I was lucky. I caught five rides to get to my Aunt. It was five minutes to midnight when she opened the door. At first she didn't recognize me. She made me welcome.
In a week my leg had healed and I felt strong. Her husband was my size. He gave me an outfit and fifty dollars. I went to the whore section of town. A bunch of New Orleans pimps were in town. They had their thieving whores with them. Three days later I stole one.
Her name was No Thumbs Helen. She was at that time one of the slickest "from the person" thieves in the country. We got about in a forty-seven Hog. She was a magician. For almost a year she left a trail of empty wallets across five states.
We were in Iowa when Helen stung a rich sod-busteri for seventy-two hundred. I was in bed when she threw it on the bed. Excited? Sure I was.ii My heart boomed like bombs going off. She didn't know it. I was icy cool. I casually scooped it up and counted it. I had a poker face.
I said, "Now listen, bitch. Run this sting down. I gotta know how hot this scratch is. Did you get all the sucker had? I'll be a salty sonuvabitch to read in the papers that you missed a bundle."
Her rundown told me it was best to split. We got in the Hog and went to Minneapolis. The second day I copped a young whore. She wanted to be a thief.iii I took her to Helen at our hotel. Helen chillediv when she saw the pretty bitch.
She blew her top. She drew her knife. The young whore fled. I disarmed Helen and punched her around. Helen went to work. I fell asleep. I woke up fast.v Helen was jabbing her knife into me. I rolled away. She had stabbed me in the forearm and the side of an elbow. I took a golf clubvi and knocked her out.
I never tried to stable her after that. I didn't feel like a real pimp with one whore. I decided to steal the technique of stealing from Helen.vii I could use it to train other whores when I cut her loose. Finally I picked her skull. The technique went as follows.
She would lurk in some shadowy doorway or alley entrance. When a trick came by she'd go into a con act. She'd stand wide-legged and bend her knees to an almost squatting stance. She'd whip up the front bottom of her dress. She'd expose the gaping, hairy magnet to the bugging eyes of the sucker. The pull was magnified by her stroking her cat.
She'd say to the sucker, "Please pretty sweetie, I am so hot this pussy is burning up. I ain't had no dick in six months. Come here and do something to it."
He'd step into the doorway already blind hot to sock it in for free. His instinctive weariness blackjacked to sleep by the raw event. She'd bombard the sucker with a flow of sweetly passionate sexy bullshit as she tightly embraced him.
She had located his wallet, usually in a rear trouser pocket, with the sensitive tips of her fingers. She'd dry grind her belly against his scrotum. She'd complain that his belt buckle was hurting her. She would be panting in phony passion as she unbuckled it. It would release the tension on his pants pockets. She'd caress the head of his swipe with her fingers.
She'd stroke the tip of his ear with her tongue. The very tips of the airy light index finger and thumb of the free hand flicked the buttoned pocket open. The index and middle fingers scissored on the wallet and slid it from the pocket. The trick would be excited and hot. He wouldn't have felt the glowing end of a cigarette on his ass.
With both hands behind his neck, she'd remove the scratch from the hide. She'd up the sexy chatter and the strong grind against his scrotum. She'd roll the bills into a tight suppository shape. She'd slip the wallet back into the pocket. She wouldn't forget to rebutton the pocket. She was ready to blow the sucker off, get rid of him. She'd crack that she had to pee. Stooping quickly, she'd ram the rolled bills up her cat.viii She'd sight a passing car. She'd fake alarm.
She would say, "Oh my God. There's Riley, the vice cop. Listen honey, go to the Park Hotel up the street and register as Mr. and Mrs. Jones. I will be there in ten minutes, Pretty Daddy. I sure want some of your good dick."
The sucker would pat the reassuring bump of his wallet. It was still there in the buttoned pocket. He'd amble off to the hotel. The thief would make it home. She'd completelyix change her appearance. She'd go back into the street to sting another sucker.x
There was an accident. She got pregnant. I found a croaker who made her one again.xi The game went down as usual. The bubble burst in a small town in Ohio.
The sky-rocket came crashing down when I ran into an old pal. He was now called New York Joe. I hadn't seen him since I was fourteen. My mother had taken him in for a few weeks when his widowed-mother died. He got sick and had to go to a hospital. I'd take a bus to see him and bring him tid-bits. I'd sit with him and console him. I liked him. Our friendship was brief. He got out of the hospital and left town.
