Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Another Album From The iPod

Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead Soundtrack

I’m a fan of buying movie soundtracks. I like getting a CD that has a lot of different sounds, but with one unifying mood. I bought this CD in 1995, just as I was breaking up with my last serious female lover, Deborah B. We were trying to keep it civil, but it was a tense time - I needed to get myself out of her house and into my own apartment. The prospect of getting out of town for a while, and generating a large chunk of cash at the same time, was what made me decide to take a chance on a type of sex work I’d never tried before: the legal brothels in Nevada.

I’d talked briefly to one woman who’d been down there, but I didn’t have much to go on, and there was very little information on the web at that time. I had some phone numbers, but people who answer the phone at brothels aren’t usually interested in giving one any information beyond the bare minimum. I’d need a medical test and a license from the sheriff, they’d feed me and house me (for a fee) and I had to stay at least one week, although they’d prefer longer. Sounded like a cross between a women-in-prison movie and a girls summer camp – albeit one where I’d get paid.

Actually, I had no real idea of what I was getting myself into. But I was a little angry, a little bitter, and definitely in the emotional space to say “What the fuck? Why not?” Taking a chance suited my mood very well.

Still, I decided to drive down rather than fly, reasoning that if worst came to worst, I’d be able to just get back in my beloved red Supra and get out the hell out of there. So I packed up a bunch of come-hither outfits, threw a stack of CDs in the car, and said a half-sad, half-resentful goodbye to Deb.

This CD got heavy rotation on the drive south. It’s got great blues - "Born Under A Bad Sign" and "Take On Some Insurance On Me, Baby". It's got some songs from bands I'd never heard of - like Ape Hangers - but which proved to be excellent to turn up really loud and sing along to. "This is my life and I know what to do with it!" I always skipped past Dean Martin singing "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You", though. Not what I wanted to hear just then.

It’s got Morphine, and Tom Waits, and Johnny Cash, and it’s got this one song by Blues Traveler covering a Bob Seger number, "Get Out Of Denver". Now, "Get Out Of Denver" isn’t a really deep, meaningful song. (I think it’s about scoring drugs, actually.) But listening to the catchy guitar and hook-y vocals as I drove ninety miles an hour across the rocky desert of Nevada was a great way to get myself pumped up for big changes in my life, both immediate and longer-term.

Spending a week in the brothel turned out to be an interesting experience, although not one I decided to make a habit of. But I did make a healthy stack of cash, with which I returned to Seattle to get a new apartment, and a new life.

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