When she saw the pad she flipped. A pink silk dress from the trunk fitted her perfectly. After a bath and a shampoo she was again the gorgeous Chris I'd met at the Haven.
I gave her twoi "go" pills and took her to the street for the cut into Phyllis and Ophelia. It was midnight when I curbed in the block where they were working. They were walking together across the street. They looked over at the LaSalle.
I blinked my headlights. They crossed the street and came toward me. The runt stuck her head through the window on Chris's side. Ophelia was stooping down, pinning Chris.
I said, "Both of you get in."ii
They got into the back seat. In the rear-view mirror I saw them look at each other, then at the back of Chris' head.
I said, "Phyllis, Ophelia, meet Christine. She's gonna work the street with you. She's tired of giving up fifty percent of her scratch. She wants daddy to have all she makes.iii I pulled her outta the whorehouse. What the hell, the whole family should be together anyway. Phyllis, I've told Christine a hundred times how great you are in the street. She's hip you know all the rollers and all the angles. I want you to take her under your wing out here for a week or so. I know there ain't a bitch out here that could pull her coat like you can. Now get outta the car and starve these other jokers' whores to death."
I watched them walk away chattering and laughing. It was like they were real sisters. I looked at my diamond-studded Longines.iv It was ten-after-twelve. How about it? I was twenty years old. I was living in a six-bill a month pad.v I had three young fine mud kickers. I was a pimp at last.vi
I tilted down the rear-view mirror. I powdered my face. I sat there gazing at myself. Finally I pulled off. I was going to Sweet's to report my progress. I didn't get much of a chance to rap to him.
Two rollers from Sweet's precinct were drinking and horsing around with two of Sweet's yellow whores. Sweet told them I was his son.
It tickled them witless when Sweet told them what Satan and his Demon had done to me. They told me not to worry. They would remember me and would wire the other precinct rollers not to roust me.vii
The rollers finally got crocked. The whores took them around the Chinese screen into bedrooms.
Then I said, "Sweet, I copped a beautiful yellow bitch tonight. I got her humping on the track with my girls. Sweet, the bitch is crazy about me. I know I'll hold her for years."viii
He said, "Slim, a pretty nigger bitch and a white whoreix are just alike. They both will get in a stable to wreck it.x They'll leave the pimp on his ass with no whore. You gotta make 'em hump hard and fast.xi Stick 'em for long scratch quick. Slim, pimping ain't no game of love. Prat 'em and keep your swipe outta 'em.xii Any sucker who believes a whore loves him shouldn't a fell outta his mammy's ass. Slim, I hope you ain't sexed that pretty bitch yet. Believe me, Slim, a pimp is really a whore who's reversed the game on whores. Slim, be as sweet as the scratch. Don't be no sweeter. Always stick a whore for a bundle before you sex her. A whore ain't nothing but a trick to a pimp. Don't let 'em Georgia you. Always get your money in front just like a whore. Whores in a stable are like working chumps in the white man's factory. They know in their sucker tickers they're chumping. They both gotta have horns to blow their beefs into. They gotta have someone to listen while they bad mouth that Goddamn boss. A good pimp is like a slick white boss. He don't ever pair two of a kind for long. He don't ever pair two new bitches. He ain't stuck 'em for no long scratch. A pair of new bitches got too much in common. They'll beef to each other and pool their skull, plots, and split to the wind together. The real glue that holds any bitch to a pimp is the long scratch she's hip she's stuck for.xiii A good pimp could cut his swipe offxiv and still pimp his ass off. Pimping ain't no sex game. It's a skull game. A pimp with a shakyxv-bottom woman is like a sucker with a lit firecracker stuck in his ass. When his boss bitch turns sour and blowsxvi, all the other bitches in the stable flee to the wind behind her. There ain't more than three or four good bottom women promised a pimp in his lifetime. I don't care if he cops three hundred whores before he croaks. A good pimp has gotta have like a farm systemxvii for bottom women. He's gotta know what bitch in the family could be the bottom bitch when mama bitch goes sour. He's gotta keep his game tighter on his bottom bitch than on any bitch in the stable. He's gotta peep around her ass while she's taking a crap. He's gotta know if it's got the same stink and color it had yesterday. Slim, you're in trouble until you cop the fourth whore. A stable is sets of teams playing against each otherxviii to stuff the pimp's pockets with scratch. You got a odd bitch. You ain't got but a team and a half. A young pimp like you is gotta learn not to cop blind. Your fourth bitch is gotta be right to pair with the third whore. She can't be no ugly bitch unless she likes pussy.xix She can't be smarter than the pretty bitch. She can be younger, even prettier, but she's gotta be dumber. Slim, all whores have one thing in common just like the chumps humping for the white boss. It thrills 'em when the pimp makes mistakes.xx They watch and wait for his downfall. A pimp is the loneliest bastard on Earth.xxi He's gotta know his whores. He can't let them know him. He's gotta be God all the way.xxii The poor sonuvabitch has joined a hate club he can't quit. He can't do a turn around and be a whore himself in the white boss's stable unless he was never a pimp in the first place.xxiii So, kid, rest and dress and pimp till you croak. I ain't had no rest in a coupla days. I think I'll try to get some doss. Kid, these skull aches are getting bad.xxiv Good luck, Kid. Call me tomorrow, late. Oh yeah, happy birthday, Kid. That rundown was a birthday present."
