A Fresh Voice. A Willing Ear. A more collaborative White Rock for us all.

On October 20th Vote Jeffery Simpson for White Rock City Council.

For my last trick

* A story that has both the end of the world and a prostitute.  This was one of the few stories that wasn't quite obviously about me.  Also don't ask me about the funky indenting; it was just there in both the previous online copy and the copy on my Powerbook.  Obviously I thought it was important at the time, but sadly I can't remember all my punctuation choices from 1997.

She pulls her pants up. The fat man is on the bed. Asking for more. She doesn't need the money that bad. He swears at her. She doesn't care; he’s nothing to her. He finally gives up and throws a wad of bills at her. She counts it; she doesn't trust her "partners". Who would trust that sort of scum? She leaves the hotel room, checking her makeup in the bathroom mirror before going out the door.

She doesn't have a car so she has to walk across town to her flat. She wishes her customers would just bang her downtown. It would save her so much work. She would catch a bus but she doesn't have the change. Plus the lines aren’t running regular anymore. Nothing has been working properly since the announcement.

What announcement? It’s the end of the world soon, don’t you know. She was scared at first. Then she took a look in the mirror. She hated what she saw.

What started out as a quick way to earn some cash had turned into her life. She had AIDs although she doesn't know it yet.

She’s dying.

She’s miserable, she realised she had nothing to live for anyway. She had planned to get out of town, try some new place even if for a couple of months, just to see if she could start again. But the amount of money people where throwing around now that they world was ending was insane. It seemed that everyone wanted one good screw before the end of the world. Her pimp wouldn’t let her go. She was his best girl, he had argued. Think of the money.

He didn’t get it. She didn’t think anybody really did. This was it. It was over. She only had herself to prove things to now. Only herself to please.

She had always tried to imagine that the people she slept with she loved. It made her feel more human that way. It kept her from gagging on the taste they left in her mouth. She had never really felt loved.

Or maybe she had. She didn’t know. It had been so long since anyone had cared for her. Years. What was love? She didn’t know.

Her pimp seemed to. He said love was money. Love was lust. She was at his house now. Giving him his take. He touched her. She didn’t like his hands on her. She never had. Still he was the one who arranged everything for her. Without him she’d be dead, or so he had often said. She struggled as he stroked her. Pushing him away. He laughed; it was all just a game. She wondered if he really enjoyed his work. She hoped not, no one could be that inhuman. He sends her out again.

She goes to head uptown. To where her next client is. She has to take a taxi. It’ll come out of her pay. She doesn't care.

This is it. The last night on earth. Her grand finale.

She is determined to make this the greatest fuck in the history of the world.

The apartment throws her off. It’s neat and well kept. The man seems nice and polite, and not interested in her in the way clients normally are. Still she’s seen stranger. He had prepared her a supper. Still she’d seen stranger.

The two of them ate there, sitting at the kitchen table, in the sterile apartment. He was older, much older. Not old, but older. He could have been her uncle or a father.

As they ate he asked her several questions. Not the normal kinky stuff like, "Where do you like to do it?" or "What about leather?" He asked weird stuff. How old are you? Where are you from? What do you remember about your childhood?

She answered all of his questions. Maybe it was just his sick game. Get in touch with her inner child. Yet with each question he seems to get sadder. More forlorn. It is as if he had expected someone else.

Finally he stops and puts his head down. Sighs and takes out his wallet. He hands her a large group of hundreds and gestures to the door. He tells her he is sorry, he thought she was someone else. Who does he want her to be, she asks, she can be anyone, a nurse, a starlet.

" No, not that." he seems sad, "I wanted you to be my daughter."

She gives him a strange look.

He explains, "We gave her up for adoption, my wife did actually. Well her mother, never my wife... I have been looking for her for the past five years. I thought that well the trail led to you..." he pauses to keep from crying, "I thought finally. Just in time. I can make it right. One night of passion twenty years of regret and guilt. I could have fixed it. But no.... She’ll die tonight, never knowing the truth. I’ll die tonight alone. I guess that’s God’s justice. Too old, wrong city. Such little facts. Yet they make you who you are.... or aren’t.

She looked at him. She had pitied many of her customers. Worthless pieces of trash, losers and lowlifes. She had hated her customers. Junkies, abusive fuckers, and sick boys. She had tried to love her customers, hoping for a finish to her life like the movie, the one with Richard Geere. Yet when she had gotten her money, any sort of emotional feelings she had built up slipped away. It didn’t matter. She never saw most of them again. Her pimp didn’t want too many repeat customers, didn’t want her to get attached to anyone, leave him.

But standing in the room with this man she felt something. Something she hadn’t felt for along time. It was an emotion she may have forgotten, or thought she had. It was compassion. She wanted to help this man. She wanted to console him. Still how could she? The only thing she knew was sex. Now anyways. So she did the only thing she could think of, she told him her life story.

He sat there, listening to her pain. He stories of betrayal at the hands of who she thought was her lover, the drugs, the re-hab and the pain. Getting straight and getting clean, just to wind up a tramp working a corner. Stuck there, until the end of time.

They both sat there fully clothed, yet neither had felt so naked in their lives.

There was a silence.

He looked at her for a long while.

Both looking at each other across the void of spent emotion.

"I guess I can never make it up to my daughter. But I would like to help you if I can." he said.

She glanced at the clock on the wall. Not much chance to...

"How about a dance? One last dance. Father to daughter... Just like at a graduation." she said, getting up and extending her arms towards him.

He stood up and embraced her. They both swayed to the music; it was that song that she always made her sad. The song by Michael Stipe, the one about crying. They both cried.

The song was ending. Time was ending. The world was ending.

"I love you. Daughter." he smiled as he said it.

The phrase hit her hard. She felt as if all her dreams had come true.

She cried, in joy, in pain, "I love you too... Dad."


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