These are the fish in my sea. Of all the men in Las Vegas, these are the ones that sought me out. Had I known that, I could have stayed home and gone to work.
I found it oddly comforting to see homeless people in Las Vegas. With all the glitz and shiny lights, I almost forgot the real world existed. But occasionally, poor people snuck onto the strip undetected. The bum Mel and I met on the last night there was the best of them all. He sat on the ground with a horrible cough but when he saw us he stood as though suddenly aware there were ladies in his presence. He asked for a quarter, so I gave him $2. I figured I had spent more than that on gambling, I could give something to a human for a change. He smiled at me and commented on how beautiful we looked in our dresses and heels. He said "If I weren't a bum, I would take you on a date." After a thoughtful pause, he added, "Maybe if I could take you on a date, I wouldn't be a bum." It was all I could do not to kiss him on the forehead. I didn't though - he was dirty and I was all dressed up.
The drunk sidled up to me on my second night we arrived. Mel and I were at the slots (where we could be found most of the time) and he sat down next to me. He told me how beautiful he thought I was and how "classic" my look was. I think it was mostly that he could see down my shirt from where he was sitting, but maybe he was sincere. He was European (Russian, to be precise) and very drunk - the kind of drunk that thinks he's charming, but admits to being a lush. He told me about his time in the Russian army and the time he spent in Afghanistan. He told me he knew I was Canadian because of how nice I was. I wanted to comment that I definitely was Canadian because if I wasn't, I would not be talking to him - I didn't say it though, because... well, I'm Canadian. When he asked what I did for a living (and I foolishly told him) he asked if he could come to Canada for counselling. I declined. Mel and I removed ourselves from the room as quickly as possible (which wasn't that quick because I was winning) stating we had plans to go to a club. He got up and stumbled away, I am assuming to find his next drink to guzzle and ear to bend.
My luck wouldn't be complete without an old man following me around. And in the last half hour of our stay, I wasn't disappointed. A lovely old man from the Carolina's sat by me and gave me tips on a game I had been playing for the better part of two days. He was sweet, so I tolerated him. I think he was disappointed when we finally had to go - I imagine that not many women my age were allowing him to finesse them. He didn't have enough money to make it worth their while. It wasn't uncommon to see 20 and 30 something women with 60 and 70 something men, but they were always accompanied by little bags sporting the names "Gucci" or "Fendi".
Thank goodness this wasn't the only attention I received, or the next time I travelled, I would be taking Grandma's advice and packing my Scrabble board.