by Anthony Venutolo
January 2009 "Six of the Month" Nominee
Inside one of the darkest bars on the planet, away from the smoldering Vegas sun, two newlyweds barreled into my daytime bar, just off Freemont. Fresh-faced and scrubbed (he with his craggy polo and flip-flops, she with an equally wrinkled sun dress); they didn’t jibe since it was the kind of joint people came to when they just didn’t care anymore. The Atomic: a would-be beacon in a sea of grimeholes, beckoning its hopeless. And what of them? Lonely Nevada drunks, crappy pickpockets, former goddesses well beyond turning their tricks, and sunken men without prospect who abruptly discovered they were 46, scratchy and achy. Even the fucking jukebox gave up.
Anthony Venutolo, who works as an editor at a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, has written short stories, dabbled in screenplays, scored in journalism, and is trying to get a comic book off the ground. He also writes Notes from Hemingway's Lounge.