Funk Girl (Story by Risa Peris)

She was a girl in a funk. Indeed, in a funk. She escaped Idaho. Boarded a bus in Boise. Somehow, she landed in Las Vegas. She didn’t have much money. Not enough for a decent hotel room so she went off the strip. She went to an old place. $60. Per night. She had $50. No credit card. In the seedy hotel was a barbershop and a hairstylist was fitting a toupee on an old man with a white-haired fringe. He was in a button down and tie. The stylist fussed. Moussed his hair. Set it with spray. The girl wandered in and sat in the seat next to him. “I’ll be your everything,” said the girl in the deep funk. “Just pay my way. I left Idaho on a full moon.” The old man blinked and in the third blink he realized this is what he wanted. What he was looking for. A girl to hang on his shoulder. A bauble. The girl had a small mouth and big eyes. Blue but muddied. Her dark hair hung straight. “I’m heading to the seafood buffet across the street. Then I was going to play a hand. Test my luck.” The girl in the funk extended her hand. “Take me wherever.” The old man being a man wondered about his penis in her mouth. But he decided a friend was just as good. Las Vegas was a pain alone. They went to the buffet and the girl ate a mound of shrimp and cracked a pile of crab claws. Then they went to the casino. Music was thumping. They were in old Las Vegas. The place out of fashion for most tourists but not Morris. He had been coming there for forty years. Caesars Palace. Bellagio. Blah. The girl was no good luck charm. He lost $500 at the roulette wheel. “Well, what do you say we get drinks?” asked Morris. The girl shrugged. They drank until he was drunk and then they went to his hotel. The girl undressed him and made love to him. That’s what Morris called it. The girl in the funk called it survival. When Morris fell asleep she dressed and looked in his wallet. A $1000. She pocketed it. She looked back. His toupee had nearly fallen off. The girl in the funk thought it was sad. A sad sight indeed. She walked to the bus station and boarded a bus to Barstow. Poor Morris. Poor girl in the funk. We’re all sad, needy creatures really.

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