Trip's 8th Birthday

Lucky and Trixie Genevisiano are hosting what has come to be known as Las Vegas' Best Party of the Year. It is in honor of their beloved and only son, Tripoli, who, by the grace of God and the losing ways of one of Lucky's "clients", became a part of their childless lives eight years ago today, November 15th, 1976. As their close, personal friend Wayne Newton is singing to the assembled crowd of Nevada's most celebrated citizens (everyone from Jerry Tarkenian to Michael Corleone is there!), "God Bless America"!

Siegfried and Roy and several of their white tigers are cuddling with all the little boys from Trip's third grade class; Debbie Reynolds is teaching all the little girls to smile and tap at the same time. Indeed, Lucky and Trixie are right to take a moment to share a kiss of love and delight as they behold the pleasure their five hundred closest friends are enjoying in celebration of their own greatest pleasure, Trip. Speaking of which... where is that boy?!

With the realization that Trip is not amongst the crowd of revelers, his parents know immediately that he is in his own little sanctuary, the "secret room", really no more than a crawlspace, out in the poolhouse. Indeed, they find him there engaged, as always, in a conversation with not one, but two imaginary friends-- a boy and a girl, he has patiently explained to them for years, of whom he can tell them nothing more than that they are "part of me, Mom-- the rest of me. It's like it's not completely missing, though, if I can talk to them."

Lucky has long since grown intolerant of his son's neurotic attachment to the invisible playmates, but Trixie so dotes on her son that she frequently enters into his fantasy with him. As now, when, despite Lucky's mockery, she joins Trip in singing "Happy Birthday" to the "Boy" and "Girl" with whom, Trip explains, he shares this anniversary of birth. Once done acknowledging his comrades, Trip is happy to rejoin the party and have himself a wild and wonderful time, the melancholy ache for "the rest of him" forgotten for the time being. But never forgotten for long. So that by the time Liza Minelli and Lola Falana team up to sing and dance for him, he is already beginning to pine a little for the best friends he knows he has somewhere but whose company he has never actually shared.