Vegas Arrhythmia

What sort of pleasure does one derive from sex with a seven-month pregnant prostitute? Until moving to Las Vegas that thought never would’ve obsessed me.

No need to enter the gooey particulars. Let it suffice that both parties fulfilled their ends of the contract. A pact which has been extended up until her due date.

Kink aside, a matter of decorum needed maintaining. The client hosts these exchanges.

He resides in one of the many money parts of Transient City. His is an address where one should wonder whether the high walls surrounding the properties are meant to exclude intruders or contain acts outsiders may judge as unsavory.

Somehow the client bailed from a failed marriage with custody of its children. Either he kept his more deviant proclivities hidden (if he could keep this under wraps from the expected rapacious attorney representing his ex-wife, then the NSA has found its boy to prevent another Eddie Snowden outbreak) or the mother skeezed and skagged like a fiend.

Maybe the judge came down with this Solomanic verdict: the parent without any skin-popping tracks won guardianship.

Anyway, attempting to maintain his children’s ignorance, uh, innocence, the client and his provider arranged oddest hour liaisons. Only on school nights, and then only after the minors were soundly asleep, to be concluded before the uncomprehending awoke for their next day’s classes.

Talk about pressure. The provider had zero compunction discussing her services. However, her prospective audience had trouble stomaching the topic. Sensing his discomfort, she steered focus onto her family, about the children she’d already birthed.

One can imagine the self-esteem trophies lining that home’s mantle.

Not exactly the sort of subject matter one casually broaches with Square John citizens, I hoped to chew it over with Lola. She’s one of the many denizens who’ve gravitated to Las Vegas who admittedly might be taken as an outlier elsewhere. Here Lola’s part of the fabric. Up in, oh, let’s say Idaho or Utah, she’d be a misplaced tile in the communal mosaic.

Lola’s another marcher in the Las Vegas parade that reminds what’s absurd or who’s obscene in other precincts may fit terrifically here. Apropos of the Ministry song, in this wedge of the Southwest Every Day Is Halloween.

Aping her, “oh, yeah, by the way” manner, Lola’s a working girl. She confesses to it without hesitation but will likely become indignant if the listener takes umbrage. It’s what she does, not who she is. Too few of us are capable of making such distinctions.

Night light and the deeper shades instilled through boozing and drugging barely softened Lola. She’s a gimlet-eyed blonde whose jaw is perpetually hard set. Pushing high upon her short stature is a carriage one might swear consisted of “store-boughts.” Instead nature threw her two pert enviable wildcards. Either the life she leads, what it requires, what it demands, maintain her taut figure, or she’s simply genetically blessed. Smoking as much as she does, none should see her as a dedicated gym visitor.

Naturally we met in typical Las Vegas fashion.

About six in the morning last summer I was driving somewhere to socialize. On the way to exercise my elbow, be glib, and, after finding some sweet compliant woman, mack, I glimpsed a street scene. A crowd had coalesced around two mugs. Seeing no approaching bubble gum lights and the air silent of sirens, I parked and joined a throng expecting to watch a free fight.

Although the combatants were black and white, the incipient incident lacked any racial animosity. This despite the crazed red-faced Anglo flinging “nigger!” like Pollock would paint on a wide canvas. I believe our society has rappers to thank for diluting that slur’s sting so much even blue-rinsed suburban matrons can now safely express their innermost ghetto selves without fearing polite society repercussion.

Sussing it out, I gathered the black fellow had crossed the gringo. I surmise so because the former showed all the signs of meekness.

Prior to any swinging, this pair and two blondes posed outside a hastily parked car in a convenient parking lot. The blonde not Lola couldn’t decide whether to play peacemaker or instigate.

On one hand, she snarled for the aggressor to back off; on the other, she cajoled his target to “kick the shit outta tha’ mutherfucker!” Talk about conflicts.

Lola, however, shared no such confusion. She looked ready to be elsewhere at that instant. Her eyes darted. And although her heels were too high for skeddaling, body language hoped for swift departure.

One of the pleasures of attending Arizona, circa late 1970s, early 80s, was the likelihood of any weekend sojourn to South Tucson concluding in watching two vatos rumble beneath a streetlamp’s dim glow. A reference for you ashcan artist aficionados, sort of like live action Mixers at Sharkey’s.

So I’d enjoyed my fair share of knucklehead street bouts.

I got Lola’s attention. I offered her a ride. She hesitated. I decided for her. She gave her present situation a quick estimate and chose the unknown over an imminent bad scene.

Lola wasn’t the kind of woman accustomed to having car doors held open for her. When I showed such courtesy she tried not reacting in astonishment. Lola didn’t say thanks, and didn’t ask whether she could smoke inside my car – she’d whipped out and fired up a cancer stick before I shifted, much less turned the ignition – though she did roll down the window in order to expulse her plumes.

Gazing at her closely, my passenger bore superficial resemblances to Perdu, an ex-colleague. That was if Perdu could ever have appeared hard-bitten instead of brittle.

In less kind moods I speculate blackly about her.

Is she still a doormat? One who willingly abases herself for the spotty attention of the unworthy man she craves? One to whom she cravenly wishes to commit? Or did enough of Ignatz’ bricks upside her head finally convince Perdu he’d return no measure of desire? If so, how many cats has she collected in the four years since our last contact?