My skull was reeling from his rundown on the way home. It was five A.M. when I got there. The runt and Ophelia were asleep. They were locked together like Siamese twins.xxv
I picked up my scratch off the dresser. It was two and a quarter bills.
I went and looked in on Chris. She was in bed reading a book.xxvi She looked up and put the book across her belly. She reached under the pillow. She gave me a roll of bills.
I checked it. There was six bits. It wasn't bad for a new bitch who got to the track late. She held out her arms. She was naked. I had to cop her some sleep wear.xxvii To avoid her arms I lit a cigarette.
She said, "Daddy, did I do all right?"
I said, "Chris, you made a start. It's like the first buck of that million you're gonna make. I oughta frame it like a sucker who's opened a new hot-dog stand. I want you to put that book down. Get some doss. I want you to take a fin to Leroy tomorrow.xxviii Hip him I'm your man now.xxix The family is gonna Cabaretxxx tonight. It's my birthday today. I'll get a rundown of your first night when I wake up. I'm gonna cop you a partner for the streetxxxi real soon, baby. Good night, Chris."
When I woke up, it was one P.M. I turned on my side. Two big brown eyes were looking at me. It was Ophelia. She started kissing my eyelids.
She said, "Daddy, you're so pretty. You got eyelashes just like a bitch's. Phyllis took Chris to visit that sucker in the shit-house. Daddy, can I kiss my candy?"xxxii
I said, "Christ in Heaven, ain't I got a whore in this family without a hot jib.xxxiii Go on bitch. Then get your kit and trim my toenails and paint 'em. We're all going to get pretty for my birthday party tonight."
She said, "How old are you, Daddy? I bet you're nineteen."xxxiv
I said, "Bitch, I'm a hundred-and-nineteen. I just got a pretty baby face."xxxv
Chris and the runt got back from Leroy around three P.M. Chris had a serious look on her face.
I said, "Well how did he take the news? Did he hang himself from the bars before your eyes?"
She said, "Daddy, he fell apart. He would have killed me if he could have reached me. He cried like his heart was broken. He said he was going to kill you wherever he saw you. I feel bad, Daddy. He really upset me. I'm going to lie down.
I thought, "That square chump is sure a whingding. I'm gonna put the hurt to him fast if I run into him."xxxvi
We partied at a swank white joint near the Gold Coast. We got home at four A.M. I was sober. The whores were stoned. I went and got into my bed. I dozed.
An hour later I woke up. The three whores were crowded into bed with me. They were stroking and kissing me all over.
Mr. Thriller sure ached to be a circus performer. I was having trouble convincing Mr. Thriller he had to take only one at a time. He was a pimp not a freak.
The ring-master put the show on and stayed cool. It was eight o'clock before I got to sleep.
It was a month before I copped the fourth whore. She was a cute tiny seventeen-year-old broadxxxvii, about Chris' color. The stable had brought her home from a coffee joint at closing time. They took their breaks there.
The little broad was a waitress in the joint. She was curious about the whore game. She was wild to wear flashy clothes. She thought I was rich when she dug the pad. The excitement in her eyes hipped me I could make a fast cop.xxxviii
I took her into the living room. I cracked her into saying she'd be my woman and stop slaving for thirty a week.xxxix
Then I gave her the pitch to tie the knot. She was sitting in a chair. I stood looking down at her. Her eyes never left my face. It was maybe like a rattlesnake charming a robin.
