Well tomorrow is the twenty year anniversary of a tragic event that happened to me, I never talk about it, I have kept it hidden all these years. But now that so much time has passed, I think it’s time to get my side of what happened out there and I also feel it might be a huge weight off my shoulders if I finally let it out so to speak. Back when the event initially happened I considered myself a survivor, but there where others, like the press and law enforcement that felt differently, but I will tell the story and let you decide for yourselves.
So it was me and four of my friends, we had gone to Las Vegas for a weekend getaway, just five young guys looking to tear the city up and to have the time of our lives. We got a few rooms at the Circus Circus casino, I think that place is so much fun, even to this day I still enjoy going there, but I never venture to the top floor anymore, not after what happened that night twenty years ago. So it started out innocently enough, the five of us left our rooms on the top floor to head down to eat at the buffet, we were all starving.
So none of us had any idea that the elevator ride down would change all our lives that fateful day…We thought we were just on our way to the buffet, we never imagined getting stuck between floors, or the insanity that soon followed.
During the ride down from the top floor, the elevator car came to an abrupt stop somewhere between the fifth and sixth floors, I think at that point we were all still acting like civilized people. At first everyone kept their cool, we tried pushing the emergency button, we kept calling out for help, mind you this was before cell phones were so mainstream, none of us had one at the time. So nothing was working, but we figured “No big deal, someone will notice that the elevator is stuck, and this thing will start back up any second” Our morale at that time was still pretty high, and my friends Pete and Steve were cracking jokes keeping us entertained.
I think it probably started there, with all the nervous laughing we were doing, the Hysteria. Maybe I should have known, but at some point, when the voices went away, and pushing the buttons continued to have zero effect, it started to look a lot less likely that we would have a funny story to tell our kids about the trip to Vegas, and a lot more like they would never hear from any of us again.
I don’t know about you, but it starts to do something to a person when you think like that. You confront your own mortality for the first time…You become Savage…Brutal. The only thought that enters your mind is Survive…Survive!!!
I can’t remember how long we had all been stuck in the that metal death box before Me, Pete, Steve and John all started edging closer and closer to our friend Nate. It seemed like twenty, maybe thirty minutes, time has little meaning when you’re in a situation like that. It wasn’t a spoken decision either, we all just looked at each other and knew something had to be done.
Looking back, it now seems like an animal act, but it did have a certain logic to it. Nate was single, he lived alone and honestly, he had nobody special in his life…no kids, no girlfriend and his parents really never talked to him. And most importantly, he was the biggest. We figured there was enough meat on him to keep the rest of us alive for a few days, maybe a week if we rationed it right.
It was Pete that held him down while I tore at his forearm with the only weapon I had…my teeth. Not surprisingly, Nate resisted. He struggled ferociously and kept shouting, “Hey, what the hell are you doing?” But he knew exactly what we were doing…We were doing whatever it took to Survive!!
Eventually, we were able to knock Nate out. And, as for what we did next, well I don’t feel it’s necessary to get too graphic, but let’s just say we were no longer hungry. Maybe it was an animal act. But I personally believe that the human teeth are pointed and sharp for a reason. Besides, we had no way of knowing that, at that very moment there was a Circus Circus maintenance man who was working on getting us free. We only knew that we were between floors, and that it had been more than three hours since we had lunch.
For those of you who may be judging me right now, just know that the veneer of Civilization is very thin. And I believe to this day that Civilization depends upon people acting in a reasonable manner and obeying certain universal laws. But Civilization also depends upon that cruise ship staying afloat. It depends on that airliner passing safely over the Himalayas. And for me that day twenty years ago it depended on that elevator continuing smoothly down to the lobby of the Circus Circus casino.
Twenty years later am I sorry about what I did? Of course. Taking a life is never easy, but sometimes we have little choice.
When we were finally freed from that elevator, and my friends and I got into the lobby of the Circus Circus, I looked up, and saw the trapeze performers starting their show, it was at that moment I knew I had done the right thing. It feels good to finally share my story, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. You may have a low opinion of me right now, but I am a Survivor, sure perhaps we panicked and resorted to cannibalism a bit early. But you weren’t there, you have no idea what it was like, so don’t judge me unless you have been in a situation were you resorted to cannibalism.