My hundred pound hand shakes as I tap my cigarette over my ashtray. I wake as rays of sunlight paint my shadowy cave. I often compare my lifestyle to that of a vampire. I am a creator of the night, that is where I make my killing. I only come to your house when I am invited, there are never any exceptions. God is not a part of my life anymore; in fact it makes me sick to even think about his existence. The rosary beads my mother gave me lie at the bottom on my bathroom bucket underneath tampons, toilet paper and yellowy q-tips. There is something about the night, about the darkness in the city which makes people react differently and engage in activities they normally wouldn’t. Loneliness is an emotion which flies through the blood stream like a taxi cab.
There is a rumbling at my front door that sounds like someone is going to break it down. It doesn’t even startle me.
“Patricia, I know you’re in there! You have one more week to pay your rent or you’re out of here! I mean it this time! I am done with giving you chances!”
I lay on my couch with my blanket pulled up to my neck as I watch the smoke from my cigarettes create a creepy fog which hovered throughout my living room. I finally muster enough energy to walk over to the cabinets to check for something to eat, my blanket dragging behind me like a wedding gown. At the end of this long walk there is no one waiting for me. Sloping dusty shelves inside my cabinets and refrigerator stare back at me. A half empty container of mustard, a dented box of cereal and a half gallon of milk which seems to have turned into cream at some point, are the only signs of nutrition in my home.
I slam the door in disgust as the unwashed dishes in the sink tremble.
I hear little feet running behind me as they stick to the floor tiles with every thrust.
“Mommy, are we having anything good for breakfast today?”
“You’re going to have to settle for the little bit of Captain Crunch which we have left, Alexis.”
As I sat there and watched my 8 year old daughter grab pieces of cereal out of the box one by one and smile every time she made a large crunching sound, it made me sick to my stomach. I was working long shifts at night I was not able to give my child the finer things, let alone the necessary things in life.
I was sleeping with about three to four guys a night, bringing in hundreds of dollars easily. Sometimes I don’t believe how fast it disappears. Paying my pimp. Paying my rent. Paying the babysitter. Three or four packs of cigarettes a day. The countless trips to McDonalds to feed Alexis breakfast, lunch and supper.
Around five o’clock I usually call my neighbor Jack to come watch Alexis for the night. He’s a very simple man that doesn’t talk much. He just came back from the war in Iraq and is not ready to go back into society yet. As long as I leave him the remote control and the TV guide, he’s set for the night. He thinks I have a job as a bar tender. Poor kid.
Before I leave I stuff a lot of my clothes for the night into a trash bag. I take a class at the local community college every night at 6 pm. I’m a senior this year and my goal is to become a school teacher, that has always been my dream. I am planning on moving down to Florida when I’m finished, probably in the Orlando area. I have promised Alexis for the past two years that I would take her to Disney World. I am a girl who keeps my promises. I always show up for work on time, and I can say that I always give the customer what they are looking for.
I grab my trash bag full of my superwoman accessories and my text books. Dragging the trash bag along the floor as the tiny blue streams in my arms emerge, I say goodnight to Jack. He gives me a slight nod as he always does to let me know he has things under control.
I yank open the back door of my 67 Chevy Nova. It takes me about three pulls before I usually get it un-wedged. Everything about this car seems to come in three’s. It only has three doors that open, three windows, one has a bag duck taped to it, three radio stations that work and it takes me three times of turning the ignition and swearing before it finally sputters on.
I attend this three hour long American Literature class which is interesting at times, but after the first hour I have to keep catching myself from falling asleep. The teacher is a man well into his 40’s. He’s kind of handsome for a professor. He wears these nice vests which show off his nicely shaped chest. I have thought many times about trying to seduce him for an A, but I’m not that desperate, at least not yet.