I said, "Jo Ann, I gotta congratulate you.xl You're not only lucky, you're smart. You knew when you saw me that I was going to be your man, I'm hip that you were just waiting to meet me. You have wanted since you were a little girl to live an exciting, glamorous life. Well, sugar, you're on Blood's magic carpet. I'm gonna make your life with me out-shine your flashiest day dreams. I'm a pimp. You gotta be a whore. I don't have squares. I'm gonna be your mother, your father, your brother, your friend, and your lover. The most important thing I'm gonna be to you is your man. The manager of the scratch you make in the street. Now, sweet bitch, have you followed me so far?"
She whispered, "Yes, Blood, I understand."
I reached down and took her hand. I took her to the window overlooking the city. I held her against me.
I said, "Look out there, baby angel. Out there is where you work. Those streets are yours because you're my woman. I've got five G's in fall money. If you get busted for anything, even murder, I can free you. Baby bitch, this family is like a small army. We got rules and regulations we never break. I am really two studs. One of them is sweet and kind to his whores when they don't break the rules. The other one comes out insane and dangerous when the rules are broken. Little baby, I'm sure you'll never meet him. Never forget this family is as one against the cold, cruel world. We are strong because we love each other. There's no problem I can't solve. There's no question I can't answer about this game. Tomorrow I'm going to start filling your skull with everything about this game and street. I'm going to make a star outta you angel. Don't ask any outsider anything. Come to Chrisxli or me. My little baby, I'll protect you with my last drop of blood. If any mother-fucker in those streets out there, stud or bitch, hurts you, or threatens you, come to me. He will have to cut my throat first, shoot me first. I take an oath to protect you for as long as you are my woman.xlii Baby, I know that's for always. Now repeat after daddy, baby."
She squeezed tightly against me. She was in a trance looking up at me.
She chanted along with me. "From this moment I belong to Blood. I am his whore. I will do everything he tells me. I won't ever fuck with his scratch. I will hump my heart out every night. I've gotta make a bill a night."
She slept with Chris that night. After the first week I knew she was the perfect partner for Chris.
Sweet was right. Chris and Jo Ann ran Phyllis and Ophelia into a panting lather in the street. I started wanting that fifth whore.
Leroy got a year for the beating he gave Papa Tony.
About six months later Top and I were at the Roost bar. A loudmouth joker beside me was arguing with a stud on his other side. I had my back to him, facing Top.
Top and I had been shooting stuff for several hours in his pad. I was so frosted with cocaine I felt embalmed. It was maybe like I was at the Roost and I really wasn't. I had raised my glass of Coke to my jib. I was being fascinated by the tiny bubbles popping inside the glass.
I was trying to count them before they all popped away.xliii
I heard an explosion behind me. My skull was numb. It was maybe like the noise behind me happened a year ago on an ice floe in the Arctic somewhere.
I saw a light gray lid that stirred a faint memory. It wobbled across the log and stopped in front of where Top had been.
I thought, "That's a Knox forty. I had one once that color."
That crazy joker Top was on the floor between the log and his stool. His eyes were wide in fear. He was looking up at me like he thought I had gone bats and was going to croak him. I laughed at him.
I heard running feet behind me. I looked over my shoulder. The joker who had been arguing with Loud Mouth was running through the door with a rod in his hand.
I looked behind me. Loud Mouth was on his back, out cold. He had a long, red gouge across his temple. Some of the frost melted away in my skull.
The bullet that grazed Loud Mouth had torn my lid off. The joint was still. Top was standing and dusting himself off. The joint had emptied. I reached over and picked my lid off the bar.xliv
I took a casual look at the entrance, exit holes in the top of the crown.xlv I stuck it on my head. Top was staring at me. I tilted my glass and drained it. I turned to Top. Loud Mouth was groaning and coming to on the floor.
I said, "Jack, let's get outta here before the rollers come. I ain't got time for a quiz. You know Top, if my skull had been pointed, I'da had a bad break."
Top followed me out the door. We got into his Hog in front of the Roost. Top was still staring at me. His jib was gaping.
He said, "Kid, I saw it but I don't believe it. I've seen some cool studs in my time, but I ain't never seen nothing to equal that. Kid, you were cold in there, icy; icy, like an iceberg. Kid, I got it. You're getting to be a good young pimp. All good pimps got monikers. I'm gonna hang one on you. Kid you've outgrown 'Young Blood' as a moniker. How about 'Iceberg Slim'? Kid, it's a beautiful fit. 'Iceberg Slim,' how about it, and I thought it up. Cocaine sure chills you. I guess you picked the right high for you."
