Pagan Moss' Peep Show Stories

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Jade




Jade


It was Monday evening when I arrived for my first shift. I stepped out of the cab with a large duffle bag slung over my shoulder. I paused for a moment, looking up at the sign: Girls, Girls, Girls. I took a deep breath, opened the front door to the building and made my way up the stairs to the second floor. A young man covered in tats and piercings, wearing all black, looked up from a book as I approached the front desk.

“Hi, I’m Natalia,” I said, smiling.

He scanned a clipboard on his desk and looked up at me, “You’re the new girl?” he said, brushing his long black bangs away from his face.

“Yeah, it’s my first night.”

“You’re number 12,” he said, explaining that I would need to type this number into the keypad mounted on the wall of the booth. I must have looked a little confused because he quickly added, “Jade, is back in the dressing room right now. You’ll be working with her tonight. She’ll show you everything.”

With that, he stood up and walked out from behind the desk.

“Follow me,” he said. “I’ll show you the dressing room.”

I followed him as he disappeared behind a black curtain. I, too, passed through the curtain, which led to a dark corridor. As I walked behind him, I saw there were video booths on either side. Some were occupied and the sounds of women moaning filled the air. He took a left at the end of the hallway and stopped in front of the first door. He took a ring of keys from his jeans pocket and unlocked the door, opening it up for me.

“Here you go,” he said, giving me an indifferent smile.

“Thank you,” I said as I walked inside.

The door shut behind me and I stood there, scanning the room. There was a bathroom straight ahead and two large lighted mirrors, which hung over large counters on perpendicular walls. The place was dirty and in disarray, smelling strongly of stale cigarette smoke.

Jade was standing in front of one of the mirrors getting ready.

“Hi,” I said as I dropped my bag on the floor.

“Hi, I’m Jade,” she said, smiling. “Are you new?”

“Yeah, tonight’s my first night.”

“Cool,” she said, looking back at her reflection. “You can put your stuff in an empty locker,” she said, pointing to the wall across from the row of booths.

“Thanks,” I said, picking up my bag and walking to the bay of lockers.

“You only get one, though, and you’ll need to bring your own lock,” she said, looking at me in the mirror.

I opened the first locker without a lock and found it was full of clothes. I opened another and it had a blanket in it.

“Yeah, some girls have more than one locker. They’re not suppose to, though. I think the far left one on the bottom is free. It used to be Kitty’s, but she got fired last week”

I opened the locker and to my utter delight it was empty. I opened my bag and started filling the locker.

When I was done, I looked over at Jade to see what she was wearing as it is a major taboo to wear something similar to the girl you are working with, especially on the first night.

It is never easy to be the new girl in the sex industry. Your presence seldom evokes feelings of excitement over prospective friendship, but rather stirs feelings of apprehension . . . unease. You are the competitor.

Jade was wearing a black bikini, which appeared to be several sizes too small as rolls of white flesh generously flowed over the top of her bikini bottoms, practically devouring them. Jade was a larger woman--not just thick, but rather large-boned. Her shoulders resembled that of a linebacker and stuck out quite noticeably beyond her ample hips. She appeared to be in her forties, but had a Bettie Page haircut and a pierced nose, which might ruse prospective customers into thinking she was younger. She had a tattoo of a steer’s skull on her upper right arm and a tattoo of a dream catcher on her upper left arm.

Jade had a pretty face when she smiled, but as soon as her smile dissolved, her mouth curled downward at the ends. Her eyes were big and dark, but were devoid of any feeling. I sensed that life had not been too good to her and that she was not here by choice, but rather through mere desperation.

“I’m wearing black tonight, is that OK?” I asked, trying to be diplomatic.

“Fine with me,” she said, applying her mascara.

“Cool,” I said, stripping out of my street clothes.

I sensed she was sizing me up out of the corner of her eye.

“Let me know when you’re ready and I’ll show you how to sign in,” she said as she jumped into her booth.

I dressed and touched up my makeup and when I was done, I walked over to her booth. “I guess I’m ready.”