On my way back to the car I get a call from Lester as I do every night around this time. He wants to make sure I’m doing all right and to make sure I am ready to make him some good money tonight, but he really doesn’t care about me the way he says he does. I have been his number one girl for about five years now and all he cares about is his slice. I guess he has been good to me though, after I ran away from home he took me in and raised me.
I grab the trash bag and head back into the woman’s room inside the school. This is where I get ready for the night. It’s not exactly the glamorous dressing room I have always hoped for, but it does the job. First I do my makeup. I put my lipstick and my eye shadow on in the same careful manner as I would coloring books with Alexis. I spray some hair spray on my long blonde hair, it sounds and looks a lot like a fire extinguisher, at least that’s what Alexis tells me. I then brush my teeth. I always end up forgetting my toothbrush at home, so I end up smearing the tooth paste on my finger like relish on a hot dog.
I head in the bathroom stall and close the door behind me. I slide off my jeans and take off my sneakers. I make sure I have my high heels there waiting like two stretch limos so I don’t have to touch the nasty floor.
I take everything off until I am standing tall in my high heels, bra and thong. With my butt pressed up against the door so it won’t open with the breeze from the broken window, I stare at the pissed stained toilet seat and toilet paper stuck on the walls like flyers on telephone polls.
My phone started to vibrate on top of the toilet paper dispenser.
“You’re going to be heading to 125 Highland Ave. Apartment number 6”
“7:30.” Said Lester.
I knew right away by the addressee that I was going to be heading into a shady area, but that comes along with the job. My little black glittering purse stays packed with the things I need to survive. I keep a five inch switch blade. A can of mace. Twenty condoms. Lotion. Tissues. My cell phone and a few single razors just incase I need to get secretly slick on someone.
I pull onto the street hoping that everyone is not looking out the windows at the sound of my Nova. I usually park a good ten houses from the addresses I am supposed to head into. No matter how many times you go through it, you still get butterflies in your stomach. You never know who or what is going to be standing there when they open the door. As my heels echo off the sidewalk drowning out the sounds of sirens and horns, I arrive at 125. It’s a tiny little space located in-between a sub shop and a magic store. I stare at a whoopee cushion in the window before I press the buzzer.
I grunt as I push the glass door open. The odor inside the hallway immediately smacks me in the face. It smells like a mixture of dirty socks, sweat and syrup. The carpet is covered with deep dark stains that could be from anything to coffee to blood. Taking deep breaths as I step up the light blue carpeted stairs like my heels were getting stuck in quick sand, on the third floor, I see a door swing open crumbling a piece of the wall as it slams against it. A heavy set man wearing a dirty wife beater and khakis comes storming out swearing and spitting. He is immediately calmed down by my presence.
“Hey baby, looking for some action?.” he said.
I ignore him and his remarks as I continue my ascent up until apartment number six. With every door that I pass by I wonder, what is going on behind them?
The number was broken off and hanging on the door so it looked like a nine instead of a six. I knocked as though I didn’t want anyone to answer. I heard the man’s feet inch closer to the threshold. He opened the door slowly until we both stood in front of each other.
The first thing I noticed about him was that his shirt was off and you could smell the body odor oozing out of him. His chest hair was so dark and bushy that I couldn’t even see his nipples. He also appeared to have crumbs hanging onto his chest and stomach hair which made it appear as though little people were walking through a forest trying to find their way home.
He was wearing a thick pair of glasses that made it seem as though he was looking in three different directions. This made it harder for me to try and make eye contact with him.
“Ha, ha, how are you doing?” he asked stuttering and bumbling his words.
“Please come in, won’t you?”
“I’m sa, sa, sorry I didn’t get a chance to pick up the place some ma, ma, more.”
I smiled at him and took a seat on his couch. As soon as I sat down empty Coke bottles came flying towards me as if I were magnetic.
“I just have to make a call real quick.” I tell him.
I always call Lester to let him know that I am safe.
“Lester, I’m here and I’m all set.” I say.
Lester made a little grunt as usually to acknowledge me.
The man stared at me, his head looked like one of those sports bobble head figures.
