WHO KNEW there was a bustling city at the South Pole? All you had to do was take the ship from Punta Arenas and you would be there the next day already, or fly in on a small passenger plane, if you dared. It’s not easy landing a puddle jumper between those craggy mountains, yet it is still a sight to behold, all of those lights, and the tiny cars traveling up and down the avenues. Nobody even knows about this place, it’s a kind of Las Vegas at the South Pole, full of mirth and money, neon and strip joints, but without the grunge, desperation, and mass shootings. I suppose Santa’s Village at the opposite pole comes close, but that place is run by elves, this one is run by desperate and degenerate people. I only went there because our band had a gig. I brought my Fender Jazz bass along. It was pretty standard rock music, Zeppelin-derived and all that. After the show, the owner of the venue, a robust Inuit woman who smelled something awful, hunted me down and, well, raped me, at least at first. There is something to be said for surrendering to the advances of a girl from Greenland whose lips taste of vodka, lust, and seal blood. I let her have her way with me, and all was fine and peaceful after that. I saw the ships in the harbor at Cape Menace, with that glowing skywheel circling above, but I had no desire to leave town. The South Pole was turning out to be my kind of place.