“Which booth did you want?” she asked, jumping out of her booth.

“I dunno . . . maybe the middle one,” I said.

“Yeah, the middle one’s good. It’s easy to get tips through the tip slot in that one. Did you bring a blanket?” she asked.

“Yeah, I have one in my bag,” I said, pulling it out.

“I don’t use one, but most girls do,” she said, laughing.

I opened the door to the second booth and laid out my blanket.

“Jump in and I’ll show you,” she said, jumping into the booth after me.

She spent about five minutes with me, explaining how the shows went, what the girls charged, how tips worked, and how to work the keypad.

“If you have any problems, let me know,” she said as she jumped out of my booth.

“No, I think you covered everything. Thanks.”

Jade went back into her booth and I sat in mine, waiting in silence.

The first hour went by and no one came by. My legs were feeling a little stiff and I jumped out of my booth to stretch them.

“Monday nights are slow,” Jade said. “I normally don’t work them, but I need the money. I have the new National Inquirer if you’re interested?”

“That’s OK,” I said. “I brought in a book.”

Jade jumped out of her booth, too, and lit up a cigarette.

“You smoke?”

“No.”

“Good for you.”

She pulled up a chair in front of her booth and sat down, taking a long drag.

Taking her lead, I, too, grabbed a chair and sat down in front of my booth.

“You’ve worked in the sex industry before?” she asked, exhaling.

“Yeah, I worked at the Lusty Lady.”

Her face lit up. “Oh, I have an audition at the Lusty next week. How do you think I’ll do . . . I mean, do you think I stand a chance?”

I looked at her, knowing the Lusty and knowing the show directors. I knew there was no way they would hire her, especially in this job market.

“I know they’re really tough over there,” I finally said. “They make most girls audition at least twice.”

“That’s what I was afraid of,” she said, looking down. “Well, I’m going through with it anyway. You never know,” she smiled.

“Do you have a boyfriend?” she asked.

“Yeah . . . how about you?”

“I’m married.”

“How long?”

“A couple of months.”

“Congratulations.”

“Yeah,” she said, the corners of her mouth turning downward.

“What's wrong?”

“He’s missing.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, he’s been gone for about a week now. I don’t have good luck with men. My last husband died unexpectedly.”

“Oh, that’s horrible.”

“Yeah, he died of a heart attack.”

The lights on the main stage flashed on and off and Jade jumped out of her seat.

“It’s mine,” she said. “The first girl here gets the first stage. You get the next one,” she said, running up the stairs.

I followed behind her and sat down on the top stair. I peeked around the corner, hoping to catch a glimpse of how the stage show worked. Jade stood on stage, adjusting her outfit and playing with her hair, waiting for the window to open. The whir of the bill acceptor could be heard and Jade rushed toward the window. The customer was in a one-way, but a light turned on above the window, signaling his presence.

“Hi sweetie. Have you been here before?” she purred as she jiggled her large breasts in the window.

“No, first time here,” I heard the customer say.

“Well, it’s a $5.00 tip for topless and a $10.00 tip for full nudity. We don’t make any of the money that you put into the machine, baby.”

I couldn’t make out what the customer said next, but I could tell that it was not good from Jade’s reaction. She stood up and started walking towards me. I quickly got up and ran back to my chair.

“He wants you,” she said, pulling the straps of her bikini top back over her shoulders. She walked past me with her head down and jumped back into her booth, slamming the door.

I went on stage and did the show for the customer. He tipped me $20.00.

After the show, I jumped back into my booth.

Jade’s door swung open. “Did he tip you?” she asked.

“Yeah, just $5.00,” I said.

“That guy comes in here all the time. He only gets shows with the new girls.”

I knew she was lying and I felt bad for her.

The rest of the evening was slow. The customers that did come in all got shows from me and Jade was not happy. She seemed to have an excuse for each guy: “Oh, that guy hates me because I won’t stick my finger in my ass,” and “I told that guy to fuck off because he wanted me to stick my whole hand up my pussy. Fuck that shit. I ain’t no hoe.”

