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Katie Murphy-Olsen


Photo of reading at celebrationSitting in a Chandelier

Diamonds, fancy dresses, and perfected nails.
Stretch limos, luxury condos and concierge.
Open containers, roadies and explicit adult cards all spin an intoxicating energy.
The weekend is a sanctuary “from it all” to drive expensive cars and to feel at home in cabanas near the pool.

Is this not the epitome of glamourous?


A drink named Thai of the Tiger is served next to a San Pellegrino to a woman whose dress could—should be?—a shirt. A once-a-year trek to a fabricated city nurses away vulnerabilities with white buckets of iced Coronas.

Who lives like this?

Black ties and sequin dresses insinuating deprivation of solid foods inhale arrays of tempting, rich buffets. With an entitled air and existing only from one libation to the next, who stops to toast, “Do we all deserve to eat like this? For a weekend? Once a year?”

From a distance, this intriguing force beckons all with an unattainable stamina. Sitting in The Chandelier, somehow suspended above by the novelty of the buzz of lights, of sounds, of people, of shoes(!), patrons might hear the desert, desolate, and uninhabited whispering a bad cover of an old country song, if they only paused to ask, “Did you hear that?”

The desert cloaks its pains of loss, struggle and insecurities in fountains, perfectly timed for travelers to gawk at in awe. The heat yearns to sear away the sheen of opaque excess, the very thing magnetizing flocks of people to its threshold, to expose reality. Weekend after weekend, people on pilgrimage line up at clubs, at bars, at slot machines with the promise of gaining their own gaudy Strip to wrap up in wondering, “Is it a gamble to hope for this?”