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Hot Dog Water & Opinions

{excerpt from memoir #3 - not yet titled or released}

Dave’s Bar 6 p.m. (2015)

The bartender here is treating me like shit. Which, if I’m honest, is gratifying in a strange way—this is a local bar and I’m not a regular. He doesn’t know me. He doesn’t need to kiss my ass or be saccharin sweet. Granted, he’s in a service industry so not being a total dick wouldn’t hurt him. Cut to an hour later: I’ve been playing blues on the jukebox, which he appreciated and we got to talking. When he asked what I did for a living, I said my usual:

“I’m a writer, but working as a prostitute is what pays my bills.”

“What?” he asked me.

“Yep, just what you thought you heard”, I said with a smirk.

“Wait, what?” he asked again.

“I’m a hooker”, I said.



A myriad of thoughts traveled across his face. And then he said, “Don’t do that in here.”

I laughed, “Honey, I look like something the cat dragged in, I promise you I’m not here to hook.” Meanwhile I’m breathing hot dog air and I had to pull the lid off the toilet earlier in order to flush it. Yeah, I’m here fishing for clients. Good lord.

A little after the reveal and after a refresher drink (and him leering at me sideways from the end of the bar), he came over and said that I was “the first woman who’s ever openly admitted that" to him. Yes, sir, I got nothin’ to hide and no concept of the word shame. Actually, that's not true, it's shameful the way most people treat each other. It's a shame that the best wines are so expensive. Two consenting adults agreeing on an exchange isn't on my shame list. Being a hooker doesn't define me. I'm not one dimensional, I'm many things, but if you ask me how I’ve paid the bills for the past twenty-five-years, it’s been from selling a fantasy and making dudes come.

I could tell my being a working girl had thrown him off center, which sort of surprised me, him being a jaded old-timer bartender and all. He told me he’s been slinging hooch for close to forty years, you'd think he’d have seen a thing or two...not be so thrown by little ol’ me, but I was in Glendale—hardly a rough town. He asked when I was going to quit, and kindly added, “You know you have an expiration.” I was about to agree with him when he said I had maybe ten years. I stopped mid excuse...he just said ten years! I did a mental back-flip. He must think I’m younger than I am.

I continued writing and he continued slinging. About thirty minutes down the line he asked if I had a moral issue with it, and also wanted to know if I believed in God. Instead of waiting for an answer, he went into a whole diatribe about how the industry is portrayed in films and books and that he knows “it’s a cold exchange”. I rolled my eyes at this. How in the world can he know what it’s like for a woman to do what I do? I thought to myself: I have to show the other side of the coin to everyone—the real side. I contemplated getting into it, but here’s this sixty something bartender who is set in his ways...I decided to just let him get it off his chest. He has a major issue with women selling sex and fake love for money. He doesn’t think those things should have an exchange rate. When I brought up the point that not all men can find love (or sex) he said they were just being lazy. I was ready to throw in the towel on this afternoon's writing excursion—I wasn’t going to change this old dog and that’s okay. Sometimes the best I can do is live by example. Perhaps just meeting a veteran sex worker who was kind, not on drugs (scratch that, I think I may have done a tiny bit of meth in the bathroom), has her shit together and doesn’t hate men will cause him to rethink what he “knows”.

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