I pass her the 40 oz. I see feel that warm carbonation stuck halfway between my throat and my nose. It is as if my body is involuntarily refusing to have this swill enter my stomach cavity. Between the bean burritos from Taco Bell and this Old English, my digestive system WILL find a way to expel these toxic substances.
"Why don't you want to come work with us?" she asks me as she gingerly takes a sip. Apparently, you can come to work at a sex club smelling like alcohol. I wouldn't know. I haven't had a job in a few years, nor have I been more than a few feet inside a club. "You don't even have to touch anyone."
"Thank God for that!" I told her. Nor would I want anyone touching me for that matter. The best part about heroin is not only did I have no period, I have no sex drive. I have no desire to touch anyone ESPECIALLY some trick in a club. Working eight hours anywhere seems too long.
"What happens when you get sick?" I ask her as I take my bottle back. For someone who claims to make hundreds of dollars a day, this chick always seems to be broke.
She rolls down her stockings to show my the track marks. Sure enough, they are buried way down by her ankle. I would never have seen them. I also got a peek at a fresh bandage hidden on the way down. "that's a scar..." She tells me as she cuts me off. There also appears to be a bruise near the top of her thigh. I suppose her boyfriend did that. "I just sneak off to the bathroom in between shows "she tells me as she slowly inhales on her cigarette.
"Shows?" the guy next to me asks. I am not sure where he came from or how he got in the conversation. "I thought you worked in a booth." I added. This guy and I are both pretty curious.
She checks her watch. So ridiculous. Who wears a watch? The only time I need to know is when the connection stops selling. "I do private shows in booths" she explains. "I am behind glass. I have a bunch of sex toys. The guy put money in the slot to keep the show going. It's easy. They don't touch me. Or I might dance in the bubble. Or do a girl/girl show."
Double in the bubble. I heard about this place before. The girls pay to go to work, a "stage fee". Then, during the week, there might be 6 women working and 10 guys a whole shift. To get the good shifts, the pro might have to give the manager a blow job. They also shoot porn there, cheap porn, sleazy porn. I had a guy ask me once to do a porn. He wanted me to "audition" by bringing him nude pictures. Girls starting out get a few hundred dollars. Maybe $500 if you are lucky. Then they take pictures of you. But you don't OWN the pictures. They can use them in magazines, on covers. They can use the video scenes over and over and make stills.
I met one of the managers once.
"Let's make nudes, pretty" he told me. He was wearing a "wife beater", that was what he looked like as well. He looked like the kind of man who beat his wife for smiling at a stranger.
"No fucking way," I told him as I pointed to the corner "Kick rocks."
He smiled at me and tried to shake my hand "I like a challenge", he told me "it's good money" he told me in an accent I could not recognize. His matching sweatsuit and gold chain was out of place for Market Street on a hot summer day. "Why won't you take my offer?"
I shook my head "If I turn a trick, I get paid, I get fucked, maybe once. Maybe I can talk him into nothing. You, you want to fuck me for free over and over again." I was full of opiated courage that day. I was free to say whatever I wanted. If I would have been sick, maybe not so much. Maybe I would have went with him.
"ok pretty," he told me "If you change your mind, will you please bring me the nudes?" He nodded, waved, and walked away.
"Why don't you come work with me?" She asked me again as she pulled herself up from the sidewalk. It must be time to go to work.
I wondered myself why I never took those jobs. It wasn't for any type of moral reason. I guess we all have our limits. I have broken all of them except for one. This one. As I sat and drank my beer, I watched her walk towards the club. She pulled her skirt down, one last attempt at modesty before she shift. See the beauty, touch the magic, fill your heart with chemicals, and feel your troubles slowly fade from view. She was a beautiful woman once, made even more beautiful when she walked out with a purse full of money. If only she knew.