- Why not just start with one ? [↩]
- By degrees he's almost-kinda-sorta starting to sound like me. Maybe there's hope for this runtish nigglet yet. [↩]
- That's pretty funny. [↩]
- No more Mickey, eh ? That's okay, I think we'll live. [↩]
- Not really much more expensive than the hundred-a-week, 40% on top (really, do the math), but doubtless much finer. That's what paying by the month gets you.
I generally pay by the quarter. [↩]
- Nobody could accuse him of not being a pimp, that's for damn sure. [↩]
- Now this is finally worth something. A sixty year old pimp's not got so long left in him ; this particular one's worth ten thousand and one whore nights, and then some. [↩]
- Rather, "I'm crazy about her, I'd eat anything but the tacks in her boots if she just sticks around." Right ?
In fairness, maybe even the tacks. [↩]
- "High sexual market value females". [↩]
- "They have a lot of inertia, when they move they can easily crash delicate, unsound, dubious arrangements". [↩]
- "Keeping them busy is one way to deal with this -- and seeing how if you could fix your arrangements you wouldn't have weak ones in the first place, keeping them busy is probably the best way to protect yourself". The comparatively stronger-handed "the bitch's not yet born that can crash anything faster than I can fix it ; hell, sometimes I crash shit just to put it back together again more to my liking" isn't for everyone. Certainly not for the 000`000`000`118 IQ one-book-and-even-that-one-"skull" stud. [↩]
- Amusingly, this is by and large what the partner in charge of noobs of the Hollywood talent firm would be telling the new agents too, "don't fuck the actresses yourself, we have a whole machine to do it, cheaper faster an' cleanner". Nigga tryna all business over here! [↩]
- Like in any other con game, the mark's interest is the amount they've been taken for, which is why "incomprehensibly large" con victims turn out all the time. The more they bleed, the easier it is to bleed them, which is how the kids stay pantsuit and the 419 contributors manage six figure contributions. [↩]
- Doh. [↩]
- Unreliable [↩]
- Truly this rarely actually happens, that she turns sour. Pippa's made out of howling ineptitude and glaring mismanagement the vast majority of the time, rarely anything else at all. [↩]
- Organised sports reference. [↩]
- This is such a regrettably wasteful way to go about it... I'm not saying it can't be done, sure it can, and yes it'll stand up. The reason it's done this way can ever only be that the pimp's marginal in the first place, a maybe-five that's gotta set his nine team against the seven team so he can cover the two out of his measly four-point. And sure, this is the mass market interest, marginal dorks tryna "live the dream".
What of the guy who couldn't, if he "cops" those three hundred whores, couldn't get them even close to what he can cover even if instead of adding they fucking multiplied each other ? Because yes, he can exist. Of fucking course he can exist. Anything can exist. It's not likely he would exist, sure, granted. Likelihood has no bearing in ontology. [↩]
- This is both grossly misrepresented and relatively inconsequential. [↩]
- Yet here I sit, barely able to remember anything. What gives ? [↩]
- This, by the way, is necessarily as well as universally the macula of industrious failure. If whatever it is you're doing makes you the loneliest bastard on earth, then that thing is being done wrong, by you.
Everyone will feel lonely now and again. Everyone can actually be lonely, occasionally. Being the loneliest bastard on earth takes industry, it takes artifice perversely sharpened to a fine point. [↩]
- This has nothing to do with pimping and everything to do with being responsible. [↩]
- Right ? And if he wasn't a pimp in the first place you can tell by that unerring sign, that he's "planning for" an "eventual" stable while "holding on to a good job" "for now". What's being here discussed turns out to be ultimately neither about sex nor about money, nor even about "power", whatever the losers try to thus label. It's simply a matter of sovereignity, the simple matter of living as a man in the world. This never was a coward's game. [↩]
- Wouldn't you've made a skull note to see what skull ache witch doctors you can scare up ? [↩]
- Fucking beautiful. [↩]
- How about that! Can you perhaps imagine the Chris that the dude's not telling, for not seeing, for not being able to see ? The sexually molested child that nearly died, but then survived, saved by a strange sort of captor ? What did she do, for those years, chased even to the bathroom ? What did she do instead of what she professed, truthfully or otherwise, to have "wanted to" do (ie, call this dork) ? Did she... read ? All that time, all those years ? What did she read ?