He was wholesaling cocaine and the sample he gave me was almost pure. I made an appointment to cop a piece. I didn't know he had learned in New York to cross everybody, even old friends. I found out the stuff he gave me was phony. I rushed back to him figuring he had made a mistake and would square things with me. I said, "Joe, you've made a mistake, man." He took me inside. He said, "What's the trouble, Jim?"
I said, "Man, this is bullshit. This ain't the same stuff that I sampled."
He said, "Well listen, Ronald went out to the stash. That mother-fucker is crossing me."
He drew his gun from a shoulder holster. At the time I didn't know it was all con.
He said, "Should I go out there and kill that sonuvabitch? What do you want me to do?"
He started working his eyes. His eyes were bugging and going through all that crazy act.
I said, "No man, just give me my scratch back."
He said, "I'm so mad I should croak you both."
I was relatively young. I had never run into this New York stuff before. I was spooked.
I said, "Forget about it."
He was going through contortions. I was in his town. I had a thief with at least seven beefs on her. I was out the three grand. I might have gotten croaked. Later I knew it was stuff: New York stuff. In later years, I figured it out. He maybe had always hated me because I had more education than he had.
A week later Helen got busted on seven counts. I signed the Hog over to a lip. She got five to ten. I should have wired a bomb to the starter before I turned it over to the lip.
I heard whore-catching was good in Detroit. I took my last tendollar bill and caught a Greyhound. Detroit was the promised land for pimps all right. The town was teeming with young fast whores. The local pimps were soft competition.
I was walking, but I was sharp as a Harlem sissy. Anyway, these whores were a different breed than the ones back in the city. They were gullible, and a fellow didn't have to play his heart out to cop them.
The first package I copped was a beautiful seventeen-year-old green-eyed version of Pepper. Her name was Rachel. I was to keep her thirteen years.xv
My next package was a huge, black, dangerous jasperxvi named Serena. In addition to being a whore, she ran a fast sheet setup for a dozen whores.xvii They tricked out of her joint. Within eight weeks after I hit Detroit I was cruising the streets in a sparkling new forty-eight Fleetwood. I had a fat bankroll.xviii
Within ninety days after the Serena cop, I had copped two more young broads. A week later a small-time pimp came to town from Rhode Island. He had a beautiful young whore with him. He was jealous. He followed her in the street. I stalked her. He forgot to follow her. I stole her. I'd had her several months when the town got shaky. The rollers forced Serena out of her joint. I put her in the street.
Then I heard about a small town in Ohio -- Lima -- that was jumping with good tricks and wide open. I could possibly open up a couple of houses there.
My luck was soaring. With my pad rent and a pad a piece for the girls, I needed a tighter setup to cut down my nut.xix My skull was whirling as I drove the Hog to pick up my stable in the street. They got in. I tossed their scratch in the glove compartment.
Dawn was breaking as the big Hog scooted through the streets. My five whores were chattering like drunk magpies. I smelled that stink that only a street whore has after a long, busy night. The inside of my nose was raw. It happens when you're a pig for snorting cocaine.
My nose was on fire. The stink of those whores and the gangster they were smoking seemed like invisible knives scraping to the root of my brain. I was in an evil, dangerous mood despite that pile of scratch crammed into the glove compartment.
"Goddamnit, has one of you bitches shit on herself or something?" I bellowed. I flipped the wing window toward me.
For a long moment there was silence. Then Rachel, my bottom whore, cracked in a pleasing-ass kissing voice, "Daddy baby, that ain't no shit you smell. We been turning all night. Ain't no bathrooms in those tricks' cars we been flipping out of. Daddy, we sure been humping for you. What you smell is our nasty whore asses."
I grinned widely, inside of course. The best pimps keep a steel lid on their emotions. I was one of the iciest. The whores went into fits of giggles at Rachel's shaky witticism. A pimp is happy when his whores giggle. He knows they are still asleep.
I coasted the Hog into the curb outside the hotel where Kim, my newest, prettiest girl, was cribbing. Jesus! I would be glad to drop the last whore off. I could get to my own hotel to nurse my nose with cocaine and be alone. Any good pimp is his own best company. His inner-life is so rich with cunning and scheming to out-think his whores.xx
As Kim got out I said, "Goodnight baby, today is Saturday. I want everybody in the street at noon instead of seven tonight. I said noon, not five minutes after or two minutes after. At twelve sharp I want you down, got it baby?"
