Her Daddy's Money, fiction by William Matthew McCarter

Her Daddy’s Mon­ey was the hottest rock club in the Park­land; filled with Tech­ni­col­or bril­liance; a kalei­do­scope of lights puls­ing to the beat of pri­mal music that pen­e­trat­ed and inun­dat­ed the sens­es as it changed the milky white skin of young, long-haired, scant­i­ly clad women into vary­ing hues of amber, blue and then scar­let red—the col­or of sin and deca­dence. I hasti­ly inhaled the bub­ble gum scent­ed smoke from fog machines min­gled with the burn­ing tobac­co and the steady stream of alco­hol flow­ing through the air—the unmis­tak­able scent of a promis­cu­ous noc­tur­nal exis­tence, doing light speed in the fast lane of life. A sur­re­al fan­ta­sia; a mod­ern Sat­ur­na­lia; where you set aside all of your trou­bles and ride the carousel of ine­bri­a­tion.

As I ram­bled, stoned immac­u­late glow­ing radioac­tive in the dark, through the black lights lead­ing out to the mez­za­nine where the tables were, I sensed how all of the lights act­ed like fil­ters on a photographer's lens; dis­tort­ing real­i­ty, fil­ter­ing out the lines on your face, the minor imper­fec­tions that gave away your mor­tal­i­ty; the small gray hairs that were begin­ning to rear their ugly heads; the love han­dles that began to accu­mu­late as the years flick­ered by; the tiny crow's feet that were begin­ning to grow around the eyes, demon­strat­ing that time waits for no man, remind­ing you that not even the pyra­mids of Egypt were eter­nal. The lights, the fog, the booze, the music; they were all fil­ters, hid­ing those imper­fec­tions, inse­cu­ri­ties, incon­gruities and incon­solable emo­tions. At Her Daddy’s Mon­ey, we were all gods, each of us immor­tal, cel­e­brat­ing that immor­tal­i­ty in a land of ter­mi­nal bliss where all humans want to go and none of us seem to get there.

We found a table over by the wall and soon, a beau­ti­ful wait­ress dressed in a black mini-skirt and tight, white pullover with her are­o­la bore­alis push­ing through the thin fab­ric asked if we need­ed any­thing to drink. Roscoe, A.J. and John all got beers, but I want­ed to be dar­ing in this fil­tered won­der­land and ordered a Long Island Iced Tea, a mar­vel of mod­ern tox­i­col­o­gy. I nev­er under­stood how you could pour every kind of liquor in the kitchen sink into a tall glass, cap it off with a squirt of Coke, stick in a lemon and mag­i­cal­ly make it taste just like Lip­ton Lemon Tea. This mag­i­cal elixir was invent­ed by a real David Cop­per­field of the cock­tail glass and its sole pur­pose was to take the liba­tion bear­er into the atmos­phere – to make you so fuckin’ high that you’d have to climb a flight of stairs to scratch your balls.

Most of us lived the greater part of our lives sub­merged – we were sub­merged in the super­fi­cial real­i­ty of our own con­scious­ness – snared by the chains of our mak­ing – entombed in the iron cages of per­son­al pris­ons that we con­struct our­selves. I didn’t drink alco­hol as a social act and I nev­er drank in mod­er­a­tion. I drank to get rid of the chains, to wake myself up, to move beyond the realms of my super­fi­cial con­scious­ness. It seemed that the uncon­scious­ness of being real­ly fuckin’ drunk was a real lib­er­at­ing expe­ri­ence for me. I was stoned and want­ed to cap off my buzz with as much alco­hol that I could take in. I want­ed to be effi­cient in my sub­stance abuse and despite the fact that I had been some­what depressed before, I was deter­mined to fin­ish off my evening in Dionysian fash­ion. “Let the mad­ness begin,” I thought as the wait­ress returned with a tray of drinks.

Did you see that girl's ass,” Roscoe exclaimed, as the wait­ress walked away. I looked up and saw the firm round cheeks of her cup­cake ass care­ful­ly framed by a pair of black panties with the very short length skirt gen­tly rest­ing on her sculp­tured flesh. “Her cheeks wig­gle around like two wild­cats wrestling in a burlap sack,” he con­tin­ued.

