Hotpants for Sexxpats

By Martin X, illustrations by Irina Savina

My job is very boring, I’m an office manager. It’s not for everyone. We’ve got plants on the windowsills. Cups with the company logo on them. Surprisingly, very few people throw themselves out of the window. One of our top lawyers was murdered!

A few years back, before I got into the anti-cafe game, I was managing a yoga studio with an impressive view of red square. Without announcing his visit, one hot summer day, the studio’s absentee landlord popped by and demanded money with menaces.

“The rent is an extra 400,000 rubles this month” he blurted, “pay-up or I’ll break your legs.”

When he realized I was unable to pay him such an incredible sum, he went berserk, screaming blue murder, then he threw me out and changed the locks. I’d never heard such language in my life! They said he had 18 wives, 18!!? Each wife had an apartment and for each wife he had an official mistress. He also had innumerable girlfriends due to the nature of his work as a strip club proprietor. His skin had a kind of green tinge, no doubt cultivated by spending the majority of his time under the artificial emissions of the plutonic lamps which barely lit his blue and gloomy workplace. “Boney’s” his famous nightclub is called. It’s the kind of place which is popular with sexpats; Kev the Californian used to regale me with descriptions of his adventures in these “gentlemen’s clubs” and how you were basically obliged to go there with important clients “to prove you weren’t a limp-dick”, as he said. Personally I’d never been in such a place, but the boss of the yoga studio demanded I meet with the polygamous proprietor and try to agree some reparation. That’s how I found myself in the gloomy vestibule of sin, adjacent to the pole dancing lounge, waiting to meet my fate. Actually there were several of us in attendance; alongside myself were a couple of disgruntled English guys who used to teach drama lessons in our yoga studio, they wanted their rent back and “some satisfaction” they said. Well, the jolly green pimp had put them out of business, so it was an understandable, if inadvisable aspiration. I wished them good luck of course, whilst simultaneously worrying about their physical safety. There was a go-between as well; Sasha, also a mafia type, with an artificial sheen of civility. He was the one who normally collected the rent before that ominous day occurred when the owner un-absented himself and put in a personal appearance. Sasha showed me some of his oil paintings once, in case I was interested in putting them on the walls of the yoga studio. I’ll never forget it, they were literally the worst paintings I’ve ever seen. I’m no art critic, but I felt physically embarrassed to even look at them. I’ve no idea what made him so proud of these terrible daubs. It was like an act of sadism to expose anyone to them. They looked like someone had dropped their dinner on a dirty floor. He was at the meeting to facilitate the agenda and keep the peace. He was the one who told me about the proprietor’s wives. “He’s probably having some boom boom with one of his girls,” he told us, using an expansive gesture to emphasize the point. “That’s why he’s late.”

We were led into a very dark room which last saw daylight when they were digging the foundations, by a sumptuous uber-mannequin of a lady. Latterly, a tottering stripper in high heels and hot pants brought us a lovely cup of tea to while the time with whilst we were waiting for the priapic bandito to appear. 

“Would you like milk?” she said, wobbling over the teapot.

“Yes”,

“No”,

“No”,

“Yes”,

“Not for me thank you.”

Biscuits all round, tea was served. Delicious. Well, hot and wet anyhow.

Then the impenetrable darkness was relieved by the emergence of a kind of glow in the dark figure as the proprietor’s entrance occurred like the momentary backflash of a Caravaggian seance.

“Would you like to see my S and M dungeons?” he proffered, with stumbling courtesy.

Pause.

“Why ever not? What a splendid suggestion!”

It was a revealing little tour. We waved politely at the incarcerated dominatrix who rattled her chains at us in sympathetic reciprocation. We dangled our fingers in the lotus blossom strewn sauna in the Japanese room; we marveled at the facilities on offer for naked boy bands on 2000-euro-a-head gay nights; And we wowed our way around a host of velveteen upholstered VIP stalls where you could only imagine the amount of oysters fat men in wranglers patronizing the bordello, must have gotten through.

Then we got down to reparations talk. “How can I help you gentlemen?” Grizzled the proprietor. He was an interesting specimen. Totally illiterate and extremely dangerous to get on the wrong side of, but somehow curious about the world beyond his limousine and his libidinous, lingerie-laden lifestyle. He was like a lower life form with attenuated instincts. Veneered onto a maniacal hunger for sexual satiation was an extremely faint, lipgloss thin glaze of tepid interest in immaterial concerns which appertain to art and poetry. In a weird kind of way, he considered himself to be a legitimate producer of professional entertainment services, and in a weird kind of way, he wasn’t wrong.

