I hate you.
McLovin: Itís free and Alyson Hanniganís the host. I love her.
Pixel: Who the hell is that?
McLovin: Ever see How I Met Your Mother or American Pie?
Pixel: Wait, the girl with the flute at band camp?
McLovin: You should see her real life sex tape.
Pixel: Seek help.

We sign the requisite release forms and are directed to the end of an interminable line. Youíd think they were giving away free money and cocaine. The only thing that makes the next hour and fifteen minutes in line (you read that right) tolerable is the couple immediately in front of us. Theyíre an attractive duo in their late 20s or early 30s and the guyís date is beyond mesmerizing. Aside from the fact that sheís drop dead gorgeous and has a mind blowing figure, she is wearing sheer pants that are so thin they must be made from dragonfly wings. Theyíre nearly nonexistent, and as transparent as saran wrap. The tiniest of g-strings is the only thing preventing her from being arrested on indecency charges, even in Las Vegas. Early on in our wait, i catch the eye of her date and just give him the slightest approving nod and smile. He is the king of the castle, and he knows it. Bastard. Youíre our hero.

McLovinís life is spared by the ability to stream the games on our phones. FGCU is down 4 at the half to FSU when we are finally ushered to our seats. We are seats 3 and 4 in our row, and the couple to our left is young and attractive. One of the show runners comes down and asks the guy if he's OK being on TV. He's pumped. Then they ask him if he's afraid of big spiders.
McLovin and I definitely got some TV time when they "spontaneously" pulled him from the audience later.

The show experience is fun but my hands begin to hurt from clapping. They have to refilm some of the interstitial segments multiple times and Hannigan, Penn and Teller are constantly exhorting the crowd for more enthusiasm, louder applause, bigger hoots and catcalls. Theyíre all pros though and manage to keep us thoroughly entertained. Alyson and Penn are funnier during the moments that are not being filmed than during the actual portions of the show that will wind up on TV.

When all the film is finally in the can, we filter out into the main slots area of the Rio. A cover band is sweating their way through Motley Crueís catalog and the drunk middle aged women that make up their audience are being whipped into a frenzy. I love you, Vegas. We decide gambling will wait and get in a cab, heading for Raku where we work our way through the omakase menu. McLovin decides that heís going to test his antibiotics and tucks into some sake. Weíre nearly finished when the group chat starts lighting up. BigSky and ABC will be landing at McCarran at nearly the same time. SurferDude, whoís driving up from San Diego, is an hour behind them.

BigSky is a soft spoken Montana native who makes McLovin look like a lavish spender but has a taste for massive quantities of cannabis. ABC is a New York bred, Jersey based salesman with a predilection for foreign women with giant breasts. Heís an ardent Trump fan, plays drums and builds remote controlled cars. SurferDude is Jersey bred and recently moved to San Diego so he could surf every morning without having to trudge over snow covered dunes to get his fix. BigSky is staying with McLovin at Hard Rock; ABC is heading to the Aria. SurferDude, who claims to be looking for a spiritual experience, plans to do very little gambling and is not staying on Strip. In fact, he is not staying indoors; heís booked a campsite out at Red Rock Canyon. Go figure.

Next: The whole gang; Stillness in the desert; the last normal night I will experience for a year (and maybe my life)
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:29 PM   #84
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Awesome as always. Will you be heading back in a few weeks? I’ll be there sweet 16 weekend as usual.
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:54 PM   #85
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Canít wait to read.

Odds that...

OP ended up in the hospital/ER over the last year: 2:1
That the hospital stay exceeded 2 nights: 7:1
OP won or lost >$100K: 1.5:1
OP is still married to the same wife: 1.8:1
OP was arrested: 1.5:1
OP visits a gentlemenís club: 1.2:1
At least one member of OPís entourage goes to jail, ODs, or impregnates a stripper: 1:2




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Old 02-24-2018, 08:27 PM   #86
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Dam some mystique in LVL - I love it!


