Cleaning Up




Desdemona looked out the window as the underground bus drove swiftly from stop to stop. She wished she’d taken a different line so that there would have been traffic. She watched the unsuspecting faces of the people boarding the bus, wondering what they would think of her if they knew. She arrived at her stop and walked toward the address as slowly as possible, maybe they would fire her if she was late to her first day of work.

She had been unemployed for nine months and her unemployment had ended several weeks before, she’d had no choice but to take this job. She could hear the music thumping when she got there. She wrapped her shirt sleeve around her hand and opened the door.

Abigail, her new boss was waiting for her behind the bar. Desdemona thought she looked even heavier than when she’d met her a week ago. The many tattoos she sported on her flabby arms seemed to swing around with reckless abandon as she cleaned glasses and shelved, the bottles of fancy booze on the wall behind her. Abigail looked a bit thicker and her glasses appeared to be dirtier than they were last week.

She smiled warmly and told Desdemona to take off her coat and hang it in the storage room. No one had arrived at the bar yet. The DJ, a tall thin man who looked like he had just been thawed out from a cryogenic freezing that had taken place in the mid-seventies, was preparing his set for the night. He danced around enthusiastically to the Britany Spears tune that he was currently spinning.

“Glad to see you made it on time,” said Abigail. “Let’s go downstairs and I’ll show you where everything is.”

Desdemona’s stomach tightened as the older woman led the way down the narrow staircase that led to the basement. The walls were lined with old Playboy and Penthouse center folds. They walked into the lounge area which contained several sofas and a couple of easy chairs.

“So this is where people generally sit when they first come downstairs she said. You want to keep a close watch on this area. You have upholstery cleaner in your bag. If anything gets stained scrub it up before the next person sits there.  The private rooms are back here.  As soon as one couple leaves be sure to change the sheets and spray everything down right away. It can get tricky if it’s crowded, because sometimes they’ll be so many people around the viewing window that it’s hard to see what’s going on. Also sometimes one couple will get started and others will join in, if that happens wait until its twenty minutes after the original couple leaves. Remember there’s no nudity at the buffet and no sex on the floor. If anyone breaks a rule come upstairs and get a security guard.”

Desdemona sat upstairs waiting for the first guest to arrive and hoping time would freeze. She looked in one of the many mirrors at herself. Short, a little plump, nice long dark hair clad in a white shirt and black skirt she was told to wear, she looked like a secretary.

An elderly couple made their way down stairs, smiled at her and sat on one of the couches. She watched in horror as they began to finger each other. More people began to arrive. She stood in the corner and tried to go unseen emerging only when absolutely necessary to do her job. She tried not to   look at the collection of paunchy, middle aged people who were coupling all around her. Fortunately there were not that many people around the viewing windows and she was able to see when a couple was leaving.  She dashed out of the shadows and made the bed as quickly as humanly possible. Several men eyed her and a few asked her if she wanted to go into a room. She had never been the most attractive person in a bar in her life. She told them she couldn’t and went on about her business.

While dashing from a room back to her corner she noticed a man walking around the room looking at everyone and masturbating as he walked. He was slightly more normal looking than the rest of the men there. He was tall and skinny, with a long plain face, but his face was shaven and he appeared to have showered. She suddenly realized she’d seen him before. It was her high school history teacher Mr. Kramer. He caught sight of her and the two of them stared at each other for a long moment. He zipped up and ran out of the club.

She got off of work just as the sun was coming up. The swingers were enjoying their breakfast buffet as she left. As she rode the bus home she thought this might not be such a bad job after all.


The Boyfriend Experience


Even if you don’t have a boyfriend you can still celebrate Valentine’s Day. Here are a few simple things you can do to fill that empty void that you thought could only be filled by a man.

1. Talk to yourself and ignore every thing you are saying. After a few minutes start playing with your breasts!
2. Drink a whole bunch of cheap beer and get under the covers and let her rip!
3. Fall asleep while masturbating.
4. THe next time you are in a public bathroom looking in a mirror stop and look at the younger thinner women.
5. Forget your birthday.
6. Force yourself to watch an action movie and don’t let yourself think it’s stupid.
7. Slap yourself around a little bit.
8. Take yourself out to dinner and talk about how much better it is than your own cooking.
9. Take a nice hot bath and get out of it after five minutes to make popcorn. Get back in the tub and get out after another three minutes to answer the phone. Get back in the tub and get out again to answer the door. Get back in the tub and start to cry because the water is cold.
10. Go down to the bus station and find the slowest, saddest mental deficient you can find and convince him that he is a genius.

Take my Valentine, Please!


Are you alone on Valentine’s Day? Do you want to smash the TV every time a Hallmark commercial comes on? Do you feel your loneliness being polarized whenever you walk by a jewelry story? Are you dreading Thursday when your office will be filled with more flowers and teddy bears than a traffic accident memorial site?
I want to say I can relate, but quite honestly, I can’t. In spite of corporate America’s best efforts I can’t help but feel sorry for married women, or even those with boyfriends. When you really think about it being alone had more benefits than being in a couple.

1. You don’t have to stroke it.
I mean his ego of course. I have found this to be particularly exhausting. I once had a boyfriend who liked Ross Perot and said “if he could run a business like Texas Instruments he could certainly teach the country a thing or two about the economy.” I bit my tongue and suppressed the urge to say that Ross Perot did not run Texas Instruments and that running a business is ridiculous analogy for running the country. Are the citizens the employees, the customers or the shareholders? What is it we sell exactly, except for unattainable dreams and fried cheese? I resisted the urge to say that Perot was just a crazed, senile megalomaniac who had too much money for his own good.
Another time a boyfriend took up the trumpet! The Goddamn trumpet! He thought he was the next Miles Davis. It sounded like the endless fart of an elephant. I told him he was improving when I secretly wanted to have the stupid thing meet with an unfortunate accident.

2. You can eat the whole box!
Come On ladies, you know what I’m talking about perfectly well. You know you’ve run out to the drug store before your beloved got home to buy replacement chocolates for the ones you wolfed down while he was out. You don’t have to do this now. Head down to Sees and get the biggest box of chocolates you can find. The girls and the counter will assume it’s for your boyfriend and what they don’t know won’t hurt them.
3. You can eat anything you want and you don’t have to worry about the consequences.
Does pizza make you bloaty? Do pancakes add ten pounds with every bite? Does your favorite Mexican restaurant leave you in good condition to generate power for a small city? Who cares? Pajama pants are very forgiving. You’ll never have to blame it on the dog if the only one around is the dog!

4. You don’t have to remember any lies.
Remember when he was dumb enough to believe you were a cheerleader? It was so ridiculous that even you didn’t bother to remember it. Remember when you wanted him to think you were sophisticated, so you told him you liked classical music and then he looked suspicious when you Rachmaninov was a kind of vodka? Did you say you were “going somewhere”, pretend to get there, get bored or fall asleep while you were waiting for him to arrive and then make believe you were going there again? You have nothing to remember if you have no one to lie to . What’s that you say? You could always just be honest with the guy in the first place? Hogwash! Americans can’t handle the truth; watch TV and tell me I’m wrong.