A smart and resourceful woman, Perdu lacked strength and resilience. Loca and Fea, the two witchy sisters for whom we once toiled, possessed the business acumen of teens who’d mainlined Chocolate-Covered Sugar Bombs. Mean girls as both must’ve been, each woman extended her petulance and conniving into her 50s. Becoming harridans simply fine-tuned Loca’s and Fea’s pain-inflicting instincts. Akin to those pigs which can snuffle out mushrooms, these two women sniffed out weakness.

Poor Perdu formed a two-legged compendium of readily available scabs for the picking. She was the field mouse those two feral felines batted between themselves.

Again deciphering body language, Lola appeared a woman comfortable riding in cars next to strangers. Especially those strangers with candy. Besides, enough of day had burst to fairly reveal the driver. So rather than huddle against the passenger door, she almost lounged in that seat. The obvious question needed asking. She told me our destination, a swank Strip address.

As a much younger man before relocating to Transient City, I might’ve haunted our stop. But as in New York where residents leave the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty to tourists, I also neglect Las Vegas’ popular attractions.

Dregs from the prior evening and revelers needing early morning eye openers scattered throughout the bar. The sparse waitstaff didn’t bother showing much attentiveness. After we sat, a brusque bordering on rude signal by me detached a server from where she stood rooted.

The graveyard shift minion determined what Lola was and focused on me, presumably her client, um, a hotel guest. Drinks ordered our girl slouched out of sight to fill them.

Striking her probably umpteenth cigarette of the morning, Lola carelessly asked whether the fumes bothered me. She did this with passable politeness, not that it mattered much to her. As a sop to my still healthy lungs, she polluted the room away from our table.

Only interrupted by our waitress finally delivering overpriced drinks, Lola’s clocklike pauses for tobacco, and me clarifying her exposition through questions, she told a terse, tart tale behind the circumstances which seated us inside that establishment.

At her nights’ conclusions, Lola like circling back to one of the gold strikes where she’d entertained a gentleman. What beat having personnel who’d earlier given her stink eye now at her beck and call? Besides, whiskey shaved off a lot of those nights’ accumulated edges.

Oh? I would’ve thought the hooch might’ve dulled the thuds of those hard blunt objects with which she must’ve contended. That I kept to myself.

Plenty of staffs likely suspected her purpose inside their buildings. However, Lola did her utmost to remain inconspicuous. Unsurprisingly, gambling proved a great shield against and deterred scrutiny by hotels security, a k a, “the wrong kinds of dicks.” Moreover, she seldom dressed in hooker regalia.

If our encounter indicative, then I saw how she kept below notice. The ensemble she’d slapped together exemplified her standard work outfit. Cropped denim jacket over a sports bra, both of which allowed admiration of a tight midriff that flowed into hip-hugging skinny jeans. As mentioned before shoes whose stacked heels hindered easy flight but hiked her behind. Lola had a natural strut emphasizing her hips’ swivel.

Dressed a little trashy maybe, but pretty unremarkable compared against the slatternly garments won by club-tripping women not in the game. Nor did Lola broadcast herself as available for hire. That involved a certain amount of cat and mouse. While not foolproof, such discretion had kept Lola out of LVPD crosshairs and limited the number of hotels which had 86’ed her.

The boiling quartet that had pulled over and caught passersby attention intended ending its night’s labors in this Strip saloon or one like it elsewhere. The mouthy white guy was Lola’s Mack, the black fellow served as his “man.” The hectoring woman? Another “kitten” in the procurer’s stable.

Their street scene evolved from nothing. And as much of nothing frequently leads to, it blew up into something.

The Mack asked his man a simple question. Had he screwed the other blonde accompanying them that night? Not any previous evening, but that one.

Indeed he had.

But for whatever reasons – Propriety? Nah! – the associate denied it. Loudmouth ratted him out.

Maybe she decided it time for him to become his own man. She ought have informed him before he got tossed into the soup.

Who knew why the Mack asked? Intuition? A trick question meant to keep his band on its toes? Whichever, the response displeased him. It showed disloyalty. Not that his man had tapped one of the girls. No big deal there.

Instead, he raged because someone he trusted, or ought have been held in trust, lied to him. If something this minor bred dishonesty, what assurances existed when the deal vital?

Here, the underling should’ve either apologized or dummied up. Then remain silent during the subsequent rebuke.

But no. He forgot his place then compounded this mistake by not staying there. The minion tried justifying his error. After all, his reckoning went, it only concerned a bitch, not money.

The two guys alone, maybe it works. Done before women crossed a red line. Displeasure became disrespect. What participant in that setting doesn’t esteem respect? Of giving it? Or getting the proper due?

Inside the car the honcho jumped hot. He must lest he expose himself as “soft.” No need to imagine him jerking the steering wheel then braking hard enough for the tires to screech. My arrival came shortly after the foursome had bolted from their auto.

With all the argy-bargy and posturing between the Mack and his man and the other woman pouring verbal gas onto their fire, I asked Lola if she wondered whether or cared how long it took before they noticed her absent. Her comeback pleased me.

“Why should they? I’m only a bitch.”

Sadly, Lola spoke self-consciously, without a grin or wink to flip her rue.

She’s the one I’ve sought lately to answer the question posed at the beginning of this post. If anyone should know …

Lola gave me her cell number. But I’ve misplaced it. I assumed I’d never need or use it.

So I’ve resorted to shoe-leather. Of course odd as Lola’s hours are, as well as places of practice, tracking her down has been futile. I must hope our paths cross again randomly. And soon before stranger human behavior trumps this instance.