It’s hard to know who you are when you’re twenty-three, carrying trays, struggling for every dollar in your bank account. Brooklyn blew a stray lock of dark brown hair out of her face. Exhausted seemed to be her general state of existence since she started this job and after four years, there seemed to be no end to it. A smoky haze obscured the room in front of her as she carried a golden bucket of ice with a bottle of champagne in one arm and a tray of delectable sweets with the other. The tiny pink cakes were topped with whipped cream topping and shimmering golden flakes which glistened in the warm lighting. Her high, Bedazzled golden pumps clicked against the black tile floor until she reached the plush red carpet which then stifled her steps. This order was for room eight and they wanted it on the double. With a jingle of the bell hanging outside the large white door, she called for the occupants.
The door was answered by a tall blonde bombshell. Tiffany, or as she was known by her clients, was still fully clothed in her off the shoulder evening gown. It was made of a silver and blue satin, hugging her shape.
“Thanks,” she said with a smile, stepping aside to allow Brooklyn by.
On a plush red chair sat a wickedly grinning man who watched closely as Brooklyn walked beside him and rested the tray and bucket down, then opened the bottle of champagne. Brooklyn smiled slightly, thinking to herself how glad she was that it was a screw off top. It was always a pain to open cork bottles, especially when clients were watching.
Though this man, wearing a floral button up shirt and knee length kaki pants, was Tiffany’s client, he seemed drawn in by Brooklyn who was, at the moment, showing a lot more skin. Her uniform was a body suit with long sleeves but a plunging neckline. It matched her paten leather booty shorts. Her legs were only sheerly covered with bronzed nylons, toned and accentuated by the height of her heals.
“Please enjoy your night and call if you need anything else.” Brooklyn spoke in a higher pitch when addressing clients.
Brooklyn smiled at Tiff as she left and immediately ran back down to the call center.
“Brooklyn, hurry you’ve got and order from two rooms here, room fourteen, and room nine. Take the cart with you.”
“Yes Madame,” Brooklyn grabbed the tickets. “Did Lydia call out again?” On a usual Tuesday, there were two or three servers on staff, in addition to the kitchen staff who did all of the cooking and baking, the bartenders who worked in the lounge, and the cleaning crew who did all of the dirtier aspects of keeping the establishment sanitary.
Madame Aubrey merely nodded. Until 1:30 AM, she Brooklyn the only room server. Already feeling the anticipated fatigue, she collected the items for each order. A bottle of Cabernet, a platter of pomegranate cream cheese sliders, and a bundle of red was candlesticks with a bottle of whip cream on the side. At least she wasn’t alone on a Saturday night, but for this week night it was just Brooklyn at the high-end Nevada brothel. All her long brown hair, besides a few wisps around her face, was wound up into a tight bun on top of her head which was then wrapped in a curly false hair piece.
Despite feeling exhausted, frazzled, and rushed, Brooklyn remained calm, cool, and collected. Still, she couldn’t wait for her shift to be over. In the twenty-four-hour establishment, she worked the eleven p.m. to eight a.m. shift which was great for tips, but not for much else. As far as job title, she knew she was just a waitress, but working here in the Purple Pixie, she could make much more money than at a diner or regular bar.
With no tickets in the queue, Brooklyn walked down into the lounge. The courtesans who were not occupied sat in various places in the room, nearly all wearing evening gowns or otherwise rather extravagant clothing. It was something of a rule by the Madame that the girls look classy in the lounge. Madame Aubrey’s motto was that they were selling fantasies, not sex. And it was all part of the look and feel.
Roxy and Courtney were both with clients sitting on the love seats scattered around the dimly lit room. Britney was sitting alone at the bar, hoping that another patron would come in soon.
“Hey,” Brittany said in a hushed voice as Brooklyn coming up onto a stool.
“No takers tonight?”
Brittany shook her head. “I don’t know how I’m going to pay my bills this month. I’ve hardly been able to save anything while paying the cover charge and my room fee.”
“Have you talked to Madame Aubrey? She might agree to waive the fee until you can pay it.”
“I can’t do that. It wouldn’t be fair and that’s exactly what she’s going to tell me.”
Through the door came the second night waitress, the only person she knew before getting the job here. Lindsay, the tall blonde and chronically late early morning shift waitress was miraculously four minutes early and her appearance looked rushed. Her hair was in a haphazard bun and there was a visible run in her stockings.