Briefly I thought about the wait­ress with the wild­cat ass. Maybe if I could get inside that mini-skirt and feel that shrine of her per­fect flesh up close and per­son­al, then I would for­get all about los­ing Cas­sidy. Soon, I came to my sens­es and remind­ed myself that nobody picked up wait­ress­es except for peo­ple who worked in the club and the guys in the bands that played there. These vam­pires of the bar­room weren't usu­al­ly off work until three o'clock in the morn­ing and the bar closed at one, so it was pro­hib­i­tive to even try to pick them up. They were a part of the lights, the music, the fog and the liquor; they were illu­sions that just helped you to buy into the fan­ta­sy.

"Would you like to buy a rose," another hot look­ing chick asked, hold­ing up a whole orchard full of long-stemmed ros­es neat­ly wrapped up in pret­ty paper.

"No thanks, I already ate,” I respond­ed and then gave her a sly smile. She looked back at me like she was study­ing me and I could tell that she obvi­ous­ly didn't care much for the sub­ject.

Love…lust…infatuation…baredickin'…it's all a lot like the ros­es that they walk around sell­ing in the barroom–some guy springs for a rose, gives it to a chick and takes her home. She puts that same rose in some water and tries to nur­ture it, but it's already dead. Slow­ly it begins to fade and final­ly with­ers away into noth­ing­ness and so does the love, lust, infat­u­a­tion and baredickin. All the leaves of the spring that are green turn to brown in the fall and with­er away, crum­bling in the wind. Your pas­sions burn to ash­es. You spend your whole life look­ing for love and all you ever get is pussy. I guess that's not so bad though–when life gives you a lemon and some girl comes along and squeezes it for you, you got­ta make some lemon­ade.

As I watched the flower girl walk away, I took care­ful note of the out­line of her fig­ure that poked through the tights she was wear­ing. All of the girls who worked at Her Daddy’s Mon­ey were some real hot­ties. I sup­pose that was a pre­req­ui­site to get­ting the job: If you couldn't be one of the beau­ti­ful peo­ple, at least you could be pam­pered and wait­ed on by them. As the flower girl con­tin­ued strolling around the tables, ped­dling her tokens of love, I won­dered if she was in love with some­one, or if she had ever been.

Quick­ly, I dis­missed that thought. Bar­tenders, wait­ress­es, dancers, and near­ly all of the crea­tures of the night weren't allowed to fall in love. It was some kind of unspo­ken or unwrit­ten rule. If they did fall in love, then their careers were pret­ty much over. Their appeal lied in their patron's belief that he or she could get in their pants. As soon as the crea­ture of the night became attached, then they became untouch­able and as soon as they became untouch­able, they lost their appeal and then lost their liveli­hood as a result. Love is a lux­u­ry they can't afford. I soon came to the real­iza­tion that I was a crea­ture of the night as well and I couldn't afford to love any­one either. The best I could hope for would be sev­er­al strings of mid­night rendezvous–an end­less road of lust wind­ing on into eter­ni­ty, lead­ing nowhere. At first, the thought of this seemed pret­ty depress­ing, but then, I thought that it was very lib­er­at­ing as well. Crea­tures of the night nev­er had to wor­ry about get­ting their hearts bro­ken. There would be no more Cassidy’s let­ting down the toi­let seat of my dreams.

Roscoe and I were the first ones to fin­ish our drinks and decid­ed to walk up to the bar to get anoth­er round. Although the wait­ress was beau­ti­ful and I would have liked to watch that wild­cat ass of hers walk away at least one more time, she was pret­ty over­whelmed with the crowd she had on her hands and we drank much faster than she wait­ed. While I was wait­ing for my sec­ond Long Island Iced Tea, Roscoe ran into Zero at the bar. He and Zero were talk­ing about leav­ing the bar to go road hunt­ing so I left him there and walked back over to the table where John and A.J. were siz­ing up the crowd and talk­ing about this new song by a band called Col­lec­tive Soul that the DJ was play­ing. As I got back to the table, I thought to myself, "John will be up in the DJ booth hang­ing out with Crys­tal before too much longer.”

