:: Article

It Takes One to Know One

By Lydia Lunch.

The flabby lecherous fuck stumbles out of the toilet wearing a bath towel. He trips over his fluffy white terry cloth slippers, which bear the monogram of the upscale hotel in midtown Manhattan that was charged to the credit card bearing his wife’s name. And at a tab of 3,000 big’uns a night, damn right! He is going to take them home for the terrier to chew on. He giggles like a little girl at his own buffoonery. But no time for humor! The lilting sound of a woman’s voice in the next room reminds him of his manhood. His mission. He grunts. Then grins. Barreling down the hallway he drops the towel, pumped up and power drunk on the smell of his own smegma.

I wish it had been me. Knocking on his door that fateful morning in early May. Don’t snicker. One of the few stints of gainful employment to which I’ve played slave to a weekly wage – was as a hotel maid in upstate New York. I needed cash and fast. I was underage but didn’t look it. But I had to cover my ass. I paid 20 bucks for a fake ID, which changed my address, date of birth and gave me a new name. “Betty Lou Harris” sounded like a nice piece of bible thumping Southern white trash. It had the ring of a lonely runaway in a Tom Waits song that glorifies diners and truck stops and the poor people that populate them. It looked good on my work application. I adjusted my personality accordingly. Started snapping my gum. Calling people ‘Darling’. Wearing blue eye shadow. It also incited a new alter ego to develop. “Big Lou”… a ballsy brutarian who got off by beating the shit out of drunken frat boys as they stupidly fumbled for their wallets or keys on the way home from a booze soaked beer fest.

Whatever. I got the job, was given a uniform, a nametag and a cart loaded with carcinogenic disinfectants. I popped uppers, perfected speed cleaning, pilfered through businessmen’s luggage and pocketed whatever cash or jewelry I could find. I often left little mementos behind, hidden in the bottom of the suitcase for the wives back home. A pair of girl’s soiled panties. A tube of lipstick. Half a joint. A love letter written in florid scrawl.

It takes one to know one. A thief. A cheat. A seasoned con artist. Sure I’ve juggled, cajoled, finagled, pleaded, threatened, seduced, begged, borrowed and still steal to keep my neck above water. Short shift grifts. Bait and switch. Petty penny shit. Hit and run. Nobody gets sunk. I’m not selling nickel for diamonds. Or strip mining. Not breaking anybody’s bank. Or bankrupting whole countries. Just trying to keep my neck above water as a preemptive measure against once again having to dabble in the fine art of lowbrow prostitution. And it takes one to know one. A whore.

But if I sell sex for money, it’s an honest exchange of cash for a specific service well rendered. Whereby I, as an independent solicitor set the ground rules, a time limit and the conditions under which the arrangement will proceed. It is not to play pussy and line the pockets of a cartel of elite pimps who use the art of manipulation to seduce working stiffs into lifelong debt and an eternity of agony. As the johns are tricked into becoming the victim of an endless gang rape perpetrated by warlords and their army of corporate kleptos who get off on playing well-paid whore in service to the almighty cock-ocracy. Enough said.

I wish it had been me. Knocking on his door that fateful morning in early May. Or better yet me and “Big Lou”. Swiping the electronic master card into the slot on the door, calling out “Housekeeping” before entering, walking in with the vacuum cleaner in one hand and a spray bottle of disinfectant in the other.

How priceless it would have been to employ my own shock doctrine. To gloat as the fear registered on the face of the “rutting chimpanzee” as he came rampaging out of the toilet. The look of a lifetime of arrogance and privilege instantly replaced with confusion and pain as a quick blast of sodium hydroxide scalded to red – the grey jellied sack that swung loosely between his legs. How I would have been the one laughing like a little girl as “Big Lou” closed in for the kill and kicked his hands away from his crotch, his legs out from under him and blew the asshole a kiss as he crashed to the floor panicking. His screams drowned out by the vacuum cleaner as it slurped up his shriveled pinkie giving him the blowjob of his life. Sucking as if to pluck out at the root, the canker of his soul, the poisoned malevolence thinly disguised under the milky skin of artful deceit.

And it takes one to know one. A deceitful cunt. I’ve been duplicitous at times. I won’t deny it. I’ve shirked at revealing important details. Omitted facts and ulterior motives. Denied culpability. Insisted upon my own innocence, even when obviously not. But such tactics were employed only to prevent unnecessary damage to the inquisitive party from the knowledge of my own crimes. Not from a Machiavellian imperative so deeply ingrained in the psyche that it has perverted even the neuroanatomy of the prefrontal cortex resulting in the anti-social behavior of a slightly brain damaged psychopath whose every word is so tainted with the corruption of treachery and deceit, that to allow him even one more breath is to wittingly endorse the perpetration of an endless fraud upon countless victims the world over and I wish it would had been me knocking on his door that fateful morning with the hopes of preserving what’s left of the planet, and as token and in warning to the legion of corporate soldiers just like him, I would have kicked the motherfucker in the head until the rug ran red and I ran into the street laughing like a little girl.

Lydia Lunch is an art terrorist who has been confronting apathy and kicking its fucking teeth in for the past three decades.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Monday, November 28th, 2011.