When I first arrived in Las Vegas, it was daylight. The antiseptic glare of sunlight wasn't enough to bleach the cracks and fissures otherwise unseen in the desert mirage. A drab, run-down illusion of escape filled with dazed thrill-seekers waiting for the sun to disappear.

By night, the neon lights cast darker shadows and distracted attention like a magician's conceit, peddling entertainment, release and hedonism within clearly defined parameters.

I found Las Vegas an highly uncomfortable place. The stench of stale cigarettes and sweat, gamblers working the bandits in a state of stupefied anticipation. In a city promising opportunity within enormous constraints, I found it most barren place in the Nevada desert.

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