Penthouse Pet

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“I borrowed a very short micro mini, fishnets, heels and applied my makeup.” JD Butler

I was sweet 16 when I worked for a subsidiary of Penthouse Magazine called ‘Books & Thing’s, as a topless waitress in Queensland. It was 1984 or 85. At the time I had no job or place to live and was not allowed to obtain a benefit for at least six months, so I guess it was dire straits for me then, alone and in this beautiful country of Australia.

Up until then, I had been hitchhiking my way around Australia relying on the goodwill of other’s. All my worldly possessions were crammed into four plastic shopping bags, until a thoughtful truckdriver decided to buy me two black Lotto bags. It was a bloody Godsend I can tell you! My transient life became a lot more manageable, and I had a place to keep my red photo album, the only possession I’d bought over from New Zealand, apart from shoes and clothes.

I had initially enquired about becoming an escort, after reading an advertisement in the local Brisbane rag. I remember the receptionist laughing so hard, after she asked me if I knew what an escort was! It was funny in hindsight. I declined to come in for the interview once I knew what the job description entailed, not that there is anything wrong with working in the sex industry, as I would later learn. Like I said, I was 16 then and somewhat naive.

It did however, sow a seed and because I was relying on the kindness of others, I had been feeling a bit guilty freeloading. I wanted to pay my way and I needed to find a job ASAP. One of the truckerdrivers I hitchhiked with had a partner, a short blonde haired woman. She had recently taken me to a youth shelter in Ipswitch, so I finally had a bed and a roof over my head. All I needed was a job. 

I rocked up for my first job interview in Brisbane, in a white cotton jumpsuit and white heels. It was a little bit too small as I recall, my body was developing quite fast back then, and nothing fit well. I was also a late bloomer by comparison to other family members, I got my first period when I was 14 going on 15. 

I filled in a form in a small grey office, with a window and a middle aged man sitting behind a desk. The walls were festooned with poster’s of beautiful women, advertising various things from local events to theatre. He began by asking me the usual questions. How old was I? How long had I been in Australia? Why did I want the job? Followed by, had I worked in the industry before and was I comfortable showing my tits? 

I did feel comfortable and I was also in a much needed job interview, so I was smiling and super friendly, trying to put my best foot forward – well my breasts actually. He asked me politely, to lower my jumpsuit so he could see. I did, and he took a photo for his records. He said I had the job and that someone would be in contact with me about work. 

I don’t think I had to wait very long as I got a call at the shelter and someone came and to pick me up from there. He was a very attractive man in his late twenties, from memory. He was to be my minder. He introduced me to some older women in their late teens, early twenties, and they pretty much took me under their wing. I borrowed a very shirt micro mini, fishnets, heels and applied my makeup.

I won a Best Breast competition in a club somewhere on the Gold Coast. All I had to do was serve drinks, topless for a couple of hours and I’d make $100. Too easy! As it happened, I’d been shouted my first tattoo and Little Mick Cosenko put a beautiful bird of paradise on my left breast in Fortitude Valley, and I wanted to show it off.

Later, Mr Minder asked me if I would move out of the shelter and in to his house, no strings attached. I thought about it, but decided something didn’t feel quite right and I trusted my gut. 


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Portobello Road and the Earl of Lonsdale 

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Finding feeling

My way under

               Grounded

Red Double D’s

Facing forward – heading toward

Portobello Road

Where I think I’ll find a vintage coat?

Navigating steps, a labyrinth of 

Shops

          stalls

                  markets 

                                and food

Except for the rude

Middle eastern Joseph I turned my back on

Walking first left then right

Following the sunshine – the Bello

Hot and cold, on standby

Off with his head!

/

The woolley cardigan I borrowed

Along with my confusing glasses

The ill-fitting jeans

Crazy, uncomfortable 

Wishing I didn’t have big bloody blisters!

Very far from home; my bed covers pulled

The fan on full

Stumbling into the Earl of Lonsdale 

Pub for a cider

Hiding in a corner ‘snug’ 

Made in the seventeen hundreds and

It seems fitting I would have to bend

Dwarves and buxom barmaids

Tourists  and stranger’s alike

Peer out from under mead

Sly Lord’s eyed

I, need to gather my thoughts

Consider what it would mean to start

                                                                     over

© Copyright 2017, Jodine Derena Butler & ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved

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