Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Bright Lights Zero
Becky Fuller wanted to wear a sequined headress and kick her legs in the air. She told her parents she was applying at UNLV to become a teacher. They accepted that, relieved Becky was no longer chirping about unlikely dreams like modelling and acting. Becky neglected to disclose that she wanted to go to Vegas to dance, dance, dance. In her mind, she'd audition for every stage show in town, and when each one accepted her, she'd pick her favorite. Success in Las Vegas was a ripened fruit dangling to be plucked.
Had her parents known her true choice of profession, they would've been furious. "Becky! A showgirl? That's a training ground for prostitutes! No way are you getting up on that stage. Those catty stage bitches have no futures. Their looks go and they end up depressed, high on drugs, and dead. You're going to a different college, and you're getting a degree. No daughter of mine is going to waste a bright future chasing after a second-rate showbiz fantasy." But they didn't know.
Becky figured she had until her first dismal report card to set her glittering future in motion. Upon arriving in Nevada, she set herself to research. Textbook money bought tickets for all the major productions. She spent seven nights a week watching the majestic synchronized contortions of successful swans gliding in garish glory.
Becky was a good dancer, but she lacked one crucial attribute: height. At 5'3", Becky was dwarfed by the tall, statuesque women with long legs and long steps. Audition after audition, she was turned away, never allowed a moment on stage to demonstrate her talents. The constant rejection burned. Becky's frustration swelled like a blister. She was about to rupture, her dreams trickling pus dissolving under hot water.
Becky felt bitter. Her dreams were denied due to her genes. Desire and skill had played no part. Becky wondered if there was a stage show somewhere with short girls. Besides the circus. She was in this dejected state of mind, sitting at a bus stop, when a grimy chick in fishnets and smudged mascara sat down beside her.
Tap tap tap. Becky looked over. The woman was tapping a brass pipe with a plastic lighter, peering into the bowl.
"What are you doing? You'll get arrested. Pot's illegal, you know."
The woman looked over at Becky, one eyebrow raised in scorn. "This ain't pot, honey. It's ice. Crystal meth. I love the stuff." The woman lit the pipe and inhaled a could of amphetamines.
"Why do it? It'll just ruin your life, you know. You already look skanky."
"Did I ask your opinion, bitch? For the record, I'm no skank. I'm a dancer. Well, I was anyways, and a damn good one until I broke my leg. Now I'm a fucking waitress. Ice ain't ruining my life, it's already ruined. I took this up cuz it helps me earn tips doing other things besides waitressing. Catch my drift?
The tirade unsettled Becky. "Uh...y..yeah."
"What's with your outfit? Aren't you a little short to be a dancer?"
Becky bit her lip and held back tears. "Yeah. Way too short."
"Hah. Don't get all misty on me, sister. You sound pathetic. There's no sympathy in this town, so buck up or go cry home to mommy."
Becky looked away, feeling homesick and retarded.
"Go ahead. C'mon. It'll cheer you up. Promise. Girl scout's honor."
Becky took the pipe and looked into the bowl. Inside sat a white clump burned brown on one side.
"What the hell. Gimme that lighter."
She lit the ice.
"Hold it. Hold it now."
Becky held it. Chainsaws revved in her brain. Electricity shot down her nerves. Her eyelids fluttered. Her toes twitched. She exhaled. "Ooooh. That's... crazy." Becky rocked back and forth.
"Can't sit still, can you honey? My name's Gina. What's yours?"
"Becky. I'm Becky."
"Welcome to Las Vegas, darlin'." 10:44 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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