Although John was mar­ried, he was a ter­ri­ble flirt and I think hang­ing out with Crys­tal stroked his ego a lit­tle bit. Sure enough, John ran off to the DJ booth and A.J. ran off to the men's room to take a piss and pow­der his nose with some booger sug­ar, leav­ing me sit­ting at the table try­ing not to think about the "c" word and look­ing around at all of these women who could pos­si­bly help "salve over my wound," so to speak. Before I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to ful­ly explore all of my options, John came back from the DJ booth and start­ed jump­ing my ass about appear­ing depressed.

"You bet­ter cheer up, moth­er fuck­er," he start­ed, "There's more skanky bitch­es where Cas­sidy came from."

"John," I plead­ed, "Just get off it. I’m just chill­in’ out with my tea and takin’ in the scenery."

"I'm seri­ous man–if you don't start being your drunk­en hap­py self, I'm going to go up to the DJ booth and have Crys­tal embar­rass you in front of all of these peo­ple." he threat­ened.

"Go ahead and do what­ev­er you want," I replied.

"Fine, I will," he said, walk­ing away toward the DJ booth.

I didn't think there was any­thing that John could do, so I just sat back in the chair and enjoyed the mon­strous buzz that I had going on. The next few min­utes seemed to race by like a thor­ough­bred horse at Louisiana Downs as I began to feel my teeth get­ting numb from all the chem­i­cals I had put in my body. Just as I start­ing rid­ing this killer buzz, a spot­light hit me right in the face, near­ly blind­ing me and Crystal’s loud voice came echo­ing through the PA sys­tem —

"Ladies–what we have here is a bro­ken pathet­ic man,” Crys­tal said as she shined the light on me.

"This man was sup­posed to be get­ting mar­ried this after­noon, but the girl that he has been dat­ing for the last sev­en years stood him up at the altar–John, here, was sup­posed to be the best man at the wed­ding and he says he'll pay any of you ladies a dol­lar just to dance with this poor jilt­ed groom and maybe Bil­ly can get past it all."

I could have killed him. That cock­suck­er real­ly did it this time. All I real­ly want­ed to do was sit in the cor­ner, feel my teeth get­ting numb and ride out this kick ass buzz I had going and he had to go and mess it up for me–the moth­er fuck­er even used my real name! Now what was I going to do?

No soon­er than she had made the announce­ment, this chick with the biggest tit­ties I had ever seen walked over to me and asked me to dance as Crys­tal blast­ed "Far Behind" by Can­dle­box from behind the DJ booth. I thought that “Far behind” was a good choice giv­en the imag­i­nary cir­cum­stances and would have com­pli­ment­ed her on her excel­lent choice of music if I hadn't been swept away by the giant rack that was attached to the girl I was danc­ing with. She smiled at me and it was obvi­ous that she was in dire need of some den­tal work–she could eat a peanut but­ter sand­wich through a set of Venet­ian blinds. By that time, I was too far gone to care about her teeth (as long as she didn't bite) and want­ed to make a good show of the whole mas­quer­ade so that John wouldn't have felt like he had got­ten over on me with his prac­ti­cal joke.

The song end­ed and the girl and I kept danc­ing while I played along with the cha­rade, lay­ing it on thick­er and heav­ier as the music played on. With her light blue and some­what blood­shot eyes, she gazed direct­ly into the heart of the decep­tion that my com­ic soul had been weav­ing. We kept look­ing at each oth­er and smil­ing. For a moment, I felt as if I could fall down inside of her eyes, but then real­ized that I was just real­ly drunk and could prob­a­bly fall down just about any­where.

I soon dis­cov­ered that she was at least as drunk, if not drunk­er than I was. Pick­ing her up seemed a whole lot like shoot­ing fish in a bar­rel. When things seemed easy like that, I had more con­fi­dence than Don Juan scal­ing the walls of a nun­nery and con­se­quent­ly, got the same kind of results. It didn't sur­prise me at all when I offered to take her out to the van and get her stoned that she accept­ed. I knew I had it made after that. I always believed that if I could get a girl stoned or make her laugh, I could do almost any­thing to her. I had already got this chick to laugh a lot so I was sure that any­thing short of stick­ing my dick up her ass was fine with her.

