Extract: The State of Montana by Maxim Jakubowski

A paso doble class completed. She drove to the French side of town and its most shady streets, infested with sex shops and porno movie houses. One or two of her female office friends actually whispered they had brothels around there. She dreamt of them often and what happened inside those dark walls. Only healthy curiosity, she would tell herself when she awoke in the throes of a particularly obscene dream.

A peep show in the unmentionable quartier. The fat manager escorted her to a back room. The disagreeable smell of chemical disinfectant hovered over the whole premises. Canned music filtered like a drowning man’s final bubbles of consciousness through speakers scattered in all corners of the seedy establishment. ‘Big Spender’, ‘Satisfaction’, ‘Michelle’.

‘I can dance,’ Montana told him.

‘Can you, then?’

‘Most Latin American dances in fact.’

‘Well, lady, that’s not in much demand here.’

‘I understand.’

‘As long as you can move your bod a bit, that’s all the punters want, really.’

‘I can.’

‘There’s a rota. You have to spend half an hour at a time in the booth, and that includes private sessions.’

‘Meaning?’

‘Meaning one to one in a cabin with the client who requests you. What you do there for your tips is up to you.’

‘I see.’

‘A minimum of six shifts a day. More is up to you. If you’re good, you move to evenings, it’s busier, more generous tips. But you start on mornings or lunch, they all do, even the lookers. Have to pay your dues.’

‘I can only do Mondays,’ she pointed out.

‘Piss poor day, Monday. You’re not going to earn much just working then.’

‘It’s all I’m willing to do,’ she pointed out.

‘Fine,’ the fat man sighed. ‘So, let’s see you.’

Montana hesitated, then understood what he was requesting.

‘I want to see your body, girl,’ he confirmed. ‘Don’t fret, I’ve seen enough skin in my time in this business. I won’t touch you.’

She had barely enough space to wriggle out of her clothes, pinned as she was between his desk and the back wall. He cleared an ashtray and a pile of old racing newspapers off his desk when he saw her looking for a space to put her clothes down on.

She straightened, arms akimbo, facing the manager of the peep show joint.

‘You haven’t got much up top, have you?’ he stated.

‘No,’ she agreed. ‘But they’re firm.’

‘Nice legs,’ he said. ‘Turn round a bit.’ She did, now facing the pocked wallpaper.

‘Nice ass, a bit square. You’re very pale, you know. Ever thought of using a tanning lamp?’

‘No, I haven’t.’

‘Some more colour might suit you. You’re too milky, porcelain-doll like. Tall doll, though,’ he sniggered. ‘You can turn round again.’

He could feel his gaze lingering on her cunt as he kept on examining her in silence.

‘So, can I work here?’ she asked him. ‘I know what it entails and I’m quite ready for it, you know.’

‘Hands through the opening, touching you up for a few extra bucks, everywhere, fingers up you, and all that?’ he questioned her. ‘And more. This is no fancy strip joint,’ he added. ‘It’s a meat rack. Pure and simple. You have to understand that, Montana. No pretence. Skin for cash, that’s what it’s all about.’

He saw her blanch. But she nodded in response nonetheless.

‘I think I understand,’ he finally said. ‘You’re in it for the kicks, aren’t you lady? It’s not the money you’re after, just the thrill?’

Montana said nothing, beginning to shiver as the inhospitality of this fetid back room enveloped her.

‘No, not really,’ he finally said following a further minute’s silence. ‘I don’t think it would work. You’re too. normal. Girls here are not from your walk of life. I don’t think you’d blend in well. Not our type. Sorry. Better get dressed again.’

Driving home, dusk falling quickly across the industrial landscape of suburban Montreal, Montana breathed a profound sigh of relief. Maybe it was for the best, after all. But deep inside her she also knew that had the manager given her the nod, she would have been in that booth the following Monday, rouged to the hilt, fixed smile in place, her wares on display for the disembodied eyes on the other side of the flimsy peep show partition.

That evening, when her husband made gentle sexual advances in bed, she pretended her period was starting.

Click to visit the ‘State of Montana’ page

Also by Maxim Jakubowski
Life in the World of Women
It’s You That I Want To Kiss
Because I Thought I Loved You
On Tenderness Express
The Erotic Box Set
Kiss Me Sadly

About Maxim Jakubowski