Still Life

We split Vegas like an atom, my girlfriend, Jen Swallows, and me. All flash and fire and wicked rows of coke a farmer could plant corn in. We’d get raced up off lines on the stainless-steel toilet paper dispensers and rip all over town, sometimes taking high-speed road trips to the coast in my BMW 850. We left our lives behind us as fast as the Beemer’s zero to sixty, exploding one moment after another. We were a perfect Vegas couple.

Jen and me sat at our favorite table, drinking vodka tonics. I had just beaten up her ex-boyfriend. The dead-end lounge was in one of the casinos on the Strip’s north end. Her dad was the president or chancellor in charge of some high-end East Coast university where the students were either prepped out or pretending to be poverty-stricken by looking like a bunch of fucking sprout eaters. The kind of poseurs I used to short on a gram of coke. She liked to tell me about her experiences slumming from Brown to hang out with guys like me.

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