Las Vegas, Nevada.

It's the beginning of our trip and Sheri and I are already in sync as we venture to the free-wheeling metropolis, Sin City. It was 103 degrees, and you should know that our Portland skin is thin. We reside like vampires in our continental corner of this country. We hide amongst the overgrown moss and mammoth-sized evergreens and resit things like, GMO’s, President Agent Orange and… the sun.

We make the immoral pilgrimage from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on the same weekend that marijuana becomes legal and 4th of July soirées are all the rage(r). The opening scene of our LV narrative starts at the perfectly-seedy Motel 8 (sleeps 5 for $80/night btw, but has downright scary reviews on Yelp). Primped, proper and true as we possibly knew, we then hit the buzzing Vegas streets— amongst strollers, fedoras, blinking penis headbands and all. Thanks to our delightful subjects Khalilah & Edith for showing us all the red velvet ropes.

Edith Bahena, 24
Actress, Retail Associate

“I work at Neiman Marcus Last Call — not like the full department store; it’s the outlet. I don’t think I could do a department store, because they work on commission and I don’t deal with competition very well. I’m like, Let me just hide in my little corner. I aspire to be a successful actress, though. I like old Hollywood films and stars like Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Audrey Hepburn. When my family moved here from Mexico, I was 10. I didn’t have many friends, so I turned to movies so I didn’t feel lonely.

“I don’t go to casinos anymore. As a little girl, I was like, Oh, look at all those pretty lights. When I turned 21, my friend took me to a casino and I lost $5. I was like, I’m never going back again. It was just a little machine, and it took all my money.”

Khalilah Yasmin, 35

“Would I return to Nebraska? There’s so many places to see that I don’t need to go back to that one.

“When I was growing up, my mom’s other children rejected me. Mom once said they were rejecting of me because I was lighter-skinned than they were. It’s just so strange that you can hate a child for something they have no control over.”