I didn’t sign up for this, I thought to myself as I throw food into Deniro’s food dish and quickly run away. I didn’t sign up to take care of that house or that dog. It was just my luck for such large responsibility to be thrown at me out of no where. I debated going home, abandoning the house and the dog and leaving it for Scott to take care of. For selfish reasons I was upset. I went to Australia to have a good time and travel, not be stuck wondering when my housemate was going to be out of hospital. Scott woke out of his coma and, through the large amounts of painkillers he was on, managed to tell me to remember to walk Deniro every day. I didn’t. I couldn’t. It affected my work and party schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I tried to do it every day. But here and there I would miss a day or two. I didn’t care for the demon dog, even though Deniro seemed to be warming up to me. To be honest, after the growling incident, Deniro scared me. Despite all this, I powered on. My good side got the best of me and I decided to help out this man I hardly knew.
Everyone at the brothel found out about Scott’s hospitalisation and they were all buzzing about it. Wild rumours were floating around, and all the talk was making me uncomfortable. Jake, the muscular guy I had a crush on, was in the boy’s room parading around being a cocky asshole. Sometimes he remained invisible in the corner and sometimes he demanded the room’s attention. For a good looking guy he had low self-esteem, a common pattern with the boys. Below his plastic shell there was a good guy, which is why I liked him. But on this particular night he really pissed me off. He was parading around, being nosy and loud, and he turns to me with a cocked smile and says, “So how’s Scott doing?”
“He’s doing ok, I guess.” I am hungover from the night before and laying on the couch.
He responds cheekily, “Now how the fuck did he get himself hit by a truck? It makes no sense!”
“I don’t know! Scott said it was nighttime and that the driver purposefully drove off the road to hit him and then drove away.”
“How fucking stupid is that? He should’ve jumped out of the way. If you are stupid enough to get hit by a truck then you deserve to be hit by a truck,” Jake laughs. The blood in my body starts to boil and I can feel my cheeks going red with anger.
“Just shut the fuck up, Jake,” I yell, sitting up.
“Look, you don’t have to get all bent out of shape. I am just saying it sounds pretty stupid to me.” Jake tries to hold back a devilish smile, obviously happy with my reaction. He now had the room’s attention and it was obvious he was enjoying it.
I angrily stand up and huff to the back of the room, slide open the sliding glass door and slam it behind me. I sit on the wooden slats in the smoking area and light a cigarette. I was shaking with anger, my cigarette trembling in my hands. For some reason I found myself searching the Internet on my phone for hit and run news stories in Cairns. My search results come up with nothing. I didn’t think much of it, I thought maybe the news outlets just didn’t cover the story.
That night I had an outcall way out in the suburbs. It was a $45 taxi ride out there, but Brendan promised to pick me up personally when I was done in exchange for the other $40 taxi-fare. Sometimes the boys with cars would drive you to your outcall in exchange for the amount you would’ve paid for a taxi. It was a good way for the boys to make extra cash, car permitting.
The man’s house was awkwardly bare. Nothing hung on the walls, the room was sparsely decorated. He was a nice client, but he made me uncomfortable with how much he talked about his kids. I gave him an hour long massage and my hands were really sore when it was done.
I waited outside for Brendan for 30 mins. He was supposed to meet me outside my clients’ apartment at 2 am when I was done, but after I called him to ask him where he was he said he was gonna be late and that Nick was with him. I could hear Nick cackling in the background as Brendan tried to hold his composure and tell me that he was gonna be 10 minutes late.
Half an hour later when Brendan finally arrived Nick unrolled the window and screamed, “Get in bitch!”
“Oh lord Jesus girl get in the car we going shopping!” Brendan yells.
I hop in the backseat and immediately feel the energy pouring off Nick and Brendan. Nick whips around in his seat with crazy enthusiasm and yells, “Security! This bitch has got to go!”
Brendan echoes, “He has got to go! Oh lord baby Jesus have mercy!” They both throw their heads back and howl in laughter. Once Brendan composes himself he starts driving and asks, “How was it?”
“It was good. Really easy, just mainly wanted a massage.”
“I’ve had him before. Isn’t his house so creepy? There is nothing in it. Bitch needs a painting or statue or something.”
“Really?” Nick asks with saucer eyes. Both of their enthusiasm seemed weird to me, it was something I hadn’t seen before.
“Yeah. And when I try to stick my dick in him he moves his hips around too much. It’s like, hello bitch just stand still, ok!?”
We all laugh, and I jokingly ask, “Oh my god what are you guys on?”
Nick quickly responds, “We aren’t on anything.”
Brendan adds, “You’re crazy babe.”
“Have you ever done drugs?” I ask, wondering why I had never asked before.
Nick and Brendan exchange glances. Nick says in response, “Umm yeah like every once in a while I will take a pill.”
“Oh lord Jesus!” Brendan yells out of no where.
Nick repeats louder, “OH LORD JESUS!” They both start laughing.
“Just don’t freak out about it,” Brendan tells me.
“Why would I freak out about you doing pills every now and then?”
Brendan is hesitant, but then says with a guilty smirk, “Because you’re a goody goody.”
“Oh lord Jesus!” Nick screams.
“Oh lord baby Jesus!” Brendan screams back.
And that’s how the rest of the drive goes until we get back to Nicks apartment and start drinking.
Partying became a full time endeavour. Every night after work Nick, Brendan, Matt and I would meet at someones apartment, pre-drink until 2 or 3 am, and then go out clubbing until the sun rose. It was now a ritual. One particular night we were pre-drinking at Nick’s apartment and I noticed something odd. I’d seen it before but not at this frequency. About every half an hour Nick and Brendan would go into Nick’s room for 15 minutes. I never normally paid attention to it because I thought they were going in there to fix their hair or to apply more makeup. Matt, who was sitting beside me, was obviously bothered by it. Matt yelled at them from the living room, “We all know what you are doing in there! We aren’t that stupid!”
I pondered what he meant, and I thought that maybe they were going in there to make out. I didn’t think that Nick and Brendan liked each other before, but it would explain why they would spend so long in there. It seemed desperate to me and foolish that they would try and hide it like that. They knew that Matt and I wouldn’t care. I would be happy for them to be together.
Matt broke my deep thought, “You do know what they are doing in there, right?”
“I… I think so.” I say, starting to feel foolish.
Matt says bluntly, “They are smoking crack.”
“Why else do you think they go in there alone so often?”
“I thought maybe they were doing their hair.”
Matt laughed mockingly at my hilarious innocence, “Oh my god! I know they do their hair a lot but that’s just dumb.”
“Well how was I supposed to know?”
“Yeah, you are pretty innocent.”
“How do you do crack?” I asked.
“You smoke it. Don’t tell me you want to try it.” Matt gazes at me with a dumbfounded expression.
“No I don’t, but I would like to watch Nick and Brendan do it. I’ve never seen how it’s done before.”
“That’s just weird. I would never do something as stupid as crack.”
Later that night Matt spends $400 on the pokies (slot machines). In one way or another everyone had their vices. Matt craved risk. Brendan craved adventure. Nick craved numbness. I craved the unknown. These mental cravings were manifesting themselves into physical ones. I thought mine had manifested in the form of becoming an escort, but little did I know I had a lot more coming.