However, the customers she claimed to be assholes and freaks, seemed to be quite normal and well-behaved with me.

At around 12:00 a.m. there seemed to be a rush of customers. I had shows pretty much back to back for the next hour of my shift. After my last show, I jumped out of the booth and saw that it was 1:00 a.m. I decided I had made enough money and started getting ready to go home. I walked past Jade’s booth, which was open, and saw that she was playing a game on her cell phone.

“I’m going home,” I said. “If you don’t mind?”

“No, not at all. There’s no use of two of us being here at this hour. After 1:00 a.m. it’s pretty much dead any ways,” she said, glued to her game.

“Well, it was nice meeting you,” I said, holding the dressing room door open.

“Yeah, see ya.” she said not looking at me.

“Goodnight,” I said and with that, I left the dressing room.

As the clerk cashed me out for the evening, he commented, “You did pretty good for a Monday.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, it’s usually just Jade and she’s lucky if she gets house paid ($40.00). She actually owes back rent. I don’t know why she works here. I mean no offense, she’s nice and all, but she never makes any money. She’d be better off working at McDonalds,” he said, handing me my money.

“Thanks,” I said and I walked down to catch my cab.

I worked with Jade every Monday night for a couple of months. During that time, she started sharing stories of her life. She was quite a storyteller and even though it was obvious she was lying most of the time, I always listened to every word. She told me that her missing husband, who was Egyptian, was deported without her knowledge back to Egypt. However, after only 10 days, he was quickly returned to the States only to return to Afghanistan to shoot a movie where he was killed when their set was bombed by terrorists. There was the story she told of her twin brother with whom she had a sexual relationship with. She said he was a stripper and that he was murdered a couple of years ago. She also told me about her last wedding and that they had a traditional Egyptian ceremony. Her and her husband were dressed in authentic wedding attire. She said she looked just like Cleopatra--makeup and all. She said that when the Egyptian priest asked if anyone objected to their marriage, a man jumped out of the crowd and approached her husband with sword drawn. She said that her husband also had a sword and a duel ensued.

Jade also had plenty of dark stories, which included being beaten and raped several times by various boyfriends, ex-husbands, friends of boyfriends/ex-husbands, and just friends. She said her most frightening experience was when her ex-husband (the one who died of the heart attack) asked her to sleep with one of his friends who was visiting. He told her his friend would pay her $500.00. She told me that the friend was really ugly and smelled really bad. She said he looked like a scary Santa. She told her husband no, but he proceeded to put something in her drink. She said her next memory was lying on the bathroom floor naked, while the friend dressed. She was sore and wet down there and she knew she had been raped.


Every time I worked with Jade she made little, if any, money. Sometimes the customers were nice in passing on her shows, but there were those customers who were flat out rude. There were customers who would stand in front of her booth just to roll their eyes, or to give her a dirty look. Sometimes they would go into her booth just to mess with her, asking her why she worked there because she was so ugly. I can’t count how many times when it was her turn to do a stage show that she ran off almost immediately because the customer walked away, or wouldn’t tip her. There were even times when customers flipped her off. Despite being rejected over and over again, Jade seemed to have an excuse for every situation. She was the queen of denial.

However, there was one night when Jade broke down. It was a night I will never forget.

Jade had a regular who was very loyal to her. I’m not sure what she did for him, but he paid her very well, which probably sustained her existence there.

I came in one Monday night and found Jade singing, while she was getting ready.

“You seem happy,” I said.

“Yeah, one of my regulars is coming in tonight. He normally comes in Wednesday nights, but he told me last week that he would be coming in tonight. I guess he has some meeting downtown.”

“Cool,” I said. I got ready, too.

It was busy for a Monday night and it seemed like I had shows back to back for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, they were all basic shows, meaning all the money went into the booth--no tips. I finally had a break and ran to the bathroom. On my way back to my booth, I peeked into Jade’s booth. She was reading the latest National Inquirer.

