by Mik Bulk – sniffing the news out, so you don’t need to.
But what of Harold, in this place and now?(?) This is where you would want a journalist to poke its nose in – and I’ve done that.
11pm. Bingle Street, near the Co-op. And there’s me. I am stood before the door of ‘Madame Flex’ so-called, and now I’m banging on the door.
After a while it opens to reveal some light that comes out and some warmth seeps also which I feel on my mouth. The woman who it is that answers (perhaps it is Madame Flex (it is)) asks me what I want?
I bite my lips and through my teeth and huskily demand: “Sex, and the trimmings.”
She reclines (check this) the door and pushes herself to the side where a space now is that I can get through. Within, the doors slams quietly with a loud bang and I am inside.
Then, and all journalists say this, I nearly give the game up by saying “I am journalist and this is a ruse of mine.”
But luckily my lips are still bitten and I remain tight-lipped, trapping my words into a meaningless grunt. The air is scented with heavy sex, I think.
After many years in the field, it’s the small details that I see and I begin to become an observer. Slippers by a door. Carpet. A flat-topped table.
Madame Flex eyes my face and looks into my eyes which I try not to shy away for fear of looking a liar.
She asks me what I require, to which I give the answer: “I don’t know, what is there?”
But then I add: “And how much are these things?”
She reels (says) this list, which I have made more nicer for the eyes of family readers by euthanasia (check this): “On top £20. Mouth £15. Double mouth £20. A round the back £25.”
My little boy comes out (inner) and I giggle asking: “What’s a ’round the back’? Is that when you take me round the back of the building?”
Bizarrely, this is exactly what it is.
To buy myself journalism time I pretend to be summing my options. I look at my watch frequently to make it seem that time is something I have.
But journalism comes true, and I ask: “How long have you been doing this? Is it shameful? How do you live with yourself and those around you?”
She is outraged and utters: “Are you a f***ing (f**king) hack?” she asks.
“Wait” I say and run to the door and out of it. When there I say “yes” and she slams the door with a hand.
What shocking atrocity. With the Mayor’s office for sexual investigations recently finding that there are over 7 brothels or more in Harold’s east side alone, this one that I’ve been writing about is representative perhaps of many others.
It saddens me, and hopefully you’ll see that is what I meant.
Perhaps the great poet HP Keats said it best: (find poem)