You know, most of the time, I thought of myself as being a pret­ty good guy. Usu­al­ly, I wasn't so devi­ous about pick­ing up women and didn't resort to elab­o­rate schemes such as that one, but the elab­o­rate scheme seemed to be work­ing and so I just decid­ed to say, "There but before the grace of God go I," and roll with it. One of life's lit­tle ironies was that if you real­ly want­ed to be a good guy (and I believed that I did), then you had to be able to think like a bad guy because although girls want to be with a good guy, they are some­how attract­ed to bad ones. That's why at your twen­ty-year high school reunion, you find out that the prom queen is still mar­ried to the high school quar­ter­back who is still beat­ing her up when he gets drunk on Fri­day nights and is still work­ing at the IGA or sell­ing insur­ance.

As the girl and I walked out the back door and head­ed toward the van, the music…the lights…the fog…the filters…all seemed to be stripped away and fad­ed into the sul­try silence of the Mid­west mid­night. Despite her snag­gle­tooth smile, the night seemed almost becom­ing of the girl. Either that or the Long Island Iced Tea's had kicked in and cloud­ed my vision in the fog of ine­bri­a­tion. Either way, it didn't real­ly mat­ter.

A.J. had left a joint stashed in a com­part­ment in the back of the band­wag­on that used to be where the para­medics kept some gauze or some­thing. We sparked up the joint, huffed, puffed, and blew our brains out. Soon, I was feel­ing up the iron works inside of her dress. She was wear­ing one of those skin tight, span­dex kind of things that looked more like a rain­coat than a dress. This all weath­er fuck suit was so tight that it held every­thing in – her waist, her hips, and her ass… all of it. For a minute, I was ret­i­cent to unhinge the thing. I was scared that if I was crazy enough to unwrap her, there would be this huge sound and I’d sud­den­ly have a life raft on my hands, but then decid­ed that I had just smoked too much pot and was para­noid. I unleashed the beasts that she had hid­ing in her blouse and was amazed at how big they real­ly were. Tit­ties always seemed to look big­ger up close and personal–unless the chick tried to trick you by wear­ing some kind of push up bra or stuff­ing or some­thing. Bitch­es like that were evil. It was false adver­tis­ing and they deserved noth­ing bet­ter than to wind up pick­ing up some schmuck with a sock shoved down his pants.

Her body felt unex­pect­ed­ly good. Before too long, we were going at it all hot and heavy while Otis Red­ding sang "Try A Lit­tle Ten­der­ness" on the stereo. About half way through "These Arms of Mine," I heard the door begin to open, but couldn't answer it because I was in the mid­dle of something–actually, it was more like somebody–the girl that I had been danc­ing with–and yeah, I knew her name–even though I was wast­ed, but I couldn't tell you that–something about pro­tect­ing the inno­cent or try­ing to pre­serve the dig­ni­ty of the guilty–actually, it's more like who gives a shit: life was just a car­ni­val; she was just anoth­er ride and I was just anoth­er squir­rel try­ing to get a nut so what does it real­ly mat­ter any­way? Well, since gos­sip­ing dra­ma queens from White­trashis­tan need some­thing to talk about and you can't call her "Oh, God" when you're not pound­ing her pee hole, let's just call her Melin­da.

"You see, Bil­ly gets real­ly drunk and then comes out to the van and falls asleep–It nev­er fails. The fun­ny thing is," he paused with laugh­ter, "he curls up in the fetal posi­tion and looks just like a lit­tle baby–watch," John said as he opened the door to the van and much to his sur­prise, found me bang­ing Melin­da. Most peo­ple would have shut the door and let it go, but John didn't fit the def­i­n­i­tion of what most peo­ple would call most peo­ple and social nuances like not inter­rupt­ing your bud­dy while he's try­ing to knock off a piece of ass were nev­er his strong point. Even if John had been born of noble blood and had pos­sessed the traits of a gen­tle­man, I was his best friend and the temp­ta­tion of bust­ing me bang­ing some­one in the band­wag­on on top of the peck­er track blan­ket would have been too much of a temp­ta­tion for him any­way.

With Melin­da and me stuck togeth­er and shiv­er­ing like a cou­ple of dogs shit­ting peach seeds as the cold wind rushed in the open door and pound­ed our bod­ies, John act­ed like noth­ing was hap­pen­ing and reached in the side door grab­bing sev­er­al beers from the cool­er. He then passed them out to his entourage and smiled mis­chie­vous­ly as he sparked up a joint that he had stashed in his pock­et. I wasn't sure if Melin­da didn't notice what was going on or if she was just too far gone to give a shit, so I just pre­tend­ed like noth­ing in the world exist­ed but the uglies we were bang­ing togeth­er and kept pound­ing her as the mad­ness went on around us.

