Chapter 7: Trevor Hilbert, Realtor
Whenever Trevor Hilbert went on a business trip, he always packed a little bottle of tabasco sauce to spice up his french fries. It was an indulgence his wife absolutely forbade, since it gave him terrible heartburn, and it kept him on the toilet for most of the night. So, he made it his special treat just for business trips.
Sometimes, a guy just needs a little more kick than ketchup can give him. That's all. No big deal. He was always gonna go back home to his wife. He loved her -- and besides, a third divorce would almost certainly bankrupt him. But as long as he was out busting his ass to provide the kind of high-end lifestyle to which his family had become accustomed, he was gonna take a little time for himself. You know -- smell the roses and eat spicy foods loaded with trans fat and cholesterol. And a few hookers couldn't hurt, either.
Trevor's coke connection in Boston was a big Irish guy named Hughie who talked with a brogue. He was the real deal from across the pond, a man who had undoubtedly dumped bodies in the pond, and would undoubtedly dump Trevor in the pond if he so much as looked at the red-headed ape cross-eyed. It's stupid to get involved with guys like that, but those are the kinds of guys who have really good coke, and there's nothing a hooker won't do for premium drugs.
The deal went down like normal. Hughie was seated at a park bench, cloaked behind the sports pages of the Boston Globe. Trevor sat down next to him, cleared his throat nervously, and opened up the business section, also from the Globe. He placed an unmarked envelope full of cash between the pages, closed it up and offered it to Hughie. "Want to check your stocks?" he asked casually.
"Sure, Yank." Hughie opened the business section, glimpsed at the envelope and smiled. "Things are lookin' up today, Yank. I'm not sayin' I can afford to retire and buy that chateau on the French Riviera, or no shite like that, but things are definitely lookin' up."
"That's good to hear," Trevor said.
"Care to catch up on some scores, Yank?" Hughie said as he offered Trevor the sports section.
"Sure," he said as he opened the pages and eyed the baggie of white powder that was sandwiched between the box scores of last night's baseball games and an article about some football player who was arrested for domestic violence. "How about that. The Sox blew a two-run lead in the ninth last night," Trevor remarked.
"It breaks my fuckin' heart, Yank," Hughie lamented as he tucked the paper under his arm, stood up, and began sauntering away. "Breaks it all to fuckin' pieces, it does."
Trevor sighed in relief. The shady ordeal was over, and now he could get on with more important business -- finding a young woman with a tight body and loose morals. He enjoyed the selection process almost as much as he enjoyed the depraved sex. It always made him think of those world-class bass fishermen they feature on those outdoor shows at seven o' clock on Sunday mornings.
There's always a guy in a sleek boat with wraparound sunglasses wearing a baseball hat, and he's pulling a big bass out of the water every thirty seconds. The fishing is so good the guy is tossing back monsters because he knows without a doubt the Holy Grail is swimming nearby, and when it hits, he's gonna set the hook good and deep and wind that sucker in for keeps.
Trevor felt kind of like that guy as he passed on two nice looking girls - a black chick and a Hispanic broad who were pushing their wares like rug merchants in a Turkish bazaar. They seemed like a wild time, but he never trusted girls who work in tandem. When one of them has you completely distracted with toe-curling fellatio, the other is free to waylay you with a blackjack, or whatever else she keeps handy in her purse.
He tried to convince them to split up the act so he could have one at a time, but when they balked, he went on his way. The girls cooed at him and called him papi, and ultimately pursed their lips and pouted when Trevor strolled away.
There was an interesting looking blond with an okay body who promised to do everything except wash the windows for seventy-five dollars. She was tempting, but she must have been pushing fifty. If Trevor wanted a fifty-year-old, he'd just throw back a couple shots of bourbon and nail his wife.
He didn't know exactly what he was looking for, but he knew he had some good coke, and he wasn't gonna share it with just any run-of-the-mill streetwalker. And then he saw her -- a beautiful brunette who couldn't have been more than thirty sitting all alone on a park bench. She was writing something on a pad of paper.
It wasn't clear if this girl was a professional, but Trevor detected a quiet desperation about her. She had dark circles around her eyes, her cheekbones seemed a little too gaunt, and her coat was thin and tattered. These were signs of financial instability, but they weren't necessarily signs of a whore. She very well could be the starving artist type, he thought.
It's conceivable, Trevor theorized, that a young woman doesn't always know the precise moment when she's going to become a whore. The psychology of it might be very complicated. Maybe her subconscious has already crunched the numbers and determined that her situation is dire. Maybe her subconscious has sent a few signals to her cerebral cortex suggesting a quick date with a strange gentleman in return for cash might not be so bad. And maybe those thoughts didn't sit too well with the conscious part of her brain, but the logic of it was inescapable.