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Old 02-24-2018, 11:06 PM   #87
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Thread has potential... to go down as the greatest in LVL history? I'm skeptical, but the hints so far are incredible.
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:58 PM   #88
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

So returning home this weekend was super emotional. In the end, I went with the story Junkins and the agency prepared. I'm telling the real story here because A) very few people on here know me IRL and B) no one's going to believe it anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Nit View Post
Best welcome back post ever!
Thanks, we'll see if you still feel that way at the end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magking1 View Post
I like it

"I been gone for a year, crazy stuff happened, some posts were not made by me,its unbelievable and Ill tell you all about it...."

But first here is a hand that I played
Just the way my memory works, by organizing chronologically it helps my recall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdywax View Post
Awesome as always. Will you be heading back in a few weeks? Iíll be there sweet 16 weekend as usual.
I'm playing an angle with all involved now and hope to return for opening weekend, but I have butterflies about going back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therrinn View Post
Canít wait to read.

Odds that...

OP ended up in the hospital/ER over the last year: 2:1
That the hospital stay exceeded 2 nights: 7:1
OP won or lost >$100K: 1.5:1
OP is still married to the same wife: 1.8:1
OP was arrested: 1.5:1
OP visits a gentlemenís club: 1.2:1
At least one member of OPís entourage goes to jail, ODs, or impregnates a stripper: 1:2
Someone should take all of this action because...none of the above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiteMeFish View Post
Thread has potential... to go down as the greatest in LVL history? I'm skeptical, but the hints so far are incredible.
You should be skeptical. By the end of the tale I will likely be a 2p2 pariah.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:26 PM   #89
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

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Old 02-26-2018, 02:05 PM   #90
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdywax View Post


+1
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:17 PM   #91
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Hey man I really hope all is well. Regards and looking forward to reading the story.


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Old 02-26-2018, 11:33 PM   #92
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Cliffs: More walls of text; the gang arrives; metaphysics

McLovin and I return to my room at Caesarís to toke up. ABC and BigSky arrive within minutes of each other and we get down to a serious smoke session. McLovin gives up quickly, weed does not give him the pleasure that alcohol does. The rest of us plow through a good portion of my stash. Thankfully, SurferDude is on his way and is bringing a smorgasbord of California goodies with him. He had planned to head straight for the canyon but I convince him to join us at Caesarís first and tell him Iíll take a roundtrip ride out there with him if he brings the goods to us first. He shows just as Arizona is finishing their demolition of North Dakota, and we are like children at Santa Clausí feet as he pulls goodie after goodie from his bag. White Walker OG, gummies, Rice Krispie treats, prerolls. Heís a boss.

Stoned small talk is made, ABC and SurferDude have never met BigSky and some interesting culture clash ensues. They are wildly different personalities, with a love of that Hobbit leaf the unifying factor. SurferDude eventually breaks us up, heís itching to get to the campsite, get set up and return me to the Strip. The rest of the crew is utterly uninterested in leaving the land of sensory overload and we take our leave as ABC is unsuccessfully trying to convince the others to take a trip to the Rhino. SurferDude and I hit the parking garage and head west. In the short ride out of town, he tells me about his drift toward spirituality since departing Jersey for San Diego.

