Thursday, March 23, 2006

Honesty and Responsibility

I woke up this morning just as the first rays of the dawn burst into my bedroom. I stretched across the bed and realized that both my little girls were in bed with me. I hadn't felt them crawl into the bed so I had no idea how long they had been there.

I looked at them both laying there, fast asleep, lost in their own dreams. They look so beautiful and I miss them so much when I'm working but I try to make up for it, whenever I have the opportunity to spend time with them. Their father is a complete loser. I walked out on him a little over five years , taking the girls with me, after he had slapped me around one time too many. What is it with these fucking red-necks? Our government bitches about the way that other nations treat their women, well maybe they should check out what goes on in the good ol' U.S. of A. before getting on their high horse. Texas rednecks turn on the charm while they are a courtin' but as soon as they get you up the aisle, they think they own you. Robbie was no exception. Although his mother still takes an interest in the girls and looks after them whenever Monika is busy, they rarely see their Daddy. I wish it wasn't like that ....... but that's the way it is for now.

Whenever I leave to go to work, the girls always ask if I will be back home when they wake up in the morning. I can only ever say that I'll try...... but I never promise. It seems to make it a bit easier for them if they do wake up and I'm not home. It also means that they are really excited when I am there. Sure, it's not the ideal way to raise kids but such is 21st Century life for a single mom in Houston, Texas. I do realize that I'd be in a world of hurt if it wasn't for Monika and often count my blessings that I have such a wonderful neighbor.

Seeing the girls laying there ..... so angelic peaceful. A wave of emotion sweeps right through me and at that moment I know the meaning of unconditional love. I want nothing more than to be able to provide a safe and loving home for them. I couldn't bear the thought of them having to endure the trauma, either physical or emotional, that dominated my own childhood.

The hypocritical moralists down here in the Bible-belt, would condemn me for being a single (separated) mom, who works the club scene and dabbles in drug-enhanced sex from time to time. The big difference is that what I do, I do openly and readily accept that I am responsible for my actions and for the lifestyle that I lead.

Those who are quick on the draw to criticize are often in denial about the shadow side to their own character. It is not unusual to be sitting with a punter in the clubs who has driven from the other side of the city, to try and make sure that they don't run in to anyone who might recognize them. The vast majority of my customers are married but I doubt that any of them tell their wives that they're off to a Titty-bar for the evening! I have one regular customer who only comes to Cover Girls when there is horse-racing at the track by the beltway; telling his wife that he's, "....going to the races."
He is then able to explain that he is a few hundred bucks out of pocket 'cos he lost a wager or two with his buddies! The fact that this particular guy is always telling me about his involvement with his local church just adds to the hypocrisy.

Much of the business in the clubs is conducted on expense accounts; with many customers dressed in standard Houston business attire of Dockers and Polo shirt (jacket only necessary in the winter months). The more senior they are in their respective companies, the more they can spend on Client Entertainment. Junior guys might manage to stretch it to a couple of Table-dances, whereas a vice-president can run-up a tab of a few hundred bucks, without breaking a sweat. I often wonder if the owners or shareholders of Houston based companies have any idea how much of their money is invested in the Houston club scene! There are many occasions when multi-million dollar business deals are finalized after company deal-makers ensure that their prospective clients are taken good care of by carefully selected dancers.

When I first started out, I would occasionally work at Treasures on Westheimer. It was the deep in the dimly lit alcoves of Treasures where Anna Nicole Smith first met the 88 year old oil tycoon, J. Howard Marshall, in 1994. Although he died a year after they got married, I'll bet he died a happy man!

Oil company executives make up a big chunk of Treasures clientele. Senior managers of a company called ENRON would often be amongst the first to arrive in the evening and amongst the last to leave. On more than one occasion, they were spending so much money that they were able to persuade the Club Manager to let them have a private party after every one else had left the club at 2.00am. Such an arrangement would usually entail at least a dozen bottles of champagne being bought just before the lights went up and the Club Manager being given an enormous tip! The girls who were sitting with the group would normally be asked to stay on but if any of them had to leave, there would more than enough willing replacements readily at hand. The ENRON guys really pushed the envelope (as they used to say ...with boring repetition!), living life in the ultra-fast lane and taking self-gratification to new heights.

