The remainder of the week was a blur. I couldn't do anything else with my time, I couldn't even think of anything but plumbing. I barely even ate. There wasn't a day when I'd bring home less than a couple grand in cash, but it went as high as four-something. The messages never stopped, the more I did the more they piled up, there was no way out of it. You'd at times think I was the only man doing plumbing work in the whole Greater Boston area. Perhaps I was.
The cash was piling up fast. If you bother to do the math, a couple of grand a day is going to come to almost a million a year, provided you work every day for a year straight -- something I had every intention of doing. At first I naively visited my local bank, opened up a savings account and deposited a thousand dollars. The fact that I was the only one doing this, coupled with the strangely interested-but-disinterested air of the slightly overweight girl behind the counter got me thinking. Obviously they're leaking all possible information, they're a bank after all. Sooner or later someone somewhere's going to notice I have money, and decide they want to take it. After all, nobody's supposed to have any money, are they ? That's why we go to school, right ?
Stashing it around the house only went that far. I could calculate the exact sum that would have replaced my entire bedroom with a solid wad of dollar bills, and it wasn't going to take more than my lifetime getting it together. In fact, it wasn't going to take all that long at all. What was I going to do, buy myself a house ? And pay for it in cash ?
At that exact moment I realised that if I get caught plumbing without a license it wouldn't be a matter of breaking a city ordinance and paying a fine. They'd absolutely declare I was "money laundering", and what was I going to do about it ? They don't have unlicensed lawyers that actually do the job, god knows they barely have one plumber. The court appointed fakettorney would loudly proclaim what the court wishes to hear and that's the end of the story. Whether it came from selling morphine in HIV-doped syringes to nine year olds or fixing people's bidets, it was going to be all the same -- the high crime of having money. Intolerable, in our modern, democratic, diverse society. Isn't that why we go to school, after all ?
Any way you looked at it, whatever the money came from made entirely no difference. The criminal plumber is no less a terrorist than the serial rapist, not in any practical sense that'd somehow matter. I was now a criminal and that was the end of the matter. I went into Dudley Square and bought myself a gun that night. 38, well used, well oiled, cheap enough. If you're going to play the game, at least play it right and give it your all. I had any intention to shoot anyone asking questions straight in the face and make myself scarce. Can you come up with a better plan ?
I got a lot more aggressive with the women, also. Eight cases out of ten, if there was one I'd have liked to fuck she'd be getting herself in my way like a cat in heat, twisting herself in between my legs. I'd have her hold on to something or the other to "help me" dontchaknow, then feel her up a little. Accidentally, right ? Then I'd take off her clothes and ram her straight up. Few and far between protested, and none were actually serious about it. I started carrying a pair of handcuffs with my hardware. They seemed to particularly like that, getting it raw and hard from behind while handcuffed to a pipe or other. Whenever I fucked one I'd ask for the spare keys, and I almost always got them. My pile of spare keys was growing steadily, and my 20 dollar pad of colored tabs turned out useful for the first time in my life : affix an address to the numerous individual items in the evergrowing pile of spare keys granting access to all these spare women. Apparently Boston's full of them. I don't think another soul exists who ever got 20 dollars' worth of value out of the god damned colored adhesive tabs.
By Friday I was seeing double. I had slept less than thirty hours in five nights, a good portion of which on the subway. The work wasn't particularly hard, but it had taken it out of me. I decided I was going to pamper myself a little, so I slept all through, Friday evening to Saturday afternoon, sixteen and a half hours. Then I woke up, and the joy descended upon me. Pure, unadulterated joy. I brought all the wads of cash and counted them. Fourteen thousand two hundred and eighty-eight dollars, not counting about two grand worth of new equipment. Cash. In front of me, taking up most of the small table -- and the best part of it all was that I could have set it all on fire for all the difference it'd have made. By next week I'd have more anyway.
Then I tried to recount the women I fucked in the interval. I couldn't. I took out the keys, trying to associate a face with each key. Sometimes this worked, not always though. I counted them. Eighteen. Ever held eighteen keys to eighteen different houses ? I did. The houses contained women I fucked. That week.
I felt like jumping for joy, hooting and hollering. Instead, I called up my friends, because that's what the people you're stuck in the same room with are called, yes ? Your friends ? Just like the people in the subway, they happened to go into the same car as you, they're going to spend four years riding the Bankruptcy and Undischargrable Debt line, they're thereby your friends. Aren't they ? Isn't that why we go to school ?
We went out drinking, Saturday night. Big night out. I didn't mention my newfound fortune. I didn't protest my newfound sexual trophycase. I didn't think the drinks were expensive or the strippers attractive. They did. We had nothing in common, I didn't think, and yet but for the grace of one single solitary week, there I was. I excused myself and left them behind.
Out in the cold night air I feld directionless, lost for a moment. Then I recalled honey, the woman that set me on my path. Not my mother. Not my lover. Not my teacher. My whore, properly speaking. Did anyone call her a whore before ? Did she know what she was, or what she did ? Does it at all matter ?
I jumped on the train, and a little after two I was in front of the same door. I took out my key, opened the door. The house was dark. I took off my shoes, and sneaked around. It wasn't really all that dark, an outside light shining through some holes here, a pilot light flickering here or there. They were asleep, in the bedroom. Together. How cute. I jumped on her, my whole weight pressing down on her, my hand forcing her mouth shut. She started in sheer terror. I started whispering in her ear. She went all limp. I cuffed her wrists behind her back, tore her nightgown off her although it was offering me no resistence whatsoever. I plugged her, vehemently, a plumber rampant. Her right knee was on the bed, slightly bent, her left to the side, hovering above the floor. I was ramming myself into her. The alcohol, my mental state, the circumstances all conspired. I felt her orgasm shake her but I wasn't anywhere near ready. A little later she had one more, and then a smattering of them, barely perceptible, not much more than whimpers. Eventually I was spent myself, and as I collapsed on their bed I finally noticed her dude.
He was filming. In the dark, with an ancient Betamax camera. It's not the result, it's the activity, I told myself right before falling into a restless slumber.