Well, well, well. What have we here?
That's right, Boys and Girls. We got a whole new ball o' wax, is what we got.
As you may have already realized, we've moved. We're on a whole new server. No more AOL and their TOSable offenses. No more Codes of Conduct. I am now free to unleash the Truth, in all its Fury.
The F-word. The S-word. Oh ... dare I say it ... the all-glorious, all-powerful C-word! They're mine! All mine! Any vulgar word I can conceive of -- and believe me there are many -- all there for my liberal and unwarranted use!
My God ... it'll be beautiful.
But there's actually a bit more to this change than may be readily apparent. Have you caught the domain-name yet? neverdream.com. Isn't that that book I wrote? Why yes ... yes it is. Because -- you see -- the main attraction here is no longer the Truth. Sure, I hope I can still continue to draw a little crowd (a very little crowd) with my Truths, but this new server site is all about the book. What it's about, where it can be bought, what's going on with the sequel, where I'm signing books etc. etc. It's all about the book. The Truth takes a back-door to a paycheck.
Another plus -- any mail written to firstname.lastname@example.org will come directly to me. Dirtball@neverdream.com. Right into my mailbox. Scumbag@neverdream.com. Same. It all comes to the same place. So think of a creative insult with future mailings. I'm ready to answer letters again. The Truth marches on.
And speaking of which, I'm still behind. I promised you a Truth last time -- the Truth about my first visit to a Whore House -- and it's time I delivered. (That's right, I can say 'Whore House,' now. I don't know if AOL would have had a problem with that or not ... but it ain't a concern anymore, is it?)
Well, here goes.
I was drinking with a friend of mine in Philly. I don't know if he wants his name used in here. To preserve his anonymity I'll simply call him 'Templar.' Any-who, the two of us and a bunch of his friends began the evening in a lovely little South Street bar called 'Fat Tuesdays.' Eventually the friends bailed, and Templar and I were left to our own, twisted devices.
The evening found us at another bar ... a bar whose name escapes me. I remember an attractive little bartendress. I also remember a City Paper sitting there on the bar. I remember mentioning to Templar that a Boobie Show might be nice. He casually scoffed the idea and grabbed up the City Paper.
Twenty minutes later, our taxi was dropping us off about eight blocks west of our original bar. We walked up an alley to an obscure door under a prominant overhang. Clearly, it was the overhang of some sort of business ... the porch was black and the number appeared in big, white letters. Oddly -- there was no service advertised on that overhang. Just the number. I guess the neighbors would frown upon the word 'Pussy' in red neon. (However, considering the neighborhood, I'm sure they wouldn't have had a problem with 'Cock.')
I timidly followed Templar to that door ... expressing my grave concerns that we were about to be arrested or something. (The glass isn't just half-empty, it's also smudged -- and that chip on the rim is going to slice me open.) Templar gently assuaged my fears ("You have no idea how this city works, do you?") and we continued on.
He boldly climbed the four stairs and rang the bell ... like John Wayne looking to fuck something. I looked above us -- right into the bottom of that overhang -- and spotted the security camera. Unseen eyes decided that we didn't look like cops (although given our respective sizes, we probably did look like cops, just a little) and the door opened. I couldn't see who was letting us in until we were inside, although I could tell from the sound of her voice that she was most-likely Asian and most-likely a little older ... maybe in her forties or possibly in her well-preserved fifties.
I was dead-nuts-on. (That means I was very correct ... it's an expression I use quite often in the spoken word, but that AOL never would have allowed) (probably). She was Asian, older, and tiny. Very small. I couldn't help but be a little afraid for her. Even in a room full of Ugly Americans, Templar and I are a little bigger than the crowd. But here, we were giants ... monstrous trolls of questionable origin. A pair of headcases here to kill everyone in the building and boff the dead bodies might look just like us. I wanted this little woman to know that we weren't a threat ... I wanted to somehow tell her that Templar was mostly-harmless and I was just along for the ride. But somehow, I think that following my first instinct and repeating 'We're not going to hurt you, we're not going to hurt you,' over and over again might have had the opposite of its desired effect.
I was very quiet. I made no sudden moves. I wasn't going to hurt anybody. Everyone can relax ... the big guy who never blinks is just here for the ride.
(Didn't know that about me, did you? That I never blink? It's true ... and there are a few who have mentioned it and who've found it disconcerting. I've caught my own father staring at me and staring at me ... and eventually I'll say, 'What?' and he'll answer, 'You're not going to blink any time soon, are you?' I suspect that my eyes are naturally lubricated, or that they're made of plastic ... that I'm actually a Replicant programmed to believe that I'm a Human.)
It was hard to believe that I was in an actual Whore House. It didn't seem at all like a place that paid its rent with grunting and sweating. It looked like a regular old living room to me. A tiny entertainment center -- perhaps knee high -- rested up against one wall. Templar subtly pointed out the security monitors on the floor next to it ... black and white ... our Candid Cameras. The Asian Madam (Japanese? Korean?) asked if we wanted drinks and brought us each a Coke.
A girl passed through ... slinky little dress, black pumps. We made eye contact ... but a strange flavor of eye contact. It wasn't flirting and it wasn't love. It was sex ... nothing more and nothing less. We didn't look for affection in each others eyes. There was no seeking ... no questioning. We weren't striving for each other's approval. There was only acceptance of the act that lay before us and of our anticipated enjoyment of same.
Then she was gone ... and Templar and I were again alone with the Asian Madam and another woman. (A friend? a sister or relative or some kind? I may never know.) They were watching some really bad television, but their English wasn't good enough to appreciate just how bad this television was. I couldn't identify it as anything I'd ever seen before, but I could tell it was some series on USA or UPN or TBS that no one had ever heard of and no one ever would. There were guns and threats and more guns and then more threats ... and given my circumstances I couldn't take my eyes from the bad televsion.