When Roscoe start­ed singing a verse to "She'll be com­ing round the moun­tain when she comes." the jig was up; Melin­da dis­cov­ered our audi­ence and she tried to kick me off her with the feroc­i­ty of a farm ani­mal. "She'll be rid­ing six white hors­es when she comes…" and then I did, whipped it out and erupt­ed all over those enor­mous tit­ties. After I snow­capped her Rock­ies, I got real­ly self-con­scious about being naked in the back of the band truck. Although I didn't real­ly mind the spec­ta­tors when I was wear­ing her–after all, what could they see — bare ass in the moon­light; I didn't like the feel­ing of being some sort of side show attrac­tion and grabbed the peck­er track blan­ket to cov­er myself up with, leav­ing her with only a crew sock to try and stretch across her enor­mous tits. The crew sock didn't do much good and I soon real­ized what an evil thing grav­i­ty could be if you were a girl. Either that or I was begin­ning to sober up a lit­tle bit and saw her in the light with all of her human foibles because those bar­room fil­ters were wear­ing off.

John and our entire entourage were stand­ing out in front of the band truck, laugh­ing, drink­ing beer and smok­ing as I strug­gled to put my pants back on. Melin­da was holed up in the back cor­ner of the band truck try­ing to get dressed when I got out of the van and slipped on my shoes. When I climbed out of the band­wag­on, I noticed that A.J. had walked away from the whole scene and was stand­ing at the rear of the van and felt oblig­at­ed to com­ment on his noble behav­ior.

"You guys are a bunch of Cretins–At least A.J. had the good breed­ing to walk over to the rear of the van," I said as John con­tin­ued to laugh hys­ter­i­cal­ly about the sit­u­a­tion that Melin­da and I had found our­selves in. The truth was that we were all a bunch of Cretins. There were cen­turies of peas­ant blood and peas­ant cul­ture cours­ing through us. If there was any­thing noble about our blood­line, it like­ly would have been thinned by the gen­er­a­tions of us who had sur­ren­dered our lives for the illu­so­ry gains that we had received over the years – illu­so­ry gains that didn’t amount to enough to keep us sub­se­quent gen­er­a­tions from being bot­tom feed­ers as well.

"A.J.'s got noth­ing on you two," John said in between his hys­ter­i­cal laugh­ter, "There was some pret­ty good breed­ing going on right here in the back of the van.”

Roscoe grabbed a note­book out of the front seat of the van, wrote some­thing on it and then held it up like he was show­ing us a chart or a graph and, appro­pri­at­ed his best Dick Clark Amer­i­can Band­stand impres­sion, said, “I give it a five. It has a pret­ty good melody line, but you real­ly can’t dance to it.”

William Matthew McCarter is a writer and a col­lege pro­fes­sor from South­east Mis­souri. After com­plet­ing the PhD at The Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas-Arling­ton, he has been busy writ­ing and pub­lish­ing work that brings atten­tion to rur­al Amer­i­ca. McCarter has recent­ly pub­lished aca­d­e­m­ic work in The Atri­um: A Jour­nal of Aca­d­e­m­ic Voic­es, Teach­ing Amer­i­can Lit­er­a­ture: A Jour­nal of The­o­ry and Prac­tice and Fast­cap­i­tal­ism. He has also pub­lished crit­i­cal work in The Ascen­tos Review and in The Steel Toe Review. McCarter pub­lished a short sto­ry, “On the Road in ’94,” in A Few Lines and was nom­i­nat­ed for a Push­cart Prize. His most recent cre­ative pub­li­ca­tions have been in Stel­lar­ia and Mid­west­ern Goth­ic.  McCarter has also pub­lished book reviews in Wilder­ness House Lit­er­ary Review and in South­ern His­to­ri­an. In addi­tion, his first aca­d­e­m­ic book, Homo Red­neckus: On Being Not Qwhite in Amer­i­ca was pub­lished in March of 2012.

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