It is funny how memories work. While watching a Nicolas Cage movie recently, entitled Next, I remembered an incident in Las Vegas when someone set off the fire alarms in the casino-hotel where I was staying. The movie Next panned from the hotel foyer out underneath the grand high arches of the front entrance; and I remembered with a chill that I had stood on that very spot beneath those hotel entrance arches just a few decades ago.
It was about 3 AM in the morning when the hotel fire alarms went off and my friend did not want to get up out of sleep. But I convinced him by heading out myself and he trailed along after me. He was only somewhat persuaded that it was better to be troubled by getting up now and out of the hotel than to be burned up later in impenetrable fire flames.
We made our way out into the chill night air at the entrance to the hotel; to find that we were the only ones who had gotten up and out for the fire alarms. Then we saw that the guy who had pulled fire alarm had been run down by several hotel security guards. We watched as the security guards forced him back toward the hotel, beating him hard about the head and shoulders and elsewhere. He slumped in their arms but they continued beating him as they dragged him back toward the hotel. Staff at the hotel entrance called out to warn the security guards that guests had stumbled into the affair and that we were watching the unlawful pummeling. The security guards dragged the guy around to the side of the hotel out of sight, presumably to continue punishing him for pulling the fire alarms, and whatever else he might have done.
I had not wanted to go to Las Vegas in the first place and I hope to never have to go to "sin city" again. There is nothing there I want and much to be avoided.
Caption: Fire Flames In Triptych
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019
(basic flame effect by https://www341.lunapic.com/editor/)