What oil underneath is the cowboy missing for his limited vision stuck above ground ? [↩]
- And... why ? Not that she can't have it, but why can't she ask for it herself ? [↩]
- Not a bad move at all ; and yes the humiliatory pittance included is important. As Cesar well said, "if you know what's good for you, you'll take that fin and thank me for it". [↩]
- "Hip him you're my whore now", rather, but... whatevers. [↩]
- Which is why and wherefore they did have a scene back then ; and how and why they don't no more. [↩]
- "She'll be taller and prettier but dumber than you, and she'll eat your taco like her life depended on it." [↩]
- This Ophelia chick is just fucking prime! Hell yeah, that's what's to want.
Pretty much the only thing making it better is that the whore that brought her had enough sense to adequately and properly support the whore that he brought. Asshat's got it made, a sweeter set-up can scarcely be devised. I've certainly never seen a twenty-year old in better shape.
All hail Slim, the kissed by the gods. [↩]
- There's much worse fates ; a hot jib's just part and parcel of a hot package. [↩]
- Everything, up to and including the fact that she puts her ass out there in subsidiary of asking the question, is plain delightful. [↩]
- He's not really up to her ; but then again, she's well used to it by now. Boys rarely ammount to all that much. [↩]
- Mno. You're gonna put the hurt on him inside, right now. Between Sweet, Glass Top and everyone else there must be someone who knows someone in county looking for a quick C. How about that guy who sold the LaSalle, for instance ? The chump's worthless both in a muscle and in a brain sense, he shouldn't be much of a challenge to help along towards his place in this world, which just so happens to be under six feet of ground. Fucking unbearable losers wilfuly blind to their place and value, I know nothing more abominably insufferable. He probably thinks he got "rights" and whatnot too, omfg kill it with fire. [↩]
- The fact that pretty much every adolescent girl today finds herself mired is in some sort of "schooling" bullshit, tied down by govermental red tape and dumb old mula nonsense isn't a gain to anyone -- especially not to the misfortunate girlies in question. Youth is a terrible thing to waste, and 2020s-era cargo cult "education" is probably the saddest waste possible. [↩]
- By now he has enough institutional might & know-how built-in that he can handle such outliers without much concern, in the sense that the stable will handle it. In fact his problem's rather that the pendulum's swinging dangerously the other way, and he finds himself in the very doubtful situation where his stable's worth more than he is. This is no laughing matter, it puts some massive pressure on him wising up and catching up -- if before it was just the "curiosity" on his part, the inner drive, now his life depends on it. Basically they're Malena-ing him, he's rapidly becoming a little boy to their accreted majesty, because no, "the Georgia" is not the only thing he has to watch for ; in any case this situation where he doesn't know what to say to the simplest openings by the lower level girls is not something that can long continue, and what's worse large things blowing up are significantly more dangerous than small things falling over. If he had any sense he'd be on the phone to his mentor about this stat ; but the problem with the clueless is that they don't know they don't know, what it's called, what to ask for... [↩]
- This is a serious problem, the square makes thirty a week while the whore makes a hundred a day, it's not an easy thing to get over. Every three weeks she works she wastes twenty days of her life, every day she whores she claws back twenty days of her life, you think this is a little matter ? All the fantastic pie-in-the-sky talk about it ain't gonna fix the simple fact that she's not gonna be seventeen forever, however you con her to "stay in school" it's still a con. [↩]
- Lmao. [↩]
- Chris ?!
Chris is a loopy ditz that's gotta lie down, are you fucking kidding me ? If you absolutely gotta insult the runt, not that she's done anything, send her to Ophelia before you send her to Chris. Fucking fucktard...
No, I'm aware Chris is her partner. That's specificially the point. Cross. [↩]
- Black chivalric ideals, nine or so centuries too late. How about that! Did they do the whole hand arrangement thing, I wonder ? [↩]
- Doesn't he sound like just fucking excellent company ? [↩]
- Wearing hats indoors like dames was common enough in low class joints, for it being simpler than handling the hat check process. (Dames wearing their hats like glued on, everywhere they went, was tolerated because most were actually glued on as a matter of fact, and the rest needed a maid or two to install and dismount in any case.) [↩]
- "This ain't good." [↩]