Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Chiropractor - Part 5

"You want me to what?" I asked.

The Chiropractor explained it again. This man, whom I had never seen outside of the confines of the teeny Hot Sun Gallery, had just offered me one thousand and five hundred dollars in cash to follow him on a date with a woman he called his "Lady Friend" because said Lady Friend had a fantasy about not just being followed, but also being watched. And when I say watched, I don't just mean that she wanted to be observed in her ordinary, every day life. She wanted someone to watch her engaging in, umm, activities with her Gentleman Friend. Or at least he said she did. So yes, this man had just offered me a crazy sum to both stalk and be a Peeping Tom to one of his erotic encounters and there is nothing about this which I didn't find disturbing.

"No," I said.

"I didn't ask for an answer," Ira replied, "I merely proposed this idea and asked you to think about it and give your answer to me within a week. You should never make a decision without thinking about it first."

But why did I need to think about this? No. No. No. I had no desire to watch anyone in an intimate moment. I had seen plenty of that inadvertently during the part of a semester I spent at a fancy Northeastern college and I hadn't liked it when it was attractive, trust-funded eighteen year olds, so I certainly wouldn't like it when it was nebbishy 50 year olds.

Did I say that though? No. This is what I found coming out of my mouth instead:

"So how would it all work? I mean, would she know I was there?"

"Yes, but you'd have to pretend like you weren't and she'd pretend like she didn't know you were there either."

"So could I just not be there and you could pretend like I was and then pretend like you didn't know I was there anyway? This IS a fantasy right?"

"No that wouldn't work at all. You'd have to really be there."

"Ok and so you want me to follow you on a date right?"


"Then you're going to go somewhere from there to umm, do the deed?"

"That is precise."

"Ok, so how would I get there to watch this? Do I just go in with you guys? Because wouldn't that ruin it if she's supposed to be pretending that I wasn't really there? I don't get the logistics."

 What the hell was wrong with me? Why was I asking this? I wanted to smack myself in the head for even entertaining this idea, but my curiosity and fascination with the absurdity of the situation got the best of me.

"I would get a hotel room earlier in the day," Ira explained, "Then I would give you a key ahead of time. You would follow us on the date. I would give you a secret cue when it was time for you to leave. You'd leave ahead of us, go to the hotel room, let yourself in and hide in the closet until we got there. Then you'd watch us, we'd leave when we were ready and you could keep the room til morning or leave then. That part is your choice."

"You want me to HIDE IN THE CLOSET?? Like a serial killer or something?"

"Yes, I think that would work best."

"What if I have to go to the bathroom? What am I supposed to wear Depends or something? I mean, is this going to be a wham bam thank you ma'am or are you like Sting over here and this would go on for six hours straight? Because I can't go six hours stuck in a closet without going to the bathroom."

Of course these are the things I think of. The Chiropractor clearly hadn't taken this into consideration at all, or maybe he had and that's why he was offering me so much money.

"This wouldn't be a lengthy endeavor. The furtiveness and passionate heightened eroticism of the event would surely make for a shorter encounter."

"Furtiveness? Do you mean ferventness?"

"Both. It would be both furtive and fervent."

"I suppose it would. Hmm."

"For someone with a tenth grade education and a GED I'm shocked you know those words," he said.

"Well it was a good tenth grade, but that's besides the point. What about the money?"

"What about it? I said I would pay you one thousand five hundred dollars to do this. Do you want more?"

"In cash or what?"


"'d pay me before? I could rip you off. I could take the money and never show up."

Again, why did I say these things? What was wrong with me? Why didn't I throw him out of the gallery and get back to Harry Potter and crosswords?

"I could pay you half before and half after."

"That makes sense I guess."

"You could use the money to go to Paris."

And with that, The Chiropractor abruptly turned and walked out of the store leaving me absolutely stunned. Had this really just happened?

Often very odd things happen to me. Usually they are not my fault and mostly beyond my control. Commonly, the strange occurrences are in some way related to my parents, but this one clearly was not. This one, I had a feeling, was all my fault. I had invited this one right on in the front door and hadn't asked it to leave. The Chiropractor had asked me to do this because I had unloaded all of my emotional baggage on him in several moments of extreme boredom and lonely desperation and my doing so had caused him to think that I was maybe open to this sort of thing. I had, after all, confessed openly to having worked in a strip club for a year. I had also admitted my irresponsibility with and therefore current desperation for money. I'd told him all about my bad luck with men as well as some other poor decisions I'd made, so naturally he was going to think I was someone who could be taken advantage of in a sense. I came off as a person who might behave impulsively and not consider normal moral and social implications of her actions.

Well, that wasn't the person I wanted to be anymore.

Except, the person I now wanted to be also wanted to go to Paris. And I had worked in a strip club for a year. I was already making a big change, so what was one more episode of accepting money for something sex related? It's not like I was actually doing anything with anyone. I'd just be in a closet. It was clearly far from prostitution and lord knows, I knew plenty of girls who accepted cash and gifts for doing a lot worse. It was one last time. It was kind of like how in movies the thief who wants to reform gets sucked back in for one last heist before retirement.  I could do one last bad thing before I finally settled down and became the responsible, upstanding young woman I imagined myself one day being.

I set about making a list of pros and cons.  Here is a close recreation of that list.


