Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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WARNING: This entry contains explicit language. Please keep your own counsel.

In Part 3 of How To Murder Your Children For Fun + Profit, one of the escorts - Naomi, had been going on about her dream of destiny, while Lynn, the other woman I’d been squiring around that evening was in servicing a john. Naomi’s heart-felt admission went like this: “I believe this stage of my life is almost finished and I will soon go to the United States where I'll meet a very rich man who will make me a big star - I mean huge.”

She made that statement just before dawn while we sat in a 24-hr Petrocan station somewhere around the border of Burlington and Mississauga, the pre-fab outer reaches of the Greater Toronto Asswipe, the GTA as it’s known. Within a few minutes, I get a text from Lynn that she’s done. So we go to her trick’s place around the corner at some cookie-cutter townhouse with a new - and no doubt heavily-leveraged - Camaro parked in front.

Lynn comes thumping out, looking disheveled in her East Asian baby doll get-up, throws herself into the backseat and promptly curls up under my jacket, even her head. The john is right behind her, thick-faced and nasty. As he comes round to the driver’s side, I reach for my pepper spray and flip off the safety, ready to soak him down.

He’s unshaven, sweaty and red-eyed, shirt buttons done up askew. His breath is a stomach-churning combination of sour booze, cheap cigars and rancid milk. His wrists lay heavily on the window sill.
“So, listen,” he says, out of breath from walking down the drive. “I know it’s not you but you tell Johnny or whatever the fuck the guy who runs this thing is called - you tell him I’m paying for these bitches to show up with real fucking blow, not some garbage cut with speed. I almost blew out a colon snortin’ that shit.” He points at Lynn in the backseat. “Ask her!” Lynn nods without pulling her head out from under my jacket. “I wear a hernia belt,” the john continues and lifts his shirt to show me some kind of black nylon waist harness with velcro straps. “If she wasn’t there to cinch up the back for me, my guts’d be all over the fucking tiles and I’d be suing the ass off that faggot Johnny - big time.” He starts to point at me but sees my hand rise a few inches, pepper spray at the ready and clearly thinks better of shoving his finger in my face. He stands straight and backs off a step. “So you just tell him that. Okay?”
“Will do.” I put the car into gear and drive off.

One of the main deals here at the low end of the whoring game, is the women must often show up with drugs, usually weed and/or blow. A lot of guys demand it. If the woman doesn’t bring along drugs then forget it. I mean, he’ll pay for the stuff an all but she’s got to have the shit or she gets the door slammed in her face.

It’s amazing how deeply entrenched the 80’s are out here in the suburban bozo hinterland. Imagine - guys whose weekends consist of grooving on weed, blow and low-cost whores on the Friday/Saturday night whirligig good-times then having to put up with Sundays full of ex-wife/mother/mother-in-law/part-custody brats/BBQs/beer-sucking big-mouthed hockey-lovin’ relatives while hanging around on some stupid deck built by the buddy of a cousin.

The next night I have a couple of regular women who are okay - Suzie Q and Opium. They’re solid and know the score, no dreams of destiny. But money’s tight as a snare drum - feels like there’s not a spare dollar in the whole fucking town.
“People just don’t have cash,” Suzie tells us. “They’ve got credit cards but nobody wants Cocksuckers-R-Us on their bill at the end of the month, right?”

We’re parked down near the Beach, in one of those lots that face the black night-time lake. There’s a huge, grossly polluted bag of poison out there somewhere - you can hear the waves come in - but it’s impossible to see. Not far from us a cruiser sits there with all its lights out, no radio brap and static, no interior light or computer screen glow - I mean nothing. At first I think the car’s empty but as my eyes adjust I can see there’s definitely silhouettes of two cops. What the fuck are they doing, quietly jacking each other off across the seat? They both seem to just be staring straight out at the lake.

After a few minutes they abruptly jump out and at first I think they’re coming for us but then I hear a man’s chuckle and a woman’s sassy giggling as they begin to walk toward the shoreline. Oh, okay. It’s like that. Their shoulder radios issue the odd bit of gibberish but they’re turned down real low. Well, I guess there really is fuck all going on tonight.
“Blow job promotion,” Opium remarks while staring out the windshield. “Let’s get outa here.”
“No!” laughs Suzie. “Turn on your fucking high-beams! Give ‘em a taste of their own bullshit!”
The question is settled when we get a call to go to Oshawa.
“Oshawa?!” I yell at Ralph, the bonehead dispatcher. “You want us to drive from the fucking Beach to Oshawa for a one-hour call?! Are you fucking nuts?!”
“That’s all we’ve got!” he yells back. “And send both girls to the door so the guy can choose.”
“WHAT?!” the girls both howl at once, rabid with outrage. “So the guy can CHOOSE?!”
I hold up a hand, trying to sush their screeching. “Listen, Ralph, that makes it look like we’re fucking well begging - like we’re saying, ‘Our girls have nothing better to do anyway.’ Don’t you get it, man?!”
He’s adamant. “We need the fucking business, man! You gotta a better way of getting money out of these guys, let’s hear it!”
I cut him off and slam the car onto Lakeshore Boulevard, head for Kingston Road and the highway.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Basil Papademos

Basil Papademos is the author of MOUNT ROYAL: There's Nothing Harder Than Love, published in the spring of 2012 by Tightrope Books, also available as an ebook in all formats from all digital retailers. His earlier novel, The Hook of it is, was published by Emergency Press. His upcoming novel, How To **** Your Psychiatrist, will be published in the fall of 2013.

Go to Basil Papademos’s Author Page