In any closed system, there is a finite amount of resources. Powerful people comprise a small percentage of the Earth's population, yet they command a disproportionately large percentage of Earth's resources. So, the majority of the people are left to fight for whatever's left over. With no real skill set and no upfront capital, it stands to reason that one will not be competitive enough to acquire adequate resources.
But there is a built-in fail-safe that gives attractive women an instant vocation. Trevor decided he was going to do this young lady a favor. He would, ever so subtly, nudge her down this new and exciting career path. If she was game, they'd get together and drink some wine, have an hour or two of good, clean, coked-up sex. Then, she could be on her way with enough cash to get a hot meal and decent room where she could host a higher class of clientele.
And if it wasn't her cup of tea, then she could find a job waiting tables for lousy tips in a dirty diner while squandering what little free time she had working on her shitty poems that would almost certainly be rejected on sight. The ball was in her court.
If you asked a sober Trevor Hilbert what he does for a living, he'd tell you he makes the dream of homeownership a reality for honest, hardworking Americans.
If you caught him after four or five martinis and asked him that same question, his response would probably sound something like this:
"It's all bullshit. You know that, right? I mean, the money we loan these people doesn't even fucking exist. The Fed whips up a big batch of money out of thin air and pumps it into the economy. Of course, they charge the government interest on this magic money, but Uncle Sam casually excuses himself from the table to take a piss and never comes back. And who gets stuck with the bill? I'll tell you. Regular schmoes like you and me get stuck with the bill, that's who.
"I'm not tryin' to say I'm some kind of Boy Scout here. Hell, I'm in the sales game, and my hands are just as dirty as the next prick's. What I do is I get homebuyers to borrow obscene amounts of money so they can live in a big new house on a cul-de-sac that will cost damn near double the sticker price by the time they pay off the loan. And the fucking thing looks like a barn with a brick facade glued to the front, and the garage floor isn't pitched right, so water tends to accumulate on one side, and the trim is milled from some genetically altered species of pine that has properties more like cardboard, and the roof leaks, and the tile is popping up in the kitchen and all four bathrooms, and the siding is buckled, and the yard has a sinkhole forming right in the middle of it, and the driveway has what looks to be the San Andreas Fault running through its entire length. But there's tons of trendy little shops and cafes down the street where you can spend two hundred dollars on a pair of jeans with the most perfect pre-made tatters, and you can spend twenty-five dollars at this quaint little cafe on a Caesar salad and a bottle of water.
"And at night you can't sleep because you're worried about Susie in accounting who you used to nail in your office a few times a week for a little extra spice, but then that crazy bitch wanted you to leave your wife and kids and start a new life with her. You tried to explain that your relationship was just physical, but that didn't go over too well with her. And it went over even worse when you tried to pay her off, and she kept screaming, "Am I just a whore to you?" And then she broke down and cried, and when you put your hand on her shoulder, she ran out of your office. And if anyone ever finds out about that, you would probably lose your job, and then there's no way in hell you could keep up those mortgage payments for more than a month or two. But you could always take it on the chin and sell your house so long as there's somebody out there at least as stupid as you were who is willing to pay out the ass for a 3,000-square-foot pile of shit.
"And your whole life is ruined over the pretend money that the banks never had to lend in the first fuckin' place, but somehow lent it to you anyway with interest on top of it, and now you're on the hook for it and probably will be until the day you die.
"It's all bullshit. It's all controlled by a dozen or so international bankers whose names you'll never know. But I say fuck them and fuck their make-believe money. The only things that really matter are how much booze you can suck down, how much coke you can snort, and how much tight tang you can bang. That's what's real. Everything else is just bullshit."
* * *
Trevor took a deep breath and tried to get his heart rate under control. He knew housekeeping would be by in an hour or so to drop off clean towels, and a very surprised Mexican maid would find him. Sure, she'd have questions, and maybe she'd want to get the manager involved. And that prick would insist on calling the police, and the police would want to know why he was found naked, bound, and gagged in his hotel room. Then he'd really have some splainin' to do.
But Trevor still had a hundred and fifty bucks hidden in one of his patent leather shoes, and he was confident it was more than enough to buy the maid's silence. He'd just explain to her that too many questions would be no bueno for him, and maybe some mucho dinero would help her forget this whole ugly incident ever happened.
Hogtied and humbled, Trevor reflected on his life. It occurred to him that even if the American dream really was just a ruse concocted by billionaires to bolster their already incomprehensible fortunes, there was still something good and wholesome about a backyard barbeque in suburbia with the wife and kids, burgers and hotdogs, and plain old-fashioned ketchup.