Chapter XVI: Fake Dicks
College ain’t cheap and I like fucking.
This is the part of the story where I start selling fake dicks for a living. An unfortunate aspect of my upbringing is that it transpired during a time of great economic collapse. While this was occurring it was called a recession, however to anyone who actually had to live and work through aforementioned economic downturn like myself, you know it was in fact the beginning of a larger scale economic collapse, culminating in a major financial depression in 2020. We of course at the time, had no idea, no clue what so ever that we were truly being fucked over financially. We just knew as a generation that things were expensive and we had to keep hustling for every single penny.
Now, I don’t believe in bragging about having a decent work ethic because...well because fuck you, everyone should have one and it’s not something worth bragging about.
However, upon entering the fake dick era of my life I was footing steep bills to stay in school and on campus and needed more than just working in the bakery. No car or bike I walked about the old town attempting to find a job that was within walking distance of my 7X12 apartment in an old elevator shaft on campus. Fruitless at first, my inability to satiate a need for instant gratification in the form of getting a job quickly and easily left me frustrated.
BREAKING NEWS: YOUNG ADULT FRUSTRATED AT NOT GETTING WHAT’S WANTED, WHEN IT’S WANTED! JOIN US AT 11!
Wrapping up a shift at the bakery, I loaded up a plate of food, put my headphones in and sat down to eat, angry, defeated and just grumpy. A fuck buddy of mine and his roommate joined me at the table where we bemoaned about our woes.
“Hey Sarah, you know that jack shack across from the movie theater is hiring?”
So naturally, I went at got a job at the jack shack selling fake dicks.
The shop that housed the jack shack in question was rather infamous. A rental section for movies, with a mile long member list made it so an old town favorite was to gossip about who was watching what with their loved ones and alone. Silicone, jelly, and leather treats and toys adorned the bright purple walls, while neon lighted glass cases of lube, poppers and rhino pills surrounded the register. The kicker was though of course, the smelly, sticky, purple, black lit jack shack in the back itself.
I’m sure this needs explaining to some who don’t remember the whole Pee Wee Herman thing or who haven’t been exposed to the concept of jack shacks and theaters. Most metropolitan cities have a few of these and St. Louis is no different. There are still even a few porno theaters open in the city to this very day. Jack shacks can oftentimes be more rare, typically found off an interstate exit in a place where the locals only have enough teeth to tear the meat off the bone.
HOWEVER, a jack shack is somewhat of a different animal than a regular theater, and this one was nothing short of a possessed unicorn on methamphetamine's.
Hidden around a corner where the florescent lights always seemed to be burnt out was a long, dark purple hallway that always smelled of bleach, with a hint of pineapple jizz.
Imagine, Mr. Clean’s cum rag.
Yeah, that’s what it smelled like.
The ominous hallway was filled with black doors, nine or ten of them, each leading to a room no larger than the size of a small half bathroom. Each room was outfitted with a chair, or bar stool, a rear projection television protected behind a pane of glass, and a controller for the television that was built into the wall next to the screen.
Now, I know you’re asking yourself,
“Well, good golly Rue, I didn’t learn about this in Sunday school, what was the controller for?”
WELL, LEMME TELL YA!
A surprisingly dope setup connected those controllers to a system of DVD and VHS players- yes, I said VHS- where a collection of about 18-20 pre-selected adult films were available for your viewing pleasure. ADDITIONALLY, for a couple of extra bucks you could select a film of your liking from the rental section, bring it to the register and we could set it up to view in a booth for you. AND, if you were really cool about your shit, occasionally we’d let you bring in your own movies from home.
Folks would regularly bring in the most fucked up things they could find in the world of porn at that time, seemingly vanilla these days, and ask for it to be viewed just to shock us at times.
The vast majority of individuals coming in and tugging for tokens were older men, who unfortunately simply lived lives where they could not jerk off using porn at home.
Fifty hour a week company men, with 2.5 children, wives with menopausal hair cuts at forty, these guys had no time, no space, and no ability to do what they just needed to do. At first of course, I felt a sense of pity, but quickly it transformed into a disgust. Disgust for the idea of a life that lacked freedom. Gross. It informed my understanding of why the divorce rate is so egregiously high.
Of course, there were hookers, johns, pimps, couples branching out, people on the down low, and everything in between that kept things interesting. One of the most notable and comical encounters being when a couple, who’d just finished fucking, emerged from the jack shack free styling so beautifully the entire store full of customers began cheering them on.
“We poppin molly in dem booty holes, in dem booty holes, in dem booty holes, booty holes, booty holes! Poppin mollies in dem booty holes, in dem booty holes, booty holes, booty holes.”
Wish I knew his name. Fresh as fuck and I still hum that shit to this day. ….I may or may not have stuck a molly up my ass to for research purposes to see where the inspiration from the song came from as well. But that’s another story for another time.
Hilariously enough, the ability to maintain a facade that I had perfected during childhood came in with the clutch when it came to selling shit. Not surprisingly, with turn over being high, my sales being just as high, and my drive to attain approval and validation from my superiors, I was working full time in no time.
Thereabout came a routine that I fell into and remained in until nearly thirty.
Full time school.
Full time job.
Part time job at school.
Part time job doing photography.
I’d grown to accept that I had a highly addictive personality and I could either let it destroy me, or find a positive spin. You can’t lose yourself getting drunk, high, or attempting to process emotions you may not be ready to face yet, if you are too busy building yourself a future. Now, understand, it’s still addiction. I just became addicted to work and finishing school strong.
Much of the development of my personality and emotional maturity fell to the waist side, but I was at least gaining forward momentum. I was still functioning in a means of being what I believed others wanted me to be, instead of attempting to figure out what I wanted to be myself. Selling fake dicks and having to be fake full time enabled me to avoid that development for as long as I could.
Having completely fallen in love with philosophy, and fallen back in love with theology, I had picked my majors and hunkered down, prepared to graduate regardless of the costs. Five days a week I’d be bolting from class, then walking the three miles from campus to the purple jack shack with my textbooks on my back so I could do homework while working my shifts. It often stirred conversations when folks would see whatever I was working on and helped keep, what could oftentimes be a creepy job, light and relaxed.
One day a regular token tugger who often struck up conversations with me about his times in the Navy being in Japan and fascination with Buddhism, came in with a gift. Having been gifted everything from fast food, jewelry, used condoms, drugs, I’d learned early on working there it’s best NOT to accept gifts from strangers while working at a jack shack.
This man however, delivered to me two books.
The Three Pillars Of Zen.
The Tibetan Book Of The Dead.
Buddhism had captured my heart at a young age, but it’s concepts had been above my head for much of my life. An aspect of my studies in academia was that it allowed me to be immersed in such subject matter. He’d seen me often with books of Buddhist scripture, Ginsberg, Watts, he knew my interest was piqued.
“When I was your age I was on the other side of the world serving a purpose I didn’t understand. I found my love for the Buddha, Shibari and knew who I was all at once. Two great loves in one life. What gifts. These are for you. May they help you find who or who not you really are.”
He placed the books on the counter, nodded his head, and left. He’d been a regular for months, but never returned during my shift or any others again.
The Universe sent a retired Navy Yoda Dom to unveil the path to my understanding of the eight fold path while I was working at a jack shack selling fake dicks.
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