“The Cave”

Rochelle sat shifting her body from side to side and gravatating her nose towards the small opening of the window. The offensive aroma in the air of the city bus was grotesque and she had a weak stomach for odors. Especially the one manifesting from the man who had just put his dollar in the machine and sat across from her sneering at her and the corner seat she was in. The man’s gritty eyes, glared at her and it was as if he had a connection to her soul. As if he could read her mind and sense how judgemental her perception was of him. I wish he would stop looking at me, I’m getting creeped out. Although Rochelle, was a bit faint from his fragrence, she wasn’t heartless from the pity of poverty this man’s debt to society had cost him.

She did feel bad for this man. A man who lacked shelter or a warm bed to sleep in at night. How awful this man’s lonely and penniless world was without a support group of family or friends to lead and steer him in the right direction. A man who hadn’t developed skills or was able enough to take the steps to creating a comfortable life-style for himself to at least have a hearty meal on the table at the end of a long day but instead chose to dig from dumpster to dumpster to find rotton meals to feast on from day to day.

There were many homeless people who rode and shared the bus rides with Rochelle when her sister couldn’t give her a ride but she ignored them for the most part. She felt sad when she stared too long at the unfortuante. She didn’t want to remember that part of her life. It was painful and she’d rather block it out. She didn’t want to think of those rough times, not when she had to get herself in the right state of mind for the long night’s at work. As she proceeded to block those dark images from her thoughts, she noticed the suitcase of a man who obviously had the means to buy himself a nice watch and maybe even a steak dinner. He was good looking and a middle aged man. Rochelle wondered why he was riding the bus. Maybe he was saving for a nice suitable car like me, she thought.

She moved on to what was in his suitcase. There was a game she liked to play, guess a stranger’s story, by guessing what was in their suitcase or briefcase. She imagined what most people had in their belongings, who were traveling or going to their office jobs. Then she would chuckle to herself, when trying to guess the everyday items one carries. If traveling, most would take the necessary items like clothing, shoes underwear, socks, vital medicines, face-wash, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Business travelers would carry their office supplies mixed in with business wear like uptight blouses and pin stripped pants, one’s that covered the desirable parts of a woman’s chest and assests. Rochelle would think how a businesssuit would automatically attract a woman to a man. Why did uniforms or businesssuits have extreme sex appeal? She stopped and turned her attention back towards the man. Just for the fuck of it, I’d say that in his suitcase,under his labtop, he’d purchased me a heart chained Tiffany’s necklace. Then she imagined the man was headed to see his mistress, his third mistress in one day. She imagined that he was an sex addict who’s wife’s personna was of a 50’s house wife, the opposite of a freak in the sheets. What hid below the business suits were kinky furry cuffs, nipple teasers, black bondage straps, along with his red laced blindfold, and lastly, Good Vibration lubricant.

This game had taken its toll and as she looked at the time, there were twenty long anxious minutes to go before her arrival to work. Ugh-I hate it when my sister can’t drop me off, these bus rides kill me. An hour and a half just to get from downtown LA to here in the boondocks of Carson City. She began to psyche her mind out by repeating, “Just think about the money, just think about the money.” “Think about rent and that brand new ride.”

Rochelle lifted her purple and leopard suitcase up and sat it on her plentiful legs. Her belongings were not conventional. She peeked inside. Lingering, was a well kept secret that had made a home in her suitcase, Rochelle had a nickname for it as well, Misty.

“Misty, what attire should I wear tonight?”

Inside were red glimmering stiletos that’s glistened and red silk lingerie to match, along with a red wig to match as well. Tight fitted dresses, one black, one hot pink, and one neon green, with matching bras and thongs to go with it. Her favorite shoes, made her smile and feel sexy inside. They were fun, and only ones she could wear at work. They stood eight inches high, were black and at the bottom of the shoes were LED lights that lit up everytime she strutted around the work floor or carpeted rooms. Since her shifts started at 4pm to 4am, she had to have an upbeat energy for her customers and in order to keep her upbeat attitude her clothes were her favorite part of her job. So as she zipped the zipper of Misty, she put her secret suitcase to the floor but kept it close to her.

As she looked out the window, she heard the bus come to a stop. She could see the lights ahead, a glimmering light show projected and shined onto the silhouettes of sex goddesses in golden portraits. The lights shined down on the red carpet to welcome the stars and the VIPS to a fantasy- a reality that Rochelle knew was a mirage.

As she stood, with Misty by her side. She invisioned the homeless man’s torn face. A torn face of a poor man. What made me bettter then him? Had I succumbed to this stigma of the world I participated in? She paused in deep thought but shook them away. I can’t think about this right now.

Rochelle had approached the front of the bus and the doors opened fast and wide. Outside there was a cab waiting for her. She knew being in the industry she was in she couldn’t show up walking down the street from the bus. The bus stop was only a few blocks from the club. “The Cave,” as she liked to call it.

As she climbed in the back seat of the cab. She found herself repeating again, “Just think about the money. Maybe tonight will be my lucky night and I’ll find a suitor, one that’s worth keeping-nah just think about the money.”

“Where to?” the cab driver asked.

“To the Cave,” Rochelle said under her breath. To the gentleman’s club up ahead please.”

The cab driver gave her a look with one ebrow curved upwards, one Rochelle knew all too well once men found out about her occupation.

It was an animalistic deamenor that changed when they, “men”, found out. It was an energy that Rochelle could sniff out.

“Whatcha looking at? Just fucking drive,” Rochelle said, no longer feeling any type of sympathy for the homeless man on the bus.

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