The Sourdough Saloon marks a near rock bottom crossroads. North is Tonopah, south Las Vegas while west you’ll head into Death Valley.
Last night hard choices had to be made. We cast our culinary fate with the saloon. The bar changed hands two months ago and new ownership was still working out the kinks. The Sourdough is slathered in felt pen signed dollar bills. They are stuck to kingdom come, floor and ceiling, a museum of currency desecration as tourist sport.
Of course bonus throwback libertarian amenities include geezers that have come out from under a rock in the desert and bellied up to the bar with their sweethearts doing that slow motion suicide move- smoking cigarettes.
Been a while since I saw an old rail thin desert soul wearing a sweat stained Stetson. The old cowboy had got so skinny that beneath his cinched up jeans wasn’t much of an ass left. It doesn’t look like a jackpot has paid out in these parts since before the atomic test site was still in its luminous booming business.
A man dressed like Buffalo Bill Cody comes on in. He’s got one of these swollen red and purple noses. It is a storied nose. The saloon owner played Patsy Cline on the jukebox. The gent broke into a saloon monologue. He had technique too. I could not detect any discernable gap in his soliloquy. This is an unsettling oratorical device. Man like that if you don’t break the grip will filibuster the life out of a room.
We voted with our feet.Nevadafolk believe in truth. You might tolerate a big bag of hot air in some other state but not here. Here every kind and type is allowed to find their place in the world. Strength here is in the allowance a man extends to another to be who they are, the forbearance one citizen bestows to another to do things so long as that thing does not harm another soul.
A New York State of Mind explains one kind of mind and Nevada explains another. It is a never mind.
Between these outposts, these isolated boom and busted towns stretch an ocean of sagebrush and creosote bush. In between there’s heartbreak and emptiness; sometimes a coyote. Here on a thin ribbon of asphalt Nevada takes hold of a soul to test the mettle.Nevada puts you in the embrace of a sweltering summer or a cruel cold winter. It bends the will. It seasons appetite. You’ll eat wishes and drink fate. A meal like that makes a person careful about what part of what they are that they put on the stove. Nothing and nowhere is not what it seems. Might be a place you pass through or the end of the line. What’s your pleasure pilgrim?