She didn't answer. She did a strange thing. She walked into the street around the Hog to the window on my side. She stood looking at me for a long moment, her beautiful face tense in the dim dawn.
Then in her crisp New Englandxxi accent she said, "Are you coming back to my pad this morning? You haven't spent a night with me in a month. So come back, okay?"
A good pimp doesn't get paid for screwing. He gets his pay-off for always having the right thing to say to a whore right on lightning tap. I knew my four whores were flapping their ears to get my reaction to this beautiful bitch. A pimp with an overly-fine bitch in his stable has to keep his game tight. Whores constantly probe for weakness in a pimp.
I fitted a scary mask on my face and said, in a low, deadly voice, "Bitch, are you insane? No bitch in this family calls any shots or muscles me to do anything. Now take your stinking yellow ass upstairs to a bath and some shut-eye. Get in the street at noon like I told you."
The bitch just stood there. Her eyes slitted in anger. I could sense she was game to play the string out right there in the street before my whores. If I had been ten-years dumber I would have leaped out of the Hog, broken her jaw, and put my foot in her ass. The joint was too fresh in my mind.xxii
I knew the bitch was trying to booby-trap me when she spat out her invitation. "Come on, kick my ass. What the hell do I need with a man I only see when he comes to get his money? I am sick of it all. I don't dig stables and never will. I know I'm the new bitch who has to prove herself. Well Goddamnit, I am sick of this shit. I'm cutting out."
She stopped for air and lit a cigarette. I was going to blast her ass off when she finished. I just sat there staring at her.
Then she went on, "I have turned more tricks in the three months I have been with you than in the whole two years with Paul.xxiii My pussy stays sore and swollen. Do I get my ass kicked before I split? If so, kick it now because I'm going back to Providence on the next thing smoking."
She was young, fast with trick appeal galore. She was a pimp's dream and she knew it. She had tested me with her beef. She was laying back for a sucker response.
I disappointed her with my cold overlay. I could see her wilt as I said in an icy voice, "Listen square-ass bitch, I have never had a whore I couldn't do without. I celebrate, bitch, when a whore leaves me. It gives some wormy bitch a chance to take her place and be a star. You scurvy bitch, if I shit in your face, you gotta love it and open your mouth wide."xxiv
The rollers cruised by in a squad car. I flashed a sucker smile on my face. I cooled it until they passed. Kim was rooted there wincing under the blizzard.
I went on ruthlessly, "Bitch, you are nothing but a funky zero. Before me you had one chili chump with no rep. Nobody except his mother ever heard of the bastard. Yes, bthan fishmongersitch, I'll be back this morning to put your phony ass on the train."
I rocketed away from the curb. In the rear-view mirror I saw Kim walk slowly into the hotel. Her shoulders were slumped. Until I dropped the last whore off you could have heard a mosquito crapping on the moon. I had tested out for them, solid ice.
I went back for Kim. She was packed and silent. On the way to the station, I riffled the pages in that pimp's book in my head. I searched for an angle to hold her without kissing her ass.
I couldn't find a line in it for an out like that. As it turned out the bitch was testing and bluffing right down the line.
We had pulled into the station parking lot when the bitch fell to pieces. Her eyes were misty when she yelped, "Daddy, are you really going to let me split? Daddy, I love you."
I started the prat action to cinch her when I said, "Bitch, I don't want a whore with rabbit in her. I want a bitch who wants me for life. You have got to go. After that bullshit earlier this morning, you are not that bitch."
That prat butchered her. She collapsed into my lap crying and begging to stay. I had a theory about splitting whores. They seldom split without a bankroll.
So I cracked on her, "Give me that scratch you held out and maybe I'll give you another chance."
Sure enough she reached into her bosom. She drew out close to five bills and handed it to me. No pimp with a brain in his head cuts loose a young beautiful whore with lots of mileage left in her. I let her come back.
At long last I was driving toward my hotel. I remembered what Sweet Jones, the master pimp who turned me out, had said about whores like Kim.
"Slim," he had said, "A pretty nigger bitch and a white whore are just alike. They both will get in a stable to wreck it and leave the pimp on his ass with no whore. You gotta make 'em hump hard and fast to stick 'em for long scratch quick. Slim, pimping ain't no game of love, so prat 'em and keep your swipe outta 'em. Any sucker who believes a whore loves him shouldn't a fell outta his mammy's ass."
My mind went back to Pepper. Then back even further and I remembered what he had said about the Georgia.