Pixel: So you found God?
SurferDude: Iím just learning to become still and listen to the Universe.
Pixel: You lost me.
SurferDude: Not far east of me is the Capitan Grande Reservation. The Kueyaay tribes controlled the southwest for centuries until we pretty much wiped them out. After San Diego got big, the government screwed the Kueyaay over again and gave them the worst, most inhospitable land in the area as a reservation. Most of them didnít make it. The ones that did got screwed yet again when the government flooded the only good land in the reservation in the 1930ís to create the El Capitan reservoir. Now, almost no one lives there. I know a couple of Kueyaay who say it's a place where spirits gather because there are no people there to disturb them. They say it's Tuchapaiís favorite place.
Pixel: Still lost.
SurferDude: Tuchapaiís the main dude, the creator. After he died, his soul became the moon.
Pixel: Not the Trickster?
SurferDude: No. Moot point. The real point is itís a peaceful place where people donít live. I started going out there once a week and learning stillness.
Pixel: See any UFOs?
SurferDude: No, but youíd be amazed how much is happening in the darkness when you clear your mind and just open your eyes. Tiny meteors burning up in the atmosphere. Flocks of bats feeding en masse. Satellites making their way across the sky. Lots of planes. Thankfully thereís no airport nearby so theyíre not low enough to break the silence.
Pixel: Ayahuasca?
SurferDude: Nothing. No weed, no alcohol. No cellphone, no music. No companions. Just the wind and the stars. You could call it a form of meditation, but Iím not following a method or anything. I just found my own way to become still. I go out there at night, lie on my back, stare at the stars and listen to the wind. Itís far enough outside of San Diego to be devoid of light pollution. Itís best during a new moon, when the entire Milky Way reveals itself. Been learning a lot about myself.
Pixel: Cool.

Weíre approaching the rim of the Canyon. The lights of Vegas are a dim memory to our backs. The night is very black, save the stars.

Pixel: You know what? Pull over.

He does and I point to a flat-topped boulder about 200 feet off the road.

Pixel: See that rock? Let me try a little stillness. You go check in and get your campsite set up and pick me up here on your way back.

He smiles, lets me out and continues west toward the center of the canyon. It is very, very quiet. As his tails lights become tiny dots, all I can hear is sand moving across the desert floor in the slight breeze. The stars are spectacular. The only star field Iíve seen with my own eyes that compares was when I spent a couple of nights camping on the Tennessee side of the Smoky Mountains. Itís literally breathtaking. I resist the urge to pull out my phone and shoot pictures. There's just enough light for me to pick my way toward the boulder and I step carefully in the darkness. Thankfully, the rock is not difficult to climb and soon I am supine on its face and staring up in wonder. I almost miss Orion due to the enormous number of stars to which my New Jersey eyes are unaccustomed. At home, I often sit in the backyard at night staring up at him and his neighbor Polaris. There are few other constellations bright enough to counteract New York Cityís long reaching glare, even at twenty milesí distance. Out here, however, he is nearly lost in a riot of millions of twinkling jewels. It is so beautiful. I feel so small. And then it happened.

Next: The part where I lose most of the readers ITT and no one on these boards ever believes another word I say
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:46 AM   #93
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Holy crap moar.
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Old 02-27-2018, 05:02 AM   #94
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Have literally no idea where this story is going but I can't wait to read it
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:49 PM   #95
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

don't know what to believe; my natural skepticism tells me this story is a tall-tale, but that doesn't change my desire or excitement to read it
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Old 02-27-2018, 02:25 PM   #96
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

in before abducted by aliens
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Old 02-27-2018, 05:50 PM   #97
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloppyJ View Post
in before abducted by aliens
Phuck me, it's gotta be, the deadhead chemistry, the blotter got right on top of me, got me seein' E-motherphuckin-T!
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:56 PM   #98
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

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Old 02-28-2018, 05:31 PM   #99
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Mhuahaha, great threads! Well written and fun stories!! You are the master of cliffhanging, that's for sure
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Old 02-28-2018, 06:17 PM   #100
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Re: March Madness 2017 TR, Jersey Boys Edition

Cliffs: walls of text; the part where most readers check out; just the beginning

The stars above me start to look a little odd, as though Iím looking at them through the bottom of a tall glass. I wonder if this is due to sensory deprivation, then chastise myself; only an urbanite would think of night in the wild as devoid of sensory input. I can smell the desert, hear the wind, and I can definitely see. Is this what SurferDude sees when he achieves stillness? Then the distortion moves. It is descending, coming closer as though it feels my presence, my attention. In this small space in the air above me, the distortion increases and I begin to see faint flashes of color, like light refracting through a plastic sheet being bent bent or crumpled. Is this how vision quests begin? I wish I knew more about local tribal lore. Do the Paiute have similar gods to the Kueyaay? I look left, then right. Nothing strange in sight. Back up, the disturbance is definitely coming closer. It is definitely aware of me. It is aware. It is formless, but it is right above me. It has no surface, but colors faintly play on it, the stars clear, though distorted, through it. For some reason, I am not afraid. I should be. I should be terrified, running in any direction, screaming into the thin desert air. But I'm not. It hovers above me. Somehow, I know that itís alive, that itís conscious, that it may be as curious about me as I am about it.

