Monday, June 13, 2011

A Scottish Flower

Many years ago a young lady was born to a very well to do family. She was bright, articulate and not very fond of doing the socially acceptable thing. Of course her version of events was slightly different, but there is always a disparity between the truth and everyone’s versions of it. One truth is that she was a very talented dress designer and for many years ran a very successful boutique that show cased some of her designs.

It is also the truth that her father had the sense to set her up in a block of flats and give her free reign. He was smart enough to know his daughter was never going to get married and make him respectable... her fondness for drink was probably a clue. Another was that she utilised both her contacts and keen business sense to turn the flats into a large rambling brothel. And this gentle reader is where we come in because this is when the story gets interesting.

Her tipple of choice was a mixture of whisky and milk. That vile sounding concoction fooled those who thought they were helping her win her battle with the booze... she used to sit there with them and pretend it was milk. Later in life as she became riddled with cancer it helped dull the pain. It also took her from pleasant to vicious over the course of the day. The secret was to chat to her in the early afternoon. It was a time that rendered both her and her cat, pleasantly gossipy company. And she was fascinating to talk to... not to mention the tales that she told.

She bridged the gap between a life past and a life so far on the edge that it was as alien as the one she grew up in. They were both lives of the privilege and comfort that only money could buy. The life was conducted against a backdrop of glittering parties, drunken debauchery and important figures skipping over the banisters when the place was raided. Often by the very people that had their Christmas parties in the same place. Life was a giddy, chaotic, noisy roundabout as a good time was had by all.

She ended up in court on a few occasions where she was judged, often by her clients one suspects, not guilty. One infamous time the jury was taken on a tour of her place where they found a shrine to a religious figure and a bible on each bed. The girls were merely disciples on the road to redemption... she did have a flair for the dramatic. Well more the sleight of hand really... because what the jury didn’t see was the truth.

The bedrooms with their themes and ornate furnishing were purely for show.  All the rooms had hidden rooms that were actually used for work... they were far more utilitarian with easy to strip sheets. The place was such a rabbit warren that unless you knew where to look, you would never have found them.

And then there is the charming tale of the raid that was thwarted by a customer. It seemed the gentleman needed to pee in a hurry and decided to take a quick leak over the balcony. Which was an unfortunate choice as it turned out... well for the policeman below. Apparently his shriek of outrage alerted everyone in the house and there was naked bodies flying everywhere. Well stumbling was probably more accurate if legend is to be believed.

In the end none of that money or frivolity protected her from the girls who stole and the men who took advantage. And it did not save her from the inevitable path of the cancer. The house was inherited by her booze supplier for services rendered... so the story goes. Though one does know for a fact she didn’t expect him to pull it down and build condos on the site.

1 comment:

Dina said...

Since I can, for the moment, post--I wanted to state that you should write. Just prose. Not as part of a journal, but as literature.

I think your recallings of the past are fascinating and not so much because of their specifics, but mostly due to the words you tell them with.