"Slim, a pimp is really a whore who has reversed the game on whores. So Slim, be as sweet as the scratch, no sweeter, and 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."
I was on the elevator riding to my pad. I thought about the first bitch who had Georgiaed me when I was three. She had flim-flammed me out of my head. She would be old and gray now. If I could find her, I would sure get the bitch's unpaid account off my conscience.
I snorted a couple of caps of cocaine. Two hours later I took a yellow. I fell asleep.
When I woke up at noon, I knew I had to make a move. Rachel's parents were trying to cross me. Kim might split back to the sucker. My whole stable, except Kim, were local girls. A pimp is asking for trouble when he doesn't move his action away.
Control is easier and tighter away from the familiar setting. A girl in strange surroundings depends more on her man. She needs his advice and guidance more. Girls copped in smaller towns have to be moved fast.
That night I went to Ohio. I put down the foundation for the move. I rented two houses and furnished them beautifully. I made contact with a fellow who collected the oil for the heat.xxv I got the okay to go at a C a week for each house.xxvi I moved my whole family there. I was just in time. A month later Detroit foldedxxvii and the lid slammed down.
There was a good dope connection in the new town. I started capping H with my C. I'd mix them and shoot speedballs. When I went to bed I got sound sleep. I seldom had those bad dreams. I got hooked on H. It didn't worry me. I was getting long scratch.
I was thirty years old. For the second time in my pimping career I could see solid success and lots of long green in my future. How could I knowxxviii that elephant bitch, Serena, would get jealous? She brought the whole green-back house of cards crashing down around me. I missed a murder rap by a fraction of an inch. The fraction was in Serena's chest.
Within the year that I had set up my houses, tricks from all over the county were beating a path to them. They were wild to sample those luscious young freaks. Pimping had never been better.
I was in a wonderful mood as I walked in the sunshine. I noticed Serena was coming up the street with a sack of groceries in her arm. She had croaked two people in New Orleans. She walked toward me smiling. When she got close to me she got the ice pick out of the sack. She jabbed it toward my chest. At the time I was quite quick, so I leaped back. The point of it slashed the edge of my pocket right over my ticker. She was trying to drive the point right through my ticker.
I was without a pistol at the time. I could buy a pistol from any hardware store. I bought a .32 and a box of fifty bullets. I took it up to her pad and loaded it at the kitchen table.
She said, "Daddy, what's that for?"
I said, "That's to croak any bitch that tries to hurt me."
She said, "Oh Daddy, you know I was just upset. Forget about it."
I said, "No, I'm not going to forget about it. I'd kill my own mother if I thought she was going to hurt me."
Later that evening about midnight the other girls and I were returning from a cabaret.xxix I put the key in the door. I opened it and smelled the heavy odor of Tabu. The heavy scent that only Serena used. I hesitated. My eyes became accustomed to the gloom. I saw Serena standing over in the corner of the living room with an ice pick in her hand. She had slipped into Rachel's house through an open basement window. I drew my gun.
I said, "Serena!"
She said, "Yes, mother-fucker, I'm killing you and them whores this morning."
She started crying.
I said, "Serena, don't come by that end table. If you do I'm going to kill you. You know I always keep my word."
She said, "I wouldn't give a mother-fuck."
She lunged past the end table. I shot her. When I shot her the only thing that saved her life was the fact that she had a forty-six inch bust. The fatty tissue absorbed the bullet at almost point-blank range.xxx
When I shot her, blood splattered. I struck her in an artery. It blew all over my face, all over her. Her dress had a ringlet of sparks. I set her on fire.xxxi She had elephant toughness. It didn't even knock her down. The bitch grabbed at me. She had dropped the ice pick.
She grabbed her chest and said, "Daddy, don't kill me!"
I was tempted. I really intended to kill her. I started to shoot her through the head. I didn't. I don't really know why except there were witnessess, those four whores. She staggered past us through the door and down the street. We all got into the Fleetwood and raced out of town leaving everything.
