Britney doesn’t think of money as money anymore. She has a
fuck of a lot of it, so its no wonder—people with money tend to forget that
money is just money, not love or power or anything else. It’s the potential for
all of that, certainly, but not the thing that people actually want. But with
Britney, its somehow different. The money is what she wants. She’ll do anything
for money but her money doesn’t seem to have a purpose.
Not that she doesn’t spend it. Britney is a generous person,
and sometimes she’ll just show up at the house with a new blouse or a pile of
CDs, and Mandy will have to pretend to ignore the expensive labels, because
Britney gets a bruised look whenever someone refuses a gift.
She spends a lot on herself, too. Not all of her expensive
clothes are presents, and neither are her weekly pedicures, manicures, hair
appointments at the best salon in town. Britney spends a lot on herself, but its
very rarely on anything that actually makes her happy. She buys things for work,
whether they seem like it or not. She dyes her hair til its brittle-blonde and
has a year-round full-body tan because it’s a basic, iconic look—she can go
cheerleader or movie star or whore with it, and it works—and she spends money on
furs and nice clothes, painted toenails without chips, because it attracts rich
guys, guys who want a beautiful girl on their arm, not necessarily a
Mandy knows all of this, because she watches. When she first
came to work for Madge, she’d been a stupid little girl, turning tricks like
crazy because she wanted to be big, bigger than Britney, who always brought home
wads of money and made Madge smile like the cat that caught the canary—Britney
being the canary. Madge always smiles like that but Britney just looks tired all
Anyway, Mandy knows she’ll never be Britney. When she saw
that her fuck-and-run method wasn’t working, she’d started studying Britney,
watching her closely, seeing the way she acted with clients when they came to
pick her up.
Mandy knows she’ll never be Britney, and frankly, she’s
rather glad of that.
Because Britney’s whole life revolves around money, and what
she can do to get more of it, and who will give her how much for what. Mandy
bets that Britney doesn’t even know how much money she has, never checks her
balance, just knows that its just enough but never enough. Enough to support her
and buy her diamond earrings but never enough for whatever elusive purpose she’s
Britney will do almost anything for money, and that’s scary.
Scary because if people hear that at least one of Madge’s girls will cross
limits just to get paid more, they’ll try it with her and Jessica, and neither
of them have Britney’s muscle mass from hours at the gym. Britney could
physically stop someone before it went too far, but Mandy and Jessica never
exercise except for a few quick jogs around the block every weekend or so. They
avoid trouble by avoiding trouble, staying away from clients who seem dangerous,
all sharp teeth and too much jewelry. Britney always takes those for
Its scary also because Britney is her friend, and Mandy
watches. Mandy once saw Britney come home with bracelets of bruises on both
wrists, a black eye, claw-scratches bright red through the rips in her
stockings. She’d come home in a taxi with gravel ground into her knees and
handed Madge a purse full of bills, all hundreds and upwards. After that, she
hadn’t come into work for a week.
It wasn’t that she had gotten beat up. Before she came to
Madge’s and found out that a whore doesn’t have to be treated like one, Mandy
had turned a rough trick or two herself—her left elbow makes a sharp cracking
sound whenever she moves it, and one edge of her mouth is scarred wide from
where it split—but this was different. Mandy had been a scared thirteen-year-old
with stick-thin arms, undernourished and small. Mandy hadn’t had friends like
Madge, who once bribed a policeman into kicking the shit out of a trick when he
threatened Jessica’s family.
Mandy wasn’t Britney, and Britney could have fought back.
Could have, but didn’t.
Note: This part was inspired by Heidi Fleiss’s E! True Hollywood Story. Thanks, Heidi.