I had already decided not to push this surreal interaction {sic} beyond its boundaries, having realized that the proprietor was unlikely to redress my eviction complaint, but one of the Englishmen tried to negotiate compensation by offering to stage a theatre play in the strip club.

“Tell me more.” The proprietor said.

“It’s called ‘Lamia’, it’s about a woman who was a snake. John Keats wrote a poem about it.”

There was a tense interlude. If the jolly green pimp suspected he was being taken for a fool there’d be an unseemly end to the discussion. That’s how we found out about the boy band’s ticket prices, which of course the Englishman couldn’t compete with.

“It’s an incongruous juxtaposition.” Said the deeply idiotic Brit.

“Is it erotic?” Said the blue Greenie.

Another Sergio Leonne moment…

“Of course it is!” Chivvied the go-between.

“Could be…” Mumbled the Brit.

“What’s in it for me?” Said Greenie.

“People will talk about you.” Said the Brit with a death wish. Not even the go-between wanted to further remark on that vacuous comment.

“You mean, people in London will get to know about my famous “Boney’s” night club?” Said the proprietor, almost childishly.

“Sure.” Said the limp dick Brit, never having been as unsure of anything in his stupid life.

“And you know what Oscar Wilde said about that?” He whimpered, Britishly, digging his grave that little bit deeper.

Pause.

Cup rattles. A cube of sugar misses its target, I’m looking at you, you’re looking at me, I’m looking at you, you’re looking at me, nobody blinks. The proprietor doesn’t know Oscar Wilde from Julie Andrew’s cat.

“No. I don’t know. What did he say?” He hisses. 

“There’s only one thing worse than being talked about, and that’s not being talked about.” Conferred the stupid British twot, handing over the final nail for his coffin to his executioner, Mr blue Greenie the polygamous proprietor. Evelyn Waugh said he would never consider reading a novel unless it began with the sentence, “A shot rang out” but it didn’t. No shot rang out as anyone in their right mind could have been forgiven for expecting, instead a distant light of recognition went on in the proprietors eyes as the power of literature temporarily unlocked a dusty compartment of his mind which wasn’t obsessed with rogering bints.

The silence of God…

“I agree,” he said, after 5 million years.

“Sasha, make the arrangements.”

Someone fell off a ladder. The proprietor leaked out of the room in search of jelly tots. Only a purple vestige of his aura remained.

And breathe..,

“Give me your phone!” demanded the Englishman’s mate.

“Why?”

“Because I’m gonna delete his number you twot!”

“If you do that, we won’t know who’s calling…!!”

And off they went, bickering into the blinding light of the amber hot day.

“Would you like to see my new painting?” Said Sasha the slasher.

“Well, errr…”

“I’ve had one framed in the S and M dungeon,” he said,

“Let me show you…”

And he took me by the hand and led me back into the dungeon.

I never saw those English guys again. I’m not really a poet either, but I do sometimes get some time to myself at the end of the day when I’m watering the plants on the windowsill and drinking a cup of shit coffee from a company mug; it’s then that I jot down a few lines of thought, like clouds drifting through the skyline as I look out across the city and remember a sexpat tale or two. Some funny little occurrence out there between a lonely Russian girl and a desperate traveler intent on betraying “the importance of being elsewhere.” They are partly articles and they are partly poems. “Particles!”  This is one of my particles about the sexpat patrons of “Boney’s” and other gentleman’s clubs in this elsewhere place. This squalid cauldron of cautionary tales. This city of dirty light.

 

Fat men in wranglers.

Wrestling loneliness from a hot woman’s eyes,

with a lurid promise of foreign allure

and a mighty passport made of sandalwood

and other exotic fragrances

Which the owner need only waft

Under a fit bits runny nose

To rake the writhing wetness into her spotty panties

Like wriggling worms in topsoil

Blinded by the sun

Albeit that the sun in question

Is lit by the fumes

Of duty free after shave

And other intoxicants

Mini skirts

Hot pants

Pop sox

The eyes of the dead

In blue bar candescence

In kabuki artaudia

Incense and myrrh

Like the glow of sambuka

Wringing with the promise of spring

After the chicken thighs

And the belly dancer

After the blood hot sun

Always the scarlet snow

And the fat men in boy blue

wranglers

Cake all they can eat

By the chicken hot score.

 

17/07/17.