An Honest Dollar: On Kleptomania
I never called it stealing; it was “remedial compensation”.
At first, stealing from johns was a perk of the underworld cash economy. If I felt as though they hadn’t paid me enough I could swipe something extra. No need for collections agencies. The traveling johns were particularly simple to stunt. They stayed in hotels close to the hustler bars, often leaving on a flight the next morning. My favorite customers were the upstanding citizens ready to forget the night and return to their homes as if nothing had happened. Serial amnesiacs. For example, the executive director of a non-profit in Arkansas, who fell asleep after fucking me, ass to mouth. I didn’t have time to wait for him to wake up and tip me extra, nor did I have the gumption to rouse him, so I rummaged through his luggage. He didn’t have any cash, but I managed to extract a Ziploc of pharmaceuticals.
In the following weeks, traveling johns became targets. I began lifting watches, cologne, neckties, cufflinks, shoes, even underwear – anything. I’m not sure why I didn’t notice my aptitude for petty theft crystallizing into a habit; it may have been the analgesic cocktail I’d created from the executive director’s meds. I began stealing from convenience stores, bookshops, lost and found bins. Then, one night, one of my co-whores started going off about a $300 date he’d done the previous night. I must have been blindly jealous, because I stole his deodorant. He knew instantly. After our shift he led me into a corner of the bar and told me that he knew a couple thugs out North and that if I came back to the bar they’d pop me off. I laughed, saying “I don’t see why you’re sweatin’ over some cheap-ass deodorant if you so rich from last night, Kenny.” He bashed my head against the ATM. We were both ejected for the rest of the night.