I sped toward Mama. I hadn't seen her since that Christmas visit. Her hair was snow white. Jesus! Was she excited and happy to see me. I told her what had happened. She got a friend to drive her back there. She loaded all the clothing on a trailer. She visited Serena in the hospital.xxxii
Serena begged my mother to tell me to come back. She wouldn't file charges. It was all her fault and she loved me. I knew that if I had gone back Serena would have driven a butcher knife through my heart in my sleep.xxxiii
- Farmer. [↩]
- More than his whole 7-years bankroll. [↩]
- Notice incidentally how careful he's of the girls' wishes an' desires, eh. [↩]
- The opposite then of what it means now. [↩]
- Suddenly, stressfuly, by stimulus. [↩]
- Were they also playing golf on the side ? Or is this a case of the Moscow baseball bat. [↩]
- Techniqueing the steal of technique didn't have quite the same ring to it. [↩]
- What percentage of currently circulating bills do you think have been inside a vagina ? What percent of those actually in contact with the vaginal lining ? [↩]
- How complete would be this "complete", not like she's getting entasis. But I suppose the man who knew of sibilants and abutements didn't know how do say "drastically" and went with "completely" instead. Such is the fate of thesaurus raiders, they end up with an overstretched outside unsupported by the next rank further inside. [↩]
- So basically a one-woman Murphy orchestra. [↩]
- Ahahaha, "made her one again", not bad, not bad. [↩]
- Kinda puts the quaintness of the midwest in a stark perspective, doesn't it. Chicago wasn't just getting supplied from New York. [↩]
- What sort of idiot buys high risk merchandise from an unknown contact with all his cash -- I don't mean his spare cash, I don't even mean his savings, pension fund, whatever. He went and emptied the working capital account, have you ever heard of idiocy on this level ? What if Helen got busted, what was the plan, he'd go downtown and raise her in dust ? Pass a coupla baggies to the court clerk ? [↩]
- Supernova failure mode of the main underworld series : a town rich enough and large enough will end up with such an underworld layer, so large and poorly connected it'll end up imploding upon itself, everyone's incentive being so sharp to drive everyone else out of business nobody can actually get any business done. People generally credit whatever square figure with "having cleanned up the city", but the fact of the matter was everyone in got so fucking sick and tired of the bullshit they mostly turned square of their own accord. Yes this can happen, and naturally, the two aggregation states are in hydrostatic equilibrium, what the fuck did you think. "We only bump off our own" because, literally, nobody has the time to aim, let alone actually shoot, anyone else ; and "all the old beefs and the old feuds, fifty gangsters chasing the same nickel"... What had you imagined ?
That's a fast track, not whatever quaint farmville bullshit around "the Roost". [↩]
- Can you believe after all that he still had the patience for over a decade of the inane bullshit ? And yet... [↩]
- Lezzie, though I'm sure you figured it out by now. [↩]
- An improvised brothel. The point is she's getting about a third of their income, meaning Serena pulled in more cash than any whore actually working the street. Maybe not four times more, but not that far off. [↩]
- By now we well know it ain't gonna do anything. Anything. [↩]
- He's running into that whole thing. In fairness a pimp with separate pads for each whore looks more like a terrorist organisation than anything. [↩]
- And "meditation" on winning the megamillions generally.
Maybe he could tell them he's printing money again ? [↩]
- This'd be the Rhode Island package he stalked an' then stole then. [↩]
- "The joint", huh. Not "that's how I blew the runt", nor anything like it. [↩]
- Paulie the jealous shrimp pimp from Rhode Island ? Sounds about right. [↩]
- Ever tried this, by the way ? [↩]
- It's not clear where in Ohio, seeing how that's a state not a town ; but in any case whatever town it was, the fix was in. The fellow is the fixer's agent, and he collects the payoffs to bribe the police. [↩]
- Basically he pays a little more in tax for being in a particular guild. Like weavers might pay an extra shilling in poor tax to work in Liverpool, so pimps pay a C more a week to operate in Penury, Ohio or whatever the fuck it was. [↩]
- The fix collapsed. [↩]
- Uh... really ? Experience, personal, lived experience, if nothing else ? [↩]
- Pity he never describes the acts. [↩]
- Well what the fuck, 32s, what are they even for. [↩]
- I can't tell what the fuck this and the foregoing sentence are supposed to mean. [↩]
- Fancy that woman, with a trailer fulla whore outfits, her friend driving her back to Indiana. What do you say in that social context, what are the conversational commonplaces to be employed ?
"Your son seems to favour pinks and topless outfits for his whores."
"Yeah, I guess he always was an orally fixated little motherfucker."
"Do you mean that orally ? I mean, literally."
"Oh, no, that's figurative."
"I thoght the hospital was real nice. Nothing there but old people and poked whores." [↩]
- Eventually. Though honestly, the ice pick seems an adequate weapon of choice for carving icebergs. [↩]