On Friday, I’m headed east for Reno, Nevada and Virginia City. The weather is supposed to be perfect – sunny and cool. When I planned this trip at least a couple of months ago, I had a plan in mind. I’d go to the nice little one-day writer’s conference at TMCC – it’s a very inexpensive one filled with information and down-to-earth people and it’s one of my favorite small writer’s conferences. At one time Floyd Salas, my teacher, friend and mentor taught there.
But that wasn’t all I had in mind as I made my plans. I’d been talking to my big baritone-voiced, blue eyed guy Mike Halloran, and we were trying to figure out how we could make our get aways. He said he wished I’d invited him to the Claremont on New Year’s Eve with the Sun Kings because he would have gotten a room for the night and I would not have had to listen to that hippie guy rant and rave about how superficial it was for people to want to spend their money to rent a room for a night at a place like the Claremont Hotel, or any hotel for that matter. But it didn’t happen. Instead, I’d called Mike Halloran right after midnight when the Sun Kings sang Hey Jude with everyone, to wish him a happy new year. I could barely hear him on the cell phone and hippie guy had already left me alone there.
So, I’d planned this trip to Reno, a getaway for the weekend for me and Mike Halloran. He’d drive us up there in his nifty, quiet Prius because I was sure he’d be more comfortable doing that and besides, being a passenger in my car might not be so comfortable for this 6 foot 4 inch guy who had a stroke just a year ago. I’d reserve a nice room at Johnny Ascwaga’s Nugget in Sparks, my favorite place to stay at Reno – it’s actually located in Sparks. The tower rooms are incredibly luxurious and fun with the soft sheets, plush carpets and comfy furniture, so that we could sit and talk or lie in bed or do whatever we wanted. We would sleep together in a king-size bed, kiss, touch and hold each other all night long – make each other feel good in our own unique way. Although things don’t happen in the normal way with Mike, they do happen…and we’re both happy and satisfied in the end, and that’s what matters.
Mike doesn’t sleep through the night well, but that would be okay. He could get up and sit on the plush couch and watch TV if he wanted to. Then he’d lay back down and hold me…and I’d feel his warmth and his gentleness…
We’d have an amazing weekend together at the hotel and then on Sunday afternoon, we’d make the drive to Virginia City and stay at one of the old hotels there on Sunday night because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do – what a romantic time we’d have at one of the old hotels. Mike has trouble walking too far, but that would be okay. We’d get to the Mark Twain Book Store, and he’d love that – we’d spend at least a couple of hours looking over old books and we’d eat at the saloons that transported us back to a different place and time. We’d stay in one of the rooms that’s known to be haunted – and it will be dark, quiet, peaceful and incredibly lustful in that room.
The weekend would end with both of us knowing we had to go back to our regular lives, but hanging on to those precious memories…
But, in reality, Mike Halloran had to turn me down for this weekend. He’s going on a business trip to Los Angeles next week and just can’t leave for an entire weekend. “We’ll spend the weekend together when the stars are aligned properly,” he said to be, sort of jokingly, sort of not.
I felt disappointment and sadness, but I didn’t want him to know.
“It’s okay,” I said to him, as if it didn’t matter.
So now I’m taking my daughter Megan and her boyfriend Josh to Reno and to Virginia City. We’ll probably stay with my son’s friends for a couple of nights before heading off to Virginia City on Sunday to stay in that old hotel for the night. I know that Megan and Josh will love Virginia City – with its old buildings and wooden plank for a sidewalk, taking one back at least 150 years, when Mark Twain lived there and wrote for the local newspaper.
So things didn’t work out exactly as I’d planned them…it’s the story of my life.