The streets were dark on Saturday night, dark and late. Too nasty late for a dame like me to be walking alone by herself in this no-good neighborhood. The blind-date schmooze who left me sitting with the bar tab-well, I should’a known better. June and her big bright ideas, “This Sugar Daddy is a real piece of gold, honey!” Hugh! Who needed friends like June anyway? I’d never darken her door again! Benny, he’d set me up like always, even though he was what he was.
This time I played it right with Benny-set down some ground rules right up front-let him know I wouldn’t be taken for no ride. No sirree! Me being ten years older with a few tricks under my belt, I knew where I stood. Benny listened too-gave me my own dressing room, jewelry, real nylon stockings, doe for makeup and fingernails, had my hair done every night and cases of booze.
Best part of all was I got my dream wish. While I flirted around in that luxury jazz club, sipping champagne and picking up large bills in tips from high-class types who could “look but not touch”, Benny put me on the microphone once a night and I sang-real good, too!
The hangovers they got pretty bad sometimes, but Benny fixed that for me right off. Along with the nylons he had delivered every night was a box with white powder. Benny showed me how to sniff if in the morning and I was good as new-even better! Boozing, flirting, singing and sniffing made a very good year!
I started slipping the stuff into my Lucky Strikes and man when I got the mic, I was Judy Garland! I got so emotional in my songs-all blurting out and crying-just singing my soul outside myself. Sometimes when I woke up I didn’t know if it was day or night. All those high-class men, those good tippers, well, they didn’t tip so good anymore. I couldn’t blame them ’cause I was having trouble remembering one from the other and calling them by the wrong name.
Mama used to say, “the mirror don’t lie.” I don’t look so good to myself. My makeup is all gooey and smudged and all too much. I can’t help it ’cause my hands shake and the booze does not do it. There is not enough powder to put it right or it knocks me out. I cried to Benny and told him I just wanted to be like Judy Garland.
Benny told me I was fired.
He put me on the street.