Dear Diary: There Was a Mass Shooting in Las Vegas

When I woke up Monday morning, I had a few texts asking me if I was okay.  I live in Brooklyn, New York.  I sat back down on my bed and took a minute or so to try and remember my dreams.  Did I hear a loud noise?  My window was open to let hoodie weather in.  No, I don’t think anything happened outside my bedroom window.  Did I sleep through my city getting attacked again?  Let’s ask Facebook.

The first post on my news feed was a photo, that I am sure everyone has seen by now.  Of a dark Mandalay Bay, with the text “Pray For Las Vegas” on it.

I feel like I dramatically clutched my chest and gasped aloud.  Las Vegas!?  What the hell happened to Las Vegas?  For this one, I went to Google.  There was a mass shooting in Las Vegas.  Without any conscious thought, my first reaction was to feel relief.   Then I felt disgust with myself for being relieved that it was only a mass shooting.  Then I morphed to wondering what caused such monster behavior in my brain.  That’s when I realized that I have been awake for ten seconds and I thought my city blew up while I slept.

This is the world we live in right now.  A world where people (hi, me) read tons of travel websites and see the now predictable reactions to terrorist attacks.  People wondering if they should cancel upcoming trips, and so on.  Because this is our lives now.  There are typical responses to mass murders because there are so many mass murders that we have developed typical responses.

There are also practical responses.   For example, there was me,  who still hadn’t fully gotten out of bed yet, now having to jump up and run through a mental check list of social media and scheduled blog posts.   I am currently in the middle of posting about my last trip to Las Vegas.  My next post was automatically scheduled to be live in just half an hour.  I need to hurry up NOW to log onto my laptop and stop the post from going live.  I need to delete all the prescheduled tweets about “YAY LAS VEGAS”  that are going out today.  I am rushing around like a maniac.  I am running late.  I haven’t even peed yet.  I have to finish this and leave for work.  I need to respond and tell everyone who asked that no,  I am not in Las Vegas.  Yes, I am alive. These are the tiniest real life actions that are happening because of this ginormous tragedy.

I have been asked if the Las Vegas attack will change anything about me going to Las Vegas.  Of course it won’t.  Why would it?  I live in a city that was attacked by terrorists.  Why would I now suddenly avoid a city that was attacked by a lone gunman who is now dead?

But you know what, underneath all that obviousness, lies a second truth.  And that truth is that it will slightly alter my next trip.

Back in March, I visited Mandalay Bay for the first time in many years.  Oddly enough, my bus ride was detoured because of a shooting on the Strip.   I played once I got there and lost too much money too fast.  Because of this, I cannot imagine I would have gone back there anytime soon. It never would have even crossed my mind to.

But I know that the next time I am in Las Vegas, I will think about this.  I will think about that visit, I will think about the shooting that rerouted my bus.  I will think about how 58 people died.  It doesn’t matter if my not visiting this casino has nothing to do with this latest incident. What matters it that my trip will be changed because even if for a few minutes, I will be conscious of a tragic happening.  I will be sad, I will feel horrible emotions.   That is how my trip will change because of a lone gunman.  That is how my life has changed since September 11.  When I wake up to a text asking me if I am okay and I am suddenly fearing that I will pull my drapes back and see that everything outside has been reduced to rubble.

So will I go to Las Vegas again?  Of course.  Will my trips be different?  YES.  I will now have to walk through a metal detector to enter Wynn.  I will crane my neck as we pass Mandalay Bay to see if the shooter’s windows have been replaced yet.  I will think about people dying.  I will feel grateful for being alive.  My losses will not seem so bad as they will not include my life.  My wins may be slightly less exciting when I go into deep thought, wondering if anyone who was murdered had the same elation without knowing they were about to be murdered.

Much like my post about September 11, I really do not know how to end this post.  So I will just stop typing.

 

17 thoughts on “Dear Diary: There Was a Mass Shooting in Las Vegas

  1. Nancy

    Jennifer – I always enjoy your LV trip reports because win or lose, you are so humorous – I often really laugh out loud reading your reports because you know how to make people feel what you are writing. That said, this serious side of you is so thoughtful and emotional – I could never put into words my thoughts/feelings on this horrible situation but you did and you captured the sentiments we all would feel going to LV again. Well written, Jennifer, well written.