At almost the same time, another patron entered the room with Madame Aubrey, who normally at this hour would have retired already. The woman was in her late forty’s was already sporting a grey bob. Her physic was killer and he attitude was intimidating, but she was much like a mother to many of her girls.
Brooklyn grinned at Brittany who stood and walked gracefully, her bright red gown billowed as she approached the man and greeted him cheerfully.
As Brittany took the man over to a private seating area by the aromatic fountain, Brooklyn questioned her friend.
“Lindsay, are you okay? You’re early but you look a mess.”
“I know, I didn’t have time to go home.”
“And where are you coming from, dare I ask,” she asked, leaning back to the bar a bit.
“Okay so you remember Chris right?”
“Met him at a club and dumped a margarita on his girlfriend Chris?” She asked with a laugh. Of the two, Lindsay was defiantly the more adventurous and trouble making of the two. As it turned out, there wasn’t as much time to roam the night when your shift starts at eleven at night and ended at eight, but did leave her at strange operating hours.
“You bet. Anyway, he dumped his girlfriend, and gave me a call instead and I didn’t even have eye liner for today. Isn’t that tragic?”
Letting out a deep sigh and pushing her friends shoulder playfully, “Tell me about it, Othello. Anyway, this tragedy is going home to sleep at the end of her shift.”
“Do you want to go to the mall after you get up?”
“I don’t think so. I have to do some housework and make some phone calls and I’m pretty sure it’s going to take me all day to get it done. Besides, window shopping with you never ends up being window shopping and I don’t have it in the budget to go real shopping.”
“Well, boo. It was worth a shot. I feel like I never see you besides when I switch shifts with Monica.”
“Tell me about it. Maybe we can go the spa soon.”
With those words, the girls heard the jingle of a request from the call room. They both went and found themselves too busy for further conversation the rest of the night.
At eight, broke hit the punch clock with weary fingers.
“Goodnight, Madame Aubrey,” Brook said with a larger than true smile.
“It’s morning, Brooklyn,” the Madame said with a raised brow and a grin.
“It’s night for me. I’m going to home to bed.”
“You do look tired tonight. Are you feeling alright?”
“I think it’s just the cold. I always hated this time of year. And speaking of looking tired, are you going to be working overnight much longer?”
“I just don’t feel right leaving you girls without security. So until I find someone who can fill in indefinitely for Spencer, I will be.” She paused and flipped through a few papers then looked over the top of her glasses. “I think I should have someone starting tomorrow if he doesn’t fall through.”
“We’ll just have to wait and see then,” Brooklyn nodded and threw on her short black peacoat and exited the dim building whose windows were tinted. She was instantly blinded by the early morning sun. Her dark blue town car sat in the parking lot, bleached in the light despite the chill.
Before starting the engine, she sat with her eyes closed for a moment then sighed and turned the key.
Checking all her mirrors, she backed up and pulled out onto the main route to her suburban hometown. Every stoplight seemed to be red this morning when all she wanted to do was be home in her bed where the heat would surround her, even if the she was alone between the sheets. Sleep was the only lover she wished to court. At the stop lights, she rested her eyes for the short intervals.
At the eighth red light on her trip home, she rubbed her hands together cursing the lack of heat in her late nineties model car. It wasn’t flashy or high tech, but it got her where she needed to go when she needed to get there for the most part, so she couldn’t complain too much about the delay on heat. By the time she got back to her apartment complex, the heat was still too cool to turn on. Brooklyn resigned to jumping out of her car, clicking the door lock down, and running toward her front door. She stepped up the front stairs carefully as they were covered in thin ice where it had rained and pooled. This had to be the coldest winter she could remember in Las Vegas.
Inside her small apartment, Brooklyn walked around and closed all of her room darkening curtains. She felt entirely too tired to take a shower so she walked through the now dark, tidy room with seafoam green walls and into the bathroom, flicking on the vanity light, revealing the lavender paneling. In the mirror she looked at the faded make up and frizzy bun that she struggled to take out. A quick wash to the face was all she had the energy for before she peeled off her uniform and grabbed a hold of her soft worn-out pajamas.
Shuffling her feet down along the hardwood floor, Brooklyn pulled her oversized t-shirt over her head then stepped into her sweatpants then flopped onto her bed. The single bed was covered with a large comforter and at least a dozen pillows. Brooklyn curled herself in the blankets and closed her eyes. The warm darkness lulled her to sleep where a dreamless slumber awaited.