1. Money
2. Something to write about one day.
3. Don't really have to do anything.

1. Ewww
2. Could be a plot. What if he's a serial killer or a rapist and this is a trick to kidnap me and turn me into a sex slave? What if he's going to sell me overseas?
3. I don't really want to watch people have sex. But I mean, I'd just be in the closet. They'd be busy. I could sleep or read. Note: ask him if he's going to do it lights on or lights off. If lights are on I can bring a book.
4. Having to pee while in the closet.
5. I am claustrophobic. I don't like being in closets. I have never been in a closet.
6. This seems morally wrong though I can't think of the commandment that says Thou Shalt Not Watch People Do It.
7. Could I rip him off? Could I pull off just letting him see me on the date part and not go to the hotel room? How would he know if I was in the closet or not anyway? Would he check? Note: ask how he will know if I'm there.  Note: On second thought, don't give him ideas. Remember not to ask.
8. Why am I even considering this? See #1 under Pros. Money. Does the pro of money trump all cons?

Then I made another list.

Things I Could Do with $1500

1. Go to Paris. I have no one to go with or anyone to see there.
2. Clothes.
3. Personal trainer and lose this weight.
4. Security deposit on apartment.
5. Trip someplace else. Almost anywhere else really. Where can I go? I have no one to go anywhere with.
6. Makeover so someone will find me attractive.
7. Save it. Yeah right. For what?
8. School tuition.  Nevermind. Can't pass math.
9. So why do I even need 1500$ if I can't think of something to do with it???
10. Wait. I've got it.  THERAPY.

And then I was interrupted in my compulsive list making by Harlan who had come in to exchange some cds. He took a stack home and added a new stack and as he did so, it occurred to me how truly trivial this man's life must be if he actually created an errand out of exchanging stacks of cds. I'll bet he actually sat around and worried about what music was playing in the gallery even though I was the only person who ever listened to it.

"Did you take home that cd that I asked you to leave in the store?" he asked me.

"No, you told me not to, so I left it here."

"It's not back there," he said.

"Oh my gosh. I didn't do anything with it. Let's go look again."

We looked all over the place for the missing cd. I thought it might be stuck in the player, but it wasn't.

"You're certain you didn't take the cd home?"

"Of course. You said not to so I didn't."

"And it isn't in your car."

"No. I never touched the cd. I left the cd here. You said I couldn't borrow it so I didn't."

"Ok, well if you find it, let me know."

Harlan stood looking out the glass front window for an uncomfortably long time. He pulled on his earlobes and shifted his weight and rubbed his forehead.

"You have no idea where the cd is?" he repeated.


"Can you just look around for it and if it shows up call me immediately?"


"You know, like maybe it can just reappear tomorrow and I can stop by for it?"

"Harlan, I do not have the cd."

"No no. I'm not saying you do. I'm just saying if it turns up..."

"Yeah, ok."

"In fact, maybe just close up early tonight? Like right now. Go ahead and close up right now. It's almost 6 anyway."

Harlan left and I closed the store, perplexed by the odd behavior of everyone around me, including myself.

I decided to go home and call everyone I knew to ask their opinion on what decision I should make regarding The Chiropractor's proposition. And what was up with Harlan and that cd? Weird day.

To Be Continued...


CharmingDinnerGuest said...

WOW. This is really good!!

Vic said...

Cannot wait to know what you decided. Almost surprised nothing of the sort happened at the HOA.
You eventually did get through the math. Any advice for those of us paralyzed with fear over the quantitative portion of the GRE?

Anonymous said...

Argh. This is driving me crazy. Can you put "Final Chapter" in the title when it's actually done? I'd rather hold off and read them all at once.

- lowwall

Anonymous said...

Dear me. I would read a book of this day's events and chew my cuticles to a nub. Can't wait to see what's next!

Wide Lawns said...

Vic, yes I did eventually get through math and the GRE.

I'm kind of ashamed of how I got through the GRE.

I already knew I was going to a school with low standards for grad admission. I already knew I was going for English. I went in there and aced the English section and essay section. I scored in the 700s and got a 5.5 on the essay. That meant I only needed about a 300 on the math. My school only wanted I think a 1000 to 1100 minimum score.

I admit it - I Christmas treed it. I knew there was no way I could even begin to figure out how to do those problems so I just filled in the bubbles in what seemed like a logical sequence. Lo and behold, I got the score I needed to get in to grad school and never had to take another math class again.

Obviously this wouldn't have worked if I'd have wanted to go to MIT, but I just wanted an MFA so no one cared that I suck at math.

Ella said...

You stories are awesome (or rather you write them awesomely well) In case you are wondering, I the one that's going though your archives the last week! :-) Can't wait for this one to end.

Erica said...

Too bad the GRE's all electronic these days and get this...if you get questions right, they give you HARDER QUESTIONS. It's awful.

@Vic, I recommend taking as many practice exams in the back of the study books as possible, and actually timing yourself and taking it properly. Then go back and correct your work and look up the ones you got wrong. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary. I had to take em twice, no fun.

Also, I would have held out for more money, not because I'd do it, but just to see how much he was willing to offer.

Unknown said...

OK I think I figured it out! Funny thing is it came to me a few hours after reading this entry.

The chiropractor took the CD on purpose hoping your boss would accuse you of stealing and fire you. Then you would be even more desperate for the $1,500 making you more likely to take the chiropractor up on his offer.

Am I totally off?

Anonymous said...

Maria, you could be the next Carolyn Keene! (I read a lot of Nancy Drew books while I was growing up)

mcgrimus said...

This could be the start of a movie. You go to the wrong room and witness a murder. Or you tell a friend about this, and she says she'll do the closet part for half the cash---and her body turns up a few days later.

But I think what might be more plausible is that the chiropractor's date is not the one into voyeurism and will know nothing about this arrangement.

silver said...

My guess is that you agree to do it, only to get to the hotel room first and find the cd playing in the room along with the wine, candles, etc, that the chiropractor put there. You get so pissed off that you run out of room as dr. and lady friend are coming out of elevator and it's Harlan's wife?
Am I close???

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