Last week before leaving for Barcelona, Pharaoh wanted the perfect picture for his blog. He thought of himself reaching up towards the sky from Red Rock canyon and holding the sun in the palm of his hand like a small orange prism radiating in every direction. He wanted to control the sunlight. He didn’t consider the optimal day to do this, or the fact that he would need a heavy jacket to keep himself warm in 40 MPH wind. He also didn’t consider how ridiculous a heavy jacket would look with his partial Pharaoh costume. The tarp around his waste mixed with the jacket would have looked even sillier, so he left it in his cave.
His best friend Sauron, and Sauron’s girl friend JT, picked him up at 5:30 AM. JT must have been extremely tired from their super bowl night the previous day, so Pharaoh began to appreciate her even more. Sauron, the dark lord, had always been a source of light for Pharaoh in his times of despair. Pharaoh could not have enough gratitude for Sauron over the years. Waking his girlfriend up in the pitch black of the morning, taking Pharaoh to red rock to take a photo shoot in the brisk winter cold, all the long chats with Pharaoh which Pharaoh proved useless– but Sauron would never give up on Pharaoh. Sauron has always been a true friend.
When they arrived at Red Rock they didn’t find a glowing, crimson, first sun. They were shrouded in misty clouds. They took the scenic drive around red rock and stopped at the first trail, calico hills, for a better view. Upon stepping outside of Sauron’s Nazgul they were devastated by the power of the wind. They felt their ears shriveling and seemed to have added a layer of blush to their coats. They appreciated the mysteriousness of the clouds. Sauron pointed out that some of the clouds were fluffy and others were stacked in layers like newspapers. Pharaoh saw that between the fluff and the stacks that there was a gate in between to a higher plane. They couldn’t see above the ceiling of the darkness above, but stared in wonder like children nonetheless. They both felt bad for JT who was freezing. Sauron was the type of guy who would run in a t-shirt and shorts in 40 degree weather, and had always somehow had an immunity for the cold. Pharaoh and JT were definitely dying, so they decided to return to their Nazgul.
Pharaoh decided to attempt to defy nature. He figured he was a Pharaoh and had some sort of divine powers that would allow him to be the first to ever successfully defy nature. With ears ready to shrivel and fall off, he stood there trembling, and praying that Sauron had clicked the phone enough times, so he could return to the Nazgul and they could fly away. Pharaoh was truly humbled by the futility of his efforts.
On the Nazgul ride along the scenic route in Red Rock, JT told Pharaoh of some of the hikes she had done. Some were along the east coast, others were in Utah, and in many she hadn’t solely hiked, but had camped as well. She told Pharaoh about how she had seen multiple shooting stars throughout these adventures. Pharaoh had only seen one before. It was on one of his road trips back and forth to LA when he lived there. Hiking was one of Pharaoh’s favorite things to do, but aside from 10 times over the last few years, how often did he actually hike? How could he expect to see many shooting stars in the real world if he was isolated in his cave? The Pharaoh Cave
The three amigos stumbled upon a beautiful river streaming outwards from up above. Sauron dismounted his Nazgul to investigate if there was anything worth seeing. Pharaoh was slightly worried about treading in rocky areas because of his debilitated knee, and JT was still extremely cold, so they decided it would be best to move onwards.
The three of them shared a memorable day with Sakana, the best sushiya in Vegas where they ordered piles and piles of nigiri, te amo mi culito roll, mochi, and honey toast. What an incredible feast they shared. The best was making fun of the menu and occasionally one another.
Later that night they went to a board game cafe, Meepleville, one of JT’s favorite spots. Carried by their blind nazgul using the winds of Jimmy Eat World and Panic At the Disco on the nazgul’s jukebox as guidance they arrived at Meepleville. Pharaoh, originally was frustrated, because he couldn’t understand how to play Settlers of Catan. He observed the first game from the rail, and attempted the second game after getting an idea of how to play. Sauron was also available to provide game theory optimal advice, and with a little luck, boxed his way to a victory. Pharaoh wouldn’t have stood a chance without Sauron in his corner. They then had a nice Nazgul karaoke session once more, and for his last meal in Vegas Pharaoh decided to go to sky ramen (sora ramen). He remembered the dozen or so time he came here with Manami which made him slightly sad, but around his best friend and JT decided to appreciate the moment instead of missing it by being elsewhere in his cave.
Upon arrival at home, Pharaoh and Sauron gave each other a massive hug. One wasn’t enough since they hopefully won’t see each other for a while assuming Pharaoh can stay abroad on his teaching pilgrimage, so they gave each other a second hug.
Pharaoh didn’t get the picture he desired that day, but all sorts of internal prints were produced that would never be erased. On the way to Barcelona he found the picture he was looking for. A flying pharaoh staring downwards at the sea of bloody shrubs. The shrubbery heaven below was a torch to a new realm in Barcelona, so he hoped.
We shall see what Barcelona has in store for Pharaoh. He gave a first person account in the form of a stream of consciousness for his first two days. Barcelona Days 1-2, Stream of Consciousness
To my best friend Michael Boushy, and my new close friend Juliana, you guys are truly beautiful. Thank you for giving me such an incredible last day in Vegas, and thank you for inspiring me to find what you internally share in a different external form. Its been a long time since Manami.* Its been an even longer time since you and Awo both talked to Manami while I was in the bathroom at Ichiza to give me a shot at asking her out before we left that night. Its pretty interesting how things work out. I hope that I can try to not make sense of them, and simply in-joy and appreciate all the senseless and trivial things in order to witness the miracles I had been in my sarcophagus for. That is the true way to love and experiencing a new, first sun every day. Whether its a graspable, crimson prison, or an obscure Prussian blue gateway, we are re-born each day and a first sun is always available should we reach inwards for it.