Entering the Hilton’s elevator my room key, after a quick stop to let two stumbling drunk men off on the twenty-first floor, rockets Jodi and me to the thirty-eighth. “I certainly hope those two took the monorail,” I say to Jodi as the elevator door closes behind them.
Sighing, she responds, “John, your moral imperatives are showing again. Where are we?”
“Pardon?” I ask, picking up on the admonishment about the proverbial branch up my behind but missing her question’s context.
“Where are we, John? You know, ‘what happens in…?’” she punctuates the uncompleted interrogative with an eyebrow raise.
“Oh,” I respond, still a bit groggy. “Vegas. But I wasn’t admonishing their drinking, just hoping they didn’t drive. Monorail, taxi, pedicab, whatever. Just not driving. You know what the DUI level was in Michigan when I was 18? Point one five. Crazy, huh? I just don’t want them hurting somebody. Or themselves.”
“Hmm. Okay, kemo sabe, if that’s your story I’ll accept it. Drunk driving is certainly no bueno. I just hope they’re safe in there, too,” she answers as we step off the elevator. “Assuming they’re not too drunk. Point one five, huh?! That is crazy.”
“‘Safe in there’?” I repeat. “I don’t, uh, huh?”
Jodi smiles and shakes her head. “You really are Midwestern, aren’t you? I think they’re going to need party-hats. Hey! Speaking of not driving, have you tried this new UBER thing? Supposed to come to Vegas next year. Sounds interesting, don’t you think?”
“UBER? Yeah. I guess. To tell you the truth I hardly ever take a taxi, let alone this UBER thing. Have you tried it? Seems, I don’t know, unregulated?”
“Well, Will Smith, we are in the wild, wild west. Taxis can be crazy expensive. Seems to be taking off anyway.”
I swipe the door’s sensor with my room key and we enter, the low watt lamp on the desk creating a subdued but sufficient light. I inhale Jodi’s lovely scent as she squeezes by me and then close the door. Out of habit I start to flick the night lock on but stop as I remember that Joe will need to get in later and then smile because I’ll also need to let Jodi out. She breaks my barely coherent reverie by asking, “Bathroom?”
“Huh? Oh! Sure,” I reply, again amazing myself with suaveness. “Right through here,” I add, pointing to and walking toward my room, “use mine.”
“These are nice digs,” she answers, adding, “be right out,” before closing the bathroom door.
I slip out of my sports coat, kick my pile of dirty clothes farther behind a chair and take my shoes off before heading to the kitchenette where I fill two tall tumblers with ice and water.