I get a call at 5:30 a.m. by someone who saw my number on the site that allows providers to post ads free. He wants to see me a short drive away in Waikiki. I have to work out bc a taut body is my best feature. So of course I am late but only by 10 minutes which is enough to have the acquaintance who served as my cab driver fuming. It’s funny to rush somewhere then wait then find out you received directions to wrong hotel then walk up 1.5 blocks then wait then appointment time and hence compensation cut in half. Typical time. Glad to ultimately make it worth my while. But I was definitely glad to take the bus and use my bus pass rather than need a cab!
2020–For the first time ever people had started to make offhand references to Caroleena’s age. Like, “even if you could dance you couldn’t be a stripper at Femme Nu. That’s a young girl’s game.” Or how about, “You think you know everything because you are young. You should ask Caroleena. She’s been around long enough to teach you a thing or too.” Gee, thanks. High praise, indeed. Caroleena knew she had bought into society’s ideas about what a woman should be, but as much as she wished it didn’t matter to her, she had liked being pretty, dammit. Now, it was slipping away. Not that she was ugly. But once she had been young and beautiful. Now she is middle aged and very attractive. It was not the same. She had heard a lot about older people struggling with physical aches and pains, but never the pain of being less pretty. She worked out to maintain appearances and to compensate for areas on her figure that just couldn’t be tightened. Of course, the YouTube exercise routine had made her even later than she already was. She had no choice but to call for a ride instead of walking into Waikiki. There was no escaping the smug, knowing smirk on the face of her Uber driver acquaintance as she got into the back seat of his car, careful not to meet his eyes while appearing to hold her head up. How was it possible to believe she was not doing anything wrong, to be certain that two consenting adults had no reason to submit to government intervention in their private lives, yet to still feel shame? There was nothing wrong with being a whore in theory, but she found people knowing her occupation for a fact, unbearable. She mused, at this moment, how many Uber drivers were heading into Waikiki, impatiently waiting for the single woman in the backseat to phone the guy and ask for the name of the hotel just one more time, never using the guy’s name because she didn’t know it and didn’t care to know it. The client was not the only one who could be indifferent. But unlike the client who was totally into it, she would disassociate from her surroundings, only being present in the moment just enough to get where she needed to go and do what needed to be done, like meeting the guy in the lobby, getting the money from him, and so on. Otherwise, Caroleena’s mind was elsewhere. She distracted herself with imaginings of alternate universes where she pursued budget plan a, budget plan b or budget plan c. The breast augmentation had been a good use of funds. Did she really want the face lift in budget plan b? It would be just as expensive as the breast augmentation and would the difference be as noticeable to–What? A jarring interruption wrenched her out of her mind movie by the client’s demand that she participate in the scene with words. It was absolutely more difficult to disassociate when she had to talk as opposed to if she just had to do stuff. No matter how unpleasant the deed, talking required her attention and that was the worst. She saved conversation for the good-bye. Knowing the encounter was over took the sting out of having to talk. “Oh, Yes, good night, call me any time, I really like you.” Sometimes she kind of meant it. Only when she had returned to the safety of physical isolation and on her way back home did she allow her thoughts to return to the present. She opted for the bus rather than face another smirking cab driver. She counted her money by keeping it down in her purse while she sat at the bus stop, feeling the crisp newness of the bills hot out of the ATM machine. Just a couple more of these dates, and she would have enough for the face lift.