One of the top ENRON guys, an oriental gentleman, who reportedly sold his ENRON stock for almost $300million was a regular face on the club scene. So much so that he ended up leaving his wife for a dancer. I didn't know the dancer personally but she had to know what this guy was like because everyone knew that he would take girls back to his office and fuck them on his desk. These guys thought they could buy anything they wanted ......... and for a time, they were probably right.

I remember one occasion when Karry, a stunningly beautiful dancer at Treasures, got really annoyed one night, after one of the ENRON group had asked her to give him a blowjob.....right there, at the table! She stormed into the locker room and screamed, "Those fucking shit-heads; if only their dicks were as big as their egos!"
Man, did we laugh.

When ENRON went bust, in 2001, we used to joke that it was due to their massive bar and dance tabs at Treasures. We knew that we had lost a lot of high-rollin' customers ....... but they got what they deserved.

It was only later that we learned how many people had lost their life savings thanks to those greedy assholes. We felt a bit guilty at how much money we used to make from the dances (and sex) that we would give these guys ..... but in the great scheme of things, it wasn't even a drop in the ocean.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not being self-righteous. God knows, I'm reliant on businessmen for most (or perhaps even all!) of my earnings. It's just the lack of honesty coupled with the way that these guys live out their personal and business lives, which I find to be a fucked-up contradiction. Sure, my Mom thinks that I work as a waitress and my Dad doesn't ask any questions (but only because he knows that he might not like the answers!), but somehow my lifestyle just seems so much more .. honest!

The alarm clock starts beeping and jolts me back into the NOW. I reach over and shut it off, gently calling the girls names to bring them out of their sleep. Tabitha, the eight year old, is first to open her beautiful blue eyes.
"Mommy, you're home!" She says as she gets to her knees and throws her arms around me. Jessica is now stirring. When she sees Tabby wrapped around me, she jumps up and launches herself at us. We all fall back on the bed in a great heap and start giggling. These guys are just so precious.

We only have a half hour before they need to be at the bus-stop. Jess looks longingly at me and asks if I will still be home when she gets back from school. When I promise that I be there to meet them off the school bus, both girls give me an extra squeeze.
Tabby looks up and says, "Mommy, you know ....we really miss you when you're not here."
"I know, baby." I reply, as I feel the tears welling up in my eyes. But before the emotion can really get a hold of me, I let go of the girls, clap my hands and say, "Come on, let's go; you girls have gotta get some breakfast and be at the bus in less than 30 minutes."

We pile out of the bed. The girls go off to their room to get dressed, while I breeze into the kitchen to prepare their breakfast and packed lunch. I realize that I have been sleeping for almost seventeen hours. I feel refreshed and re-vitalized. The experience with Slimeball Cab Driver seems as though it was weeks ago. Anyway, I'm definitely not gonna let that bullshit drag me down. Once I've had the opportunity to take a long hot bath, I'll be in great shape.

I leave the girls cereal on the breakfast bar and go back into my bedroom to slip into my sweats. At twenty-five after seven, I'm chasing the girls down the stairs and running after them as they head to the bus stop; hopping, skipping and laughing. It's real good to see them so happy. I'm real glad that I made enough money from my night with the Rocket that I don't have to work for a few days.
We get to the bus-stop just as the bus is pulling up. The girls both turn and wave as they climb aboard. I walk alongside the bus, keeping pace with them as they walk down the aisle towards the back of the bus. They get to a seat just as the bus starts to pull away. I wave and blow them a kiss. I see them stand up and turn so that they can wave to me through the rear windshield. We keep waving until the bus turns the corner at the end of the street.
Such simple pleasures; every women should have the opportunity to experience these little moments. It makes all the other bullshit in life seem worthwhile.

As I walk back to the apartment, I'm already thinking about the treat that I'll give the girls when they get home this afternoon. I reckon that they'll enjoy eatin' dinner at Joe's Crab Shack.

Meanwhile, I'm gonna have a real long soak in the bath.


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