“Has your guy come in yet?”

“No,” she said, buried in her magazine.

I jumped back into my booth. About ten minutes later, a customer walked by my booth, smiling as he passed.

“Hi, baby,” I heard Jade say in a sticky sweet voice. “I missed you. You ready for a show?”

I couldn’t hear the customer’s response, but a couple minutes later he came back out of her booth and gave me a wink as he walked past.

Jade’s door swung open.

“What’s wrong? Isn’t he going to get a show?” I said, leaning out of my booth.

“Yeah, he’s getting money out of the ATM.”

With that she jumped out of her booth, freshened up her makeup, and adjusted her outfit.

“Do I look OK?” she asked.

“You look great.” I said, smiling.

“Thanks,” she said, and jumped back into her booth.

A couple minutes later, someone ducked into my booth and immediately put money into the bill acceptor. I closed the shade to the hallway and peeked through the crack in the shade to see who was there. It was Jade’s customer. Surely he must have made a mistake--gone into the wrong booth by accident. I waited as his shade lifted, expecting a look of embarrassment on his face at his misstep. However, the customer greeted me with a huge smile.

“Hi,” I said. “Have you been here before?”

“Yeah, I normally get shows from Jade . . . your friend next door,” he said, pointing toward her booth.

“You’re not getting a show with her tonight?”

“No, I walked past your booth and decided to get a show with you.”

My heart sank. I knew if Jade found out, she would be devastated. This customer was all she had here. She counted on him. I hated him for putting me in this position and for hurting her.

I went through the motions of the show, but I couldn’t help but think of Jade on the other side of the wall, playing games on her cell phone or reading her National Inquirer, eagerly awaiting her customer, wondering why he hadn’t come back yet.

After the show, I told the customer that he should visit Jade.

“Not tonight,” he said, shaking his head. “I’m late getting home to the wife. When do you work again?” he asked.

I gave him my schedule reluctantly and he left my booth.

I jumped out of the booth and found Jade sitting in a chair with her head in her hands. Her body shook and I knew that she heard us and that she was crying.

“What’s wrong with me?” she asked, looking me in the eye with streaks of black running down her cheeks.

“Nothing is wrong with you,” I said. “You’re beautiful.”

She stood up and started to get ready to go. The time was only a little past 11:00 p.m.

“Why do people hate me? Why can’t I make any money here? Everybody makes money but me.” And with that, she totally lost it, crying uncontrollably.

I put my arms around her as she sobbed into my shoulder, the wetness of her black tears marking my bare skin. We sat there like that for a couple of minutes. A customer walked by the window and I closed the booth door. Jade finally composed herself, wiping the tears from her eyes.

“I’m sorry ,” she said. “I need to get another job. I can’t do this anymore.”

“If this job is making you feel this way, that’s probably not a bad idea,” I said, rubbing her back. “I don’t think this business is good for anyone for too long.”

I watched as Jade changed into a bright yellow sweatshirt and a pair of red and green plaid pants. She took a baby wipe from her bag and wiped the mascara from beneath her eyes.

“Damn, I was really counting on that money,” she said, packing her bag and with this, the tears started to come again. “I don’t have any money for bus fare and I don’t have any food.”

I didn’t have any cash on me besides the $40.00 tip her customer just gave me. I grabbed the $40.00 and handed it to her.

“Here, it’s all I’ve got right now.”

“Thanks,” she said, her upper lip trembling.

With that, she grabbed her bag and walked out the door.

That was the last time Jade ever worked at Fantasy and for her, it was a good thing.

The other day, I was at the intersection of Bellevue and Denny, waiting for the light to change. I saw a woman standing on the opposite side of the street waiting as well. The light changed and we both made our way across the street. As I got closer, I saw that it was Jade. Her face was soft and healthy looking; her hair shined in the sun. She was nicely dressed and had a large book tucked tightly under one arm. She never made eye contact with me.


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A Seattle peep-show girl shares stories of her customers and adventures stemming from her bare-it-all behavior.

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