• ’twas

    By Joshua Baldwin

    It rained in Los Angeles the night of December 23. At the crowded airport terminal bar, a woman knitted a blanket and ordered another whiskey and cola.

    Christmas Eve in the western Las Vegas suburbs. A cold and gray morning, with snow on the mountaintops.

    Casino, lunchtime. The throngs at the sports book ate bowls of nachos and drank buckets of beer. At the deli, families waited in line for hot dogs.

    Las Vegas Cremations, Payday Loans, A-1 Vacuum and Sewing, Nevada Surgical Suites. Past the tire shop, then the boxing gym, and a left on Main Street. The sky darkened and it started to rain.

    Don’t you know little fool. You never can win. Use your mentality. Wake up to reality.

    Looking out from a fourteenth-floor terrace in the middle of the night, the distant Strip trembled and winked like a carnival Manhattan.

    Christmas noon at the shopping center. Can I help you? No. Park’s closed. Park’s closed? This is private property, I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.

    Later, out in the canyons, peacocks moped the grounds of a fake old town.