“So, do you have the cash?” I asked.
“It’s to, to, two hundred, right?”
“That’s the price my company charges just for me to show up.”
“If you want anything additional, it’s going to cost you.”
This was one of those moments where I was hoping that the man couldn’t afford my services. He opened up his wallet and about a thousand recites fell to the floor like confetti on New Year’s Eve. He pulled out two of the most wrinkled hundred dollar bills I have ever seen in my life.
“Will I be able to have sa, sa, sex with you for this?”
“Sorry sweetie, you are going to need at least 3 hundred for that.” I said.
The man got up out of his chair and trudged into a back room. His fat vibrated with every step.
I uncrossed my legs and was ready to spring out of the front door. The man came running out with a stack of dollar bills and an enormous amount of change resting comfortably on a broken pig’s glass belly
He came over and placed it all on my lap. A bead of sweat jumped from his brow and landed on my dress as he leaned over clumsily.
“I hope this wa, wa, will do.”
I looked it over and it appeared to be well over one hundred dollars in change and dollar bills.
“Yeah, that looks good. Let’s get started. You can take your clothes off now.”
The man stared at me as if I had 5 heads.
The man struggled to take off his shoes, almost falling over in the process while reaching down for towards his toes. He flung them across the room, they fell on top of a large pile of clothes. Next he took off his pants. Peeling the bark off one tree trunk at a time. He stood there in front of me, his big toe hanging out the front of his left sock and diapered in a pair of tightey whities that were covered with yellow spots. His balls were hanging out like two friends on a summer day along with large strands of pubic hair that stuck out like weeds.
I slipped off my tight black dress down around my ankles, lifting one leg up at a time to pick it up off the floor. As the man stared at me in my black heels, black bra and thong, I noticed a trembling in his underwear.
“Where would you like to go?” I asked.
“I wo, wo, would like to go into my bed room, if that’s ok?”
I followed him into his bedroom as I focused on his underwear digging into the crack of his butt. His floor was littered with clothes. The socks looked like fresh snowflakes on a city street that were not yet shoveled or plowed. He sat down on his bed, his fat engulfing most of his thighs.
“Go ahead, you can take off your underwear now.”
With his and fat trembling like the sea during a storm, he slid his underwear off and threw them gently to the side as if they were made of glass.
“Go ahead and lay on your back.” I said.
I looked at the man lying there on his back, his penis looked like a lone tree standing in a jungle. A mighty small tree at that. His glasses began to fog and this stupid smirk appeared on his face as I removed my bra and thong. I stood there naked in this man’s room, the moon shining on me like a spotlight.
I placed my knees softly on the bed and opened up the condom in my palm as if it were a piece of candy. I gently slid it on him, similar to the way my mom used to put my hat on in the winter, making sure to cover my ears. His back arched up in the air as high as it could, his belly completely shading his face. I stood up on the bed over him dancing and shaking my best parts around.
I bounced once, I bounced twice, I bounced for a third time, he let out a sound similar to a grizzly bear that was shot by a hunter. Just like that it was over.
“Where is your bathroom?” I asked.
“Right outside to the la, la, left.”
I cleaned myself up, picked up my dress and slid back into it like I was trying to put the peel back on a banana.
I looked at myself inside of this man’s spotted the mirror as his bathroom lights struggled to stay alive. All I could see was Alexis. I saw Florida, sunshine and I saw Mickey Mouse. I stormed out of the man’s bathroom. As he was trying to put his pants back on I opened his front door and left without saying a word. I have had enough of these fat slobs drooling and touching me. I have had enough of Lester controlling my every move.
I walked into my apartment. I shut off the TV, ripped the TV guide out of his disfigured hand and had a talk with Jack. I told him all about Florida and his eyes became as vibrant as I have ever seen. I went into Alexis’ room and woke her up.
“Alexis, come on get your stuff together. Me you and Jack are going on a trip.”