Streets: A refugee tale

Originally presented in Five/One Magazine, Summer 1998


Well, by the time this article reaches print, it will have been eight months. Eight long, eventful, happy, sad, insane, full, calm, nonstop Washington-filled months. And some of you probably don’t know I’m gone. So in these eight months, what has this Five/One alumni learned from life?

Streets. I have learned all about Streets. Not 21 Jump Street, not the place where our house sits in the middle of, but the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between the stone cold pavement in your town and mine. As I sit on my balcony and look at the street, I start to think about the sort of people that tread on that bumpy gravel. You’ve got the same people that you have in every town. The jocks, the hippies, the punks and the unaccepted. But something is different. So I start comparing this Washington street to the Las Vegas street I knew for nine years. It’s amazing what comes to mind.

When you look at a street, what do you see? What attitudes do you see? When I stare down at the street below me, I see every attitude in the world except one – mine. It is 20 feet away and as impenetrable as Elizabeth Hurley’s undergarments. Slowly my mind drifts back to the Las Vegas streets. I could almost melt right into that hot, rugged Maryland Parkway gravel. It is amazing that you can feel so out of place somewhere, leave, then realize you were in your element more than you would have ever believed.

That is what is unique to the Las Vegas streets. Anyone and everyone can dissolve right into them. You’ve got your great-great-great grandmother in Summerlin. You’ve also got that guy asking for change outside the 7-Eleven at Harmon Avenue and Maryland Parkway. Yet they both melt right into the streets and dance together in some sort of gravel-filled tango. Maybe none of you can see this, but I promise you – move somewhere where the streets resist your uniqueness and you will suddenly understand how open and almost engulfing the streets are in Vegas.

So does this mean I want to move back to Vegas? Unless it involves some combination of Cameron Diaz, hot caramel topping, and a chandelier, I would have to say no. But I miss almost all of you.

Well, my Five/One droogs, the time draws near to bring this rant to an end. I wish you all a pleasant summer and fall, and in the early winter I will be making my way back for some sort of matrimony celebration. Until then, keep your ears open to the welcome call of the Las Vegas streets.

Your favorite escapee,

Cap’n Bohab, High Ordained Reverend of the Church of Five/One

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