It coalesces just a few feet above me, the stars distorting slightly behind it as though Iím seeing them through the heat rising from hot tarmac on a summer day. It reminds me of the camouflage of the Predator stalking Arnold and crew, minus the murderous intent. Is this Tuchapai? Is it the Trickster? An alien? We sit there, in the still of the night, motionless. Me on the rock, the disturbance in the air. Slowly, I notice the subtle colors repeating a pattern. Is it trying to communicate? I lift my arm, reaching toward it with my hand, extending my index finger. My fingertip brushes one of the colors. I feel nothing corporeal, no surface of any kind but a tiny thrill moves through my arm and I can feel the hair there stand up. Still I feel no fear. I feel connection.

I flash back to childhood. Iím in the Catskill Mountains on a family trip. Iíve left the cabin while my family finishes breakfast and I am exploring the surrounding forest. I am careful not to stray so far that I lose sight of the smoke rising from the cabinís chimney. I take a rest on a log at the edge of a clearing when a fawn emerges from the wood. It sees me and we both remain perfectly still for a moment. It moves into the center of the clearing munching on grass. I still have not moved. It moves closer, following a small ridge of grass taller than the rest, eating as it moves. It comes within twelve feet of me, ten, eight. Slowly, I reach down by my feet. The fawn is unperturbed. I pull a handful of grass from the earth. It comes closer, six feet, then four. When it is within armís reach, I gently extend my hand, offering the grass. It comes closer, smells the offered food, begins to eat. I open my palm and it finishes the grass. Tenderly, I put my hand on its head. Our eyes meet. Two living things look at one another. The moment seems to stretch on, this strange wonderful connection. Then the animal sniffs at the air and wanders away nibbling at the grass along its path.

That moment has stayed with me forever, a formative experience in my young life that still springs into memory with regularity. However, at no time did I think the deer was trying to communicate with me. It would not stand on its hind legs and do the Lindy. It would not make an impassioned plea for environmental conservation and free corn. That memory is eclipsed by the present in the desert night. It comes closer, brushes against my arm, that same electricity raising my hair again. We dance around each other in this way, like two children at a vacation resort, who discover that they donít share the same language but happily bounce a beach ball back and forth before their respective parents come to drag them away toward evening plans.

It brushes against my other arm and I let out a stupid giggle, breaking the silence. It rolls over, colors changing, and brushes my arm again. Is that its equivalent of laughter?

In the distance, I can see the pinpoints of headlights in the center of the canyon. I feel disappointment. Will this end when SurferDude returns? Will my new friend depart like a deer in the woods? I donít know how, but it clearly senses the sudden change in my mood. The colors subtly shift from purple/green dominance to blue. Then more points of light appear. In the sky. Its colors change radically from blue to yellow to almost all red. The distortions seem to vibrate more quickly. What is happening? The lights in the sky begin to head in our direction. I get the distinct feeling that the change in its disposition is something approximating fear. It comes closer to me, very close, almost right up against my skin, flattening over me, spreading. It vibrates more and more quickly, the undulating colors not getting brighter but shifting quickly, within the spectrum of reds. I almost feel as though it is asking for something. Permission? The lights on the ground are still far away but those in the sky are getting closer. Helicopters. They will pass over us before SurferDude arrives. Now I can see that they are low, their searchlights trained on the ground. They will be here in minutes.

It coalesces over me, its lights mostly aggregated near my eyes, the colors pulsating red. It is asking. I whisper my answer into the wind. ďYes.Ē

Next: the authorities and the return to Las Vegas
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