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Exquisitely Broken 

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M. Jay Granberry

P.O. Box 1234

Las Vegas, NV 89131 USA 

© 2019 M. Jay Granberry  

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Tales of the Naked City

The Gambler

Hell is empty, and the devils are here. -Shakespeare

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Las Vegas, Sin City, the gambling capital of the world. Home of the themed casinos, illuminating neon and the world's most loved mob lawyer turned mayor. I grew up here, in the shadows of The Strip, on two city blocks where the streets are named after major American cities and where the once stylish apartment complexes that were populated by industry workers now house tweakers, prostitutes, gamblers and sin seekers.

We don't get too many tourists in my part of town. The flashing signs don't shine as bright, and the casinos smell of pungent cigarette smoke, liquor, urine, and greasy food. On my block sin is a sanitized word used for commercials. It belies the dirty underbelly of this desert oasis. In the Naked City, on my block, we engage in cardinal vices, the actions that give root to all other so-called sin.

I'm a gambler. You probably think my cardinal vice is greed, and in one aspect, you'd be correct. I covet pussy and cash. I don't think twice about snorting a line of go but my desires extend past the longing for material wealth. My life is one of excess. I want more. I don't think I have ever stopped at one shot, the whole bottle is more my style. I've never dated one woman. I prefer my women the way I like my ice cream, sweet, and with a variety of flavors. And once I have them I use them relentlessly until I'm done.

So, while you're sitting in your safe comfortable home, openly scorning Las Vegas and her citizens with your misplaced morality, we see you. The real you. The one that you hide deep in the crevices of your battered soul. We'll lure you with sex and drugs. We'll coax you to forget your God and take a walk on the wild side and when both feet are securely in our domain, and you're sliding down the slippery slope into the seventh level of hell reserved for those who have committed one of the seven deadly sins, remember...fair exchange is no robbery.