It was almost two in the afternoon and I was still sat there in my bra and pants. Brenda did in fact call, though she needn’t have bothered. I just wanted my clothes back. I had no desire at all to listen to her anti-English rant.
“Listen Jean, have you read that book yet?” she asked, knowing I hadn’t.
“No, “ I said, “I don’t like the picture on the front,”
“Well, really, did your Mum never tell you not to judge a book by its cover, Jean?”
Well, yes, she had, but I ignored that advice, as I did all advice from my Mother. She was a selfish egotistical little bitch. She’d have read it, but that just goes to show how different we are.
I asked Delores what she made of it.
“Baron Marrow?” she asked. “I know nothing of these things. I’m a Catholic girl!”
Anyway, Brenda went on and on. She thinks the English have too much of a hold over Ireland.
“If you hate England so much, why don’t you fuck off back to Cork?” I asked her.
Really, Liverpool is choc full of her sort. She says she’s thinking of moving to Scotland. She’ll have to get a decent job first. All her clients want is sex. Mine are a far superior sort. They just want a pretty young girl on their arm for a night at the opera or charity function. It says on my card, I don’t do pubs. They don’t want sex.
Brenda says men are all the same, they just want one thing. Tits, arse and the other. I don’t know what she means by the other. I’ve asked her several times and all she does is laugh. No, most of my men are very nice, quiet and respectable chaps. They tend to talk about their Mothers a lot, which can be good sometimes, because I have a lot to say about my Mum, too. Some of them still live with their Mothers! Some even into their forties! Madame Gina says that sort appreciate me. By that sort, she means the cultured type. My radio’s constantly tuned to Radio 3!
I was only in the bathroom for ten minutes. When I came out, everything was gone. I heard a commotion, but I just thought Mr Pemberton had his “Wizard Of Oz” club members round again.
Brenda said he lived beyond his means. Perhaps he did. He never drank sparkling wine at parties, always the real thing, Asti something-or-other. It’s Italian for Champagne.
The man from the bailiff’s office told Brenda he can’t find my lemon dress with the sweetheart neckline in the bags. He found lots of other dresses, which is baffling. Mr Pemberton is one of my few clients who doesn’t live with his Mother. What does he want with dresses?
I remember once finding a powder puff in his blazer pocket. I was looking for my specs and couldn’t tell his jacket from mine. Anyhow, I asked him what he was doing with it and did it belong to his Mother? He told me no. He has a lot of things to cover up. I suppose he meant he has a big birthmark, scar or some such thing on his body, which he powders to conceal from other folk.
I think I’ll ring Gina again soon and ask if Brenda’s left yet. She’ll either bring me one of her dresses or get round to that bloody bailiff’s office and get mine. Anyway, one of her smocks would be like a tent on me. She’s always eating chips. I never touch them. Mr Pemberton recently introduced me to spaghetti on returning from a holiday in Italy. He said it was fabulous there. A girl could do anything she wanted. I think he was hinting that I should have gone with him. I could never be so brassy as to invite myself. I just told him I’d go next time.
It’s a good job I’ve got such a good memory. Whenever I say that round at Madame Gina’s, Lil always says, “You mean mammary!” – I must remember to look that up. Yes, I know Madame Gina’s telephone number off by heart. I’ve just mastered Mr Pemberton’s too. It’s a shame I know no one else with a telephone. I could remember their number.
I’m often impressing the other girls with my memory and number skills. Brenda says the only number she needs to remember is sixty-nine. I popped into her favourite Chinese take-away the other day. Number sixty-nine was jumbo prawns chow mein. I don’t understand it. Brenda says she hates fish.