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Murph and Marilyn

Las Vegas, Nevada, 1959, the Stardust Hotel, 2 a.m.

By Steve MurphyPublished about a year ago 3 min read

She sat at the bar, blonde hair, dark glasses, red lipstick, black slacks, matching sleeveless blouse, silver lame heels, and a string of pearls. Picked up her glass, moved her hips to rotate the barstool till she faced the casino floor. She leaned back to prop herself up by her elbows, crossed her legs, wiggled the toes of her top foot, and let that heel just dangle.

He walked through the Sands’ main entrance, thirsty, dry from the road. He drank in the atmosphere: Man, even at two in the morning this place is swinging. His body, tired from fourteen hours of driving, began to relax, responding to this heady injection of neon and the palpable scent of money. The slots were clanging, the dealers were shuffling, and the roulette wheels were spinning.

Heads turned as he made his way through the outer lobby and across the casino floor. Some at the tables thought they recognized him, some smiled or waved, and others shook their heads at the uncanny resemblance. His tall, rail thin body, short dark hair, full lips, and handsome face all invite comparisons. Everything but his eyes. They’re dark brown, not blue, and they’re sparkling. His snappy clothes were straight out of the Rat Pack.

As he strode across the carpet to the bar, his eyes walked right over her, then quickly re-traced their steps. Oh my lord, is it? Her? He came to a full stop half a dozen steps from the bar. Hot damn, it is, it’s Marilyn Monroe, sure as I’m standing here. He realized he was staring, and something more, that she’d caught him staring. A small smile crossed her lips and in the time it took him to unfreeze his face to return her smile, she’d turned back around to the bar.

He couldn’t pass this up. He was traveling alone, no business to do for the next day and a half. And he was on the brink of divorce. The wife was never going to know. Besides, at this point in their disintegrating mess of a marriage, frankly, he didn’t give a damn.

His mind made up, freed of guilt, fired up by the hand Lady Luck had laid out in front of him, he moved to the bar. He left a couple of stools between himself and the movie star. The bartender greeted him warmly.

“Hey, Murph, when did you get into town?”

“Just now, Tony, and I’m dry,” he said, “give me the usual, and I’d like to buy the lady whatever she pleases, too.”

Marilyn tilted her head back and laughed, “You’re being a little presumptuous, aren’t you, Mr. Murph, whoever you are?”

“I just thought we could have one together,” he said, “I’d rather not drink alone.”

“Did it occur to you that maybe I would,” she said, “That that’s what I’m engaged in doing at this very moment?”

“I wasn’t sure, Miss Monroe, I just think that it’s impolite when I see a beautiful girl sitting alone not to offer to buy her a drink.”

“Well, that’s very generous of you, Murph.”

His heart rate increased twenty beats as Marilyn took off her dark glasses with one hand and patted the seat of the stool next to her with the other.

“Would you care to join me?” she said.

Tony smiled, “A very dry martini and a double bourbon, then?”

Murph smiled and nodded yes to Tony, then turned to Marilyn.

“I’m in town for this aerospace convention, how about you?”

She giggled, swirled the remaining booze around in her glass, and tossed it back.

“I’m just here for the hell of it.”


Short Story

About the Creator

Steve Murphy

He/Him. A writer & actor living in the Arizona desert. Born in Idaho, have also lived in California, Maui, & Seattle. Married to a creative art quilter and blessed with the company of two Airedale Terriers.

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