You call this love, I call it service

Author: DJ Lunan

I love my bathroom. Its the best thing about my divorce. Alaskan white suite, powerful extractor fan, splash-blade shower, heated towel rail, and no queuing behind the kids.

But divorce is expensive. I moved out of the family house to a ground floor flat in Tampa’s up-and-coming Sulphur Springs with my home-wrecker girlfriend. Who hated the neighbourhood, and left me alone paying for the new flat, my family home, and all the family’s cars, clubs and holidays.

It almost broke me, but I always had my bathroom.

My children are almost adults, with cars, part-time jobs, and lovers of their own.

Mimi the youngest was staying on the day I was fired. I looked and felt a broken, lonely, middle-aged man.

“Can you find another job, dad?”

“Unlikely. Petroleum is yesterday’s fuel. Noone needs an old oil reservoir engineer.”

“What about the gig economy?” she advocated, more seriously than I expected.

“I am not ready for minimum wage yet! Even working 24/7 I’d not cover mine, yours’ and the family’s outgoings”

“If not working, then what about providing services? Lease your spare room, garage, cloud storage, or bikes?”

“That’s nuts! I don’t trust people with my stuff”

“Desperate times, dad, calls for disruptive measures!”

A week later Mimi wanted money for a Spring Break week in Mexico. I refused but said she could use my flat while I drove to an Oil Expo in Louisiana in search of work. The Expo was a doozy, oil really is dead. After driving overnight for 9 hours, I parked up with the petrol tank blinking empty, hoping Mimi would have leftover vegan lasagne.

My front door was slightly ajar, with a printed sign, ‘Welcome to Mimi’s – shoes off, take-a-towel, take-a-seat. Allocated times only on www.mimis-oh.com or app MimisOH’.

OH?

My blood boiled, I dashed into my sitting room which was occupied by two professional ladies, a construction work, and a cycle courier. Disarmingly all smiled and nodded at me.

Mimi was in the kitchen chatting with a young man in a sharp suit, using a lint-roller on his shoulders. He handed her a small bundle of notes, said thanks, turned and brushed past me.

“Mimi, what on earth is going on here?”

“Dad, shhh. Keep your voice down, these are my clients“

“Clients for what?!” I screamed.

“Shhh. Dad, for services.” She opened a biscuit tin with ‘Mexico’ scrawled on its lid, whispered “Over $1000 in two days”

My mind raced. Nice money, but I can only think of one way for my pure innocent teenage daughter to earn that sort of money. I grabbed her arm roughly.

At that moment, the bathroom door opened behind us both, a tall lady stepped out in a smart office suit and her red hair tied in a bun, dropped a towel in the wicker basket, and handing over $15to Mimi “How do I look, dear?”

“You look fabulous Carmen. Let me give you a quick brush down.” Mimi shook my grasp, and launched a lint-roller flurry on Carmen’s shoulders and back.

“This is my Dad, Norman, he’s single too”

“Congrats you two, this is a great service, I will be coming to this Out House again! 5 stars! It’s so convenient for my commute”. Carmen winked at me, handed me three dollar bills mouthed “tips”, and strode confidently out.

The cycle courier strode grinned as she entered the bathroom, locked it.

Mimi’s phone made a ker-ching, “Dad, as I explained, disruptive times.”

4 Comments

  1. Jae

    Tidy. Like that.

    Missed the ‘-‘ in ‘no-one’, by the way.

    • djl

      Thanks. Dashed hyphens. I blame my fear of double-barrelled surnames

  2. SimonJM

    Believable – apart from the US giving up on oil, perhaps 😉

    • djl

      Thanks. You are right about petro-addiction….

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