After all, the girl had already passed.
A few more minutes. Another cigarette. Templar making small-talk with the nice ladies. Well, okay, to be fair, it was a bold-sort of small talk. He was completely comfortable with this. Didn't bother him a bit. He was as calm and cool as I wanted to be. If I'd written myself into this as part of some scene I was writing, I would have been that calm. Instead I was waiting for all of these woman to draw weapons and shout "Freeze! Police!" in perfect-English.
Then, we had three girls standing in front us in a sexual chorus-line. We were to choose. My slinky-dressed Babe was there -- but they were all wearing slinky dresses. I completely froze ... but to my surprise she had already picked me out. She took me by the hand and lead me off the couch and upstairs and we left Templar behind to choose between the other two.
(Quick note to Mom, who I'm sure is reading: Don't worry, nothing happens.)
She lead me through tiny, twisted halls to a little room. I whipped out my check card thinking to myself, 'James Bond would have carried cash.' She explained that it would be another $20 on top of the $150 to put this on a card. (She explained it very badly but she explained it.) (Jackie's English was none-too-good.) I decided it would be best not to mention that it was illegal to charge more for a credit card transaction. She vanished with my card for a good long time. She returned with a little something for me to sign. I signed it. She vanished again.
I sat. It had never occured to me that paying for sex would involve so much sitting and waiting. They never sat and waited in the movies. But I guess they just edit those parts right out.
When Jackie returned, she gently admonished me for still being dressed. It was right about then that I realized -- realized fully, because I'd already had a pretty good idea -- that this wasn't something I was going to go through with.
I said "Let's just start with a back-rub and we'll see where that gets us," knowing full-well exactly where that was going to get us. It was going to get us to the easiest $170 she'd made all night.
To my horror, she didn't seem to know the words 'back-rub.'
So I explained further. I'm pretty sure I was stammering like a lunatic at this point. She was beautiful. She was paid for. She was ready and willing. And ready. And did I mention willing?
"Massage?" she finally asked.
"Yes!" I replied with too much relief. "Yes. A massage."
I consider myself a fairly bold writer. I'm not at all Politically Correct. I don't care if a very small percentage of Humans finds what I write offensive. I write what I write, period. Even so, I never would have written her response like she said it.
Without warning I was violently thrust into a detergent commercial.
White broad, mystified. "How do you get my clothes so white?"
Chinese laundryman, slyly. "Ancient Chinese Secret."
Laundryman's wife from the back of the store. "We need more Calgon!"
White broad, slyly. "Ancient Chinese Secret huh?"
Big white man, nervously. "Er ... no ... um ... no ...
Little demon named Boyce inside of white man's head. "Say it. Say 'no fuckie.' You know you want to say the word 'fuckie.' Say it! Say it!"
Big white man sounding not-at-all like Sean Connery. "Er ... just a massage.
The massage. Just a massage."
Boyce. "You pussy."
I'm not sure why I didn't nail her like a roofing tack. I'm fairly sure that it wasn't morals. I'm also safe in saying that it wasn't because of my role as a community leader. I cannot with confidence -- however -- say that the 3 x 5 two-way mirror on the wall next to her bed didn't factor in. Heavily. For -- although I love you dearly Gentle Reader -- I have no intention of allowing you to watch a QuickTime movie featuring Mr. Steele boffing a working girl.
(Just as an aside, that massage was the best ever. It was not a $170 massage by any means, but it was very nice.)
But this story's not over yet. Oh no.
Isn't it disconcerting when you can tell exactly what someone is saying even when you don't speak the language?
I put my shirt back on and we left the room. From behind the door of the adjacent room (on the other side of that two-way mirror), a girl who I'm guessing watches for security reasons yelled "Aren't you going to fuck him?" in a language other than English. Jackie's response -- a sort of "HaaAIee " sound -- was a "Shaddup."
Then we went downstairs. Jackie didn't waste any time telling the Madam and her friend/sister/relative that we hadn't fuckie-ed. It was apparently quite the marvel. They chattered back and forth about how bizarre the whole thing was ... for someone to purchase the burger and leave it at the table ... and they didn't get it. Judging by the sheer volume of words passed between them, they really, really tried.
The entire time Jackie was very ... 'cuddly.' She sat beside me on the couch. She massaged my hands as though she was still on the clock. She leaned her head on my shoulder. I'm not really sure why. Maybe it was just because she could ... because I'd paid for her and hadn't taken her and that made me 'safe.' All things considered, I think the idea of a man being 'safe' to a woman in that profession was about as foreign as their language was to me.
She excused herself for a moment and the Madam asked me why I hadn't. (Fortunately she didn't use the word 'Fuckie.') I envisioned Jackie getting some sort of reprimand, and I hastily explained that Jackie was beautiful and that it wasn't because I didn't want to. I went on to say that what I got was worth it and that I had no complaints. I think I extrapolated her work onto mine. I sell cars, remember ... and if one of my managers ever asks a customer of mine why they didn't buy a car from me, I'd much rather the answer be, 'Well I don't drive so much these days,' than, 'The salesman just wasn't good enough.'
Templar -- on the other hand -- boffed his girl like she'd just made him build a bridge across the River Kwai. And I don't think that he believes to this day that all I got was a massage. Or maybe he does believe it ... but to admit that he believed would be an insult to my Manhood. It's tough to say.
I haven't been back since. But I could go back at any time. I'm sure Jackie would appreciate another paid-break from the Safe White Man.
Holy Cow. I just had a terrifying thought. 'Jackie' ... 'Fuckie' ... you don't suppose her name was actually Jack do you?