India and the “Working Girls”
The Filipina maid walks into the living room, interrupting the conversation between India and her husband, Edward.
“Sir”, Leah says to Edward, while looking at India, “the woman is here for your blow job.”
India is not surprised by this announcement, though she thinks that one o’clock in the afternoon is an odd time to be having oral sex. The day is blistering hot. Who feels like copulating in this weather? She knows that in the years since she and Edward have lived separately, Edward has probably never once had sex without paying for it. This is, after all, the Philippines.
India is long past being angry at Edward’s lifestyle. In fact, she could hardly care less. She does, however, become very angry when Edward gets himself into trouble. On more than one occasion Edward has phoned India, who lives on another island, to come and help him deal with a “situation”. Whenever this has happened, India has grumbled on the phone, cursed Edward after hanging up, and dutifully gotten on the first ferry going to the Big Island of Luzon. India is good at peace-making.
India doesn’t consider the girls that Edward pays to have sex with to be prostitutes. Yes, they exchange sex for money, but the word prostitute is a rather harsh word, India thinks. This is a country with a birth rate that has completely run amok. Poverty is rampant. How can a pretty girl who grew up in a grass hut on the side of a mountain or in an urban slum earn money? They work in girlie bars which cater to foreign men and use the money to buy diapers and milk for their babies and maybe a fancy watch and a cellphone or two. It is a material world, after all.
India has always gotten along well with Edward’s “girls”. In fact, she likes them. In the rare instance that India has prepared a meal in his kitchen, such as a birthday lunches or Thanksgiving dinners, the girls have helped her peel potatoes and chop onions and wash dishes. They have even politely pretended to like India’s cooking. They seem to genuinely like India.
On those occasions when Edward has gone too far and gotten himself into trouble, India has always kicked Edward out of the room and asked the girl what happened. Edward pushed them, bruised their arms or legs, they have said. India believes them. She always gives them a generous amount of money and asks them to sign a receipt saying that they have been paid in full and will not bring any charges or claims against Edward. India doesn’t want trouble. She is still Edward’s legal wife. The girls don’t seem to mind. They take the money, shake India’s hand and say, “thank you ma’am”. The world is what it is…
So India is curious as to who is about to give Edward a blow job. It must be the strangely-dressed middle-aged woman she saw sitting at his kitchen table when she got herself a glass of water earlier. In this unbearable heat the woman is wearing a long muumuu-style dress, with a high collar and long sleeves. India had assumed that the woman was visiting Leah, here only for coffee and gossip. She is the most conservatively dressed Filipina that India has ever seen.
“The woman in the kitchen? But she looks like a housewife”, India says to Leah.
“Yes, ma’am, she is”, Leah answers. “But they are needing money and her husband says it’s ok for her to come here for Sir”.
India knows the price of many things, including blow jobs.
“How much are you paying?”, she asks Edward.
“That’s way too much,” she says when he tells her. Then she thinks about it. If a married woman with a house full of children has to cook lunch and then walk down the road to give a complete stranger a blow job on a hot day like this, India thinks she’s entitled to be paid more than the going rate.
“Edward, you’re such a jerk,” she says, preparing to leave.
And as she leaves his house, India is angry. Shame on Edward for exploiting these women. Shame on this woman for doing what she knows is wrong. And shame on that woman’s husband for pimping her out in order to pay the electric bill. And shame on me, India thinks, for being too tired to care…
A sensitive topic, to be sure, but one that exists…(and this is a true story!)