    Reply
    1. jenniferjennifer Post author

      Thank you so much Nancy. I try to avoid writing serious posts because I am not comfortable that I come across in written words, how I feel in my mind. So I really appreciate your comment.

      Reply
  2. Judie Ashford

    I thought about you, too. Had no idea if you were there or not, but presumed not. Glad to hear you are okay. Your post is very good – really distills what we are all thinking. It’s a new world out there.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    Reply
  3. Teresa

    As per usual, you have echoed the thoughts of many. The. Real. Thoughts. Just like you did for 9/11. Thank you always for your humor, but more importantly for your honesty. Particularly at a time when people don’t let themselves be.

    Reply
    1. jenniferjennifer Post author

      Thank YOU Teresa! I feel if you are not honest with yourself, your world will one day crash under the lies you are living under.

      Reply
  4. Jim

    Jennifer,

    So beautifully written. We wake up to a different world with new parameters way too often these day. We change, we adapt and we move on with our plans and our lives. 22,000 people went out to have a fun night and listen the music they loved and 58 Lives were cut short along with 500 more injured by the act of one very sick man. I am making plans for a spring trip to Vegas, looking forward to it.

    Reply
    1. jenniferjennifer Post author

      It is a sad reality that we need to adapt to it, but if you do not, you are wasting away a life that anyone who died would gladly trade for.

      Reply
  5. BJ

    Well said …. I leave mañana for Vegas. Not for one second did I consider canceling it. That asshat will not ever stop me from doing what I love doing in my favorite city. I will walk to Mandalay Bay and pay my respects and mentally give an EFF YOU to the 32nd Floor window that housed that assclown. But I am still gonna relax and get my Degen Gambol on 😎.

    ………Vegas here I come ….

    Thanks for the forum Jen….

    ……… that dude with the diapered Pug 🐶

    Reply
  6. Joanne

    Jennifer, even if you had posted your trip report and chosen not to comment on the mass murder, it would not have made you any less of a person. I gravitate to your blog for comic relief when on any given day, there are atrocities occurring all over the world. That one occurred in our favorite degenerate city feels a little too close, for I may have been in that crowd given the opportunity. We need you to keep going to Vegas and to keep sharing your reports with us because you are the bright light on some very dark days. Thanks for the rawness of this entry Jennifer. I would be straining my sorry ass curious neck to look at the windows of Mandalay Bay too.

    Reply
    1. jenniferjennifer Post author

      Aw, thank you Joanne. I promise I will be posting some happier stuff next week. I just felt it wasn’t okay to do it immediately after. I promise you comedic relief.

      Reply
  7. Karen

    So I asked the hubby that morning if we wanted to rethink our January trip. The first in 2 years, btw. After a long lecture about how anything can happen to you anywhere and you can’t live in fear of what ifs, he tells me that if I am really that worried about it, we can go somewhere else, maybe Key West or a cruise out of New Orleans and hey I could gamble at the one casino in New Orleans and also on the cruise ship. I don’t know if he gets that a Vegas trip is not just about going to a casino. All casinos outside of Vegas just aren’t Vegas.

    Reply
    1. jenniferjennifer Post author

      If you are truly worried, I don’t think you should go. I know I am supposed to be all “Don’t be scared, you will be fine, don’t let them win” and so on. I am supposed to remind you I am fine in NYC. Or that attacks can happen anywhere. But just because I am not worried about it, doesn’t mean you should set yourself up for a miserable time just to prove a point to…well to who? I don’t even know anymore.

      I would like you to go so that you can leave your money behind for me. But if you aren’t going to enjoy it fully, maybe don’t go.

      (But you should go. Two years is too long.)

      Reply
  8. Mare

    I still can’t believe this happened. Even after being stuck in my room at Cosmo in March because of that gunman situation on the bus, I never thought something like this could/would happen in Vegas. I was already basically on my way out of Vegas, trying to use up offers and then stop going by the end of next spring, so I can’t say if this changed my mind about going to Vegas, really. But I do think everywhere we go we have to be more observant and careful nowadays. Not that anyone could have stopped this from happening, though. Beyond fucked up. :(

    Reply
    1. jenniferjennifer Post author

      I never thought something like this would happen in Vegas. The massive amount of security there alone gives us a false sense of security. We have all watched shows and movies with the surveillance systems and felt that nothing bad would happen. We were all wrong.

      Reply

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