Even though I didn’t develop any roots in Las Vegas, I really enjoyed the feel of the town, the atmosphere, and the people. In fact, there is one word that summed up my whole experience of Las Vegas and the West: open or openness. I was so use to the closed, comfortable atmosphere of the South East, and I loved that feel, but it had turned into an oppressive weight on me, smothering me, crushing me. Living in Las Vegas helped me throw off all that, and open to great new possibilities.

Among all that I gained in Las Vegas, nothing was as beneficial as discovering a big, amazing, spiritual bookstore. I say discovered, but I was lead straight to it by that presence I’ve felt in my life forever. I felt a great overwhelming desire for the whole store and every book in it, but I didn’t know which book to start with. I knew the books were about something beyond religion, but I had no grasp of spirituality. So the clerk talked me into trying a book on Astrology. The book went much deeper into the subject than what I’d seen in the newspaper and opened up some very big doors in my mind about perspective and personal possibilities. However, not caring to become an Astrology person, I kept looking and found a spiritual highway that is extremely satisfying. Of course, being a doubting Thomas it’s taken a very long time for me.

I thought, at the time, my decision to run from my life in Tampa was pretty sudden, but of course, I hadn’t factored in the three years of watching my sports figure, BIG DEAL, life crumble under me until I was broke, getting drunk every day, frightened and stooped under the huge humiliation I was feeling.

Well, the decision to leave Las Vegas was, no question about it, very sudden.My mind was opening, I had new courage and perspective and I knew it was time to go back and deal with my “real” life; not the one-dimensional “sports jock” self I had allowed my life to become. I had to go home, face the music and develop the rest of me. I quit my job, thanked my cousin and my landlord for their kindness, got in my old busted up Plymouth Fury and headed home. My mother, though confused, was very glad to see me. I looked at her and knew that, in my place; she would never have run from Tampa and would have fought to the bloody end. They would have had to bury her and I felt very guilty. I felt like I had let her down, but I didn’t think she was right; I had gained too much by getting away and gaining some new perspective.