Amy Hartl Sherman is a freelance writer, poet and humorist. A graduate from the University of Illlinois, a retired flight attendant, improv comedian, empty-nester and overall wunderkind, Amy writes erratically as opposed to erotically, and sometimes humorously, while living with her husband, a Chihuahua, a barking parakeet who is minus one toe, and one toe-eating Dachshund. Her sons escaped without harm.All posts from Amy Sherman
Your entry, Working Girls was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 84th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.
- I’m 60, so looking like a girl is rather impossible, in addition to being totally fucking creepy.
- Not sure what “act like a lady” even means anymore, but I’m pretty sure it’s a much “broader” interpretation than BIC means here.
- Not interested in thinking like a man either. I’m not quite as obsessed with penises as they are. (Much to their chagrin.)
- Women work like a boss every single fucking day for less money. So fuck that shit.
Come on BIC, look like a pen, act like a pen, think like a pen, and write like you are in the 21st Century.
Inspired by a Gina Barreca article…
“Owwwwww, you’re hurting me…”
My eyes pop open. The plaintive cry is inches from my headboard. I can hear it perfectly through the thin wall of my hotel room. I freeze and listen.
“Owwwwww, you’re hurting me…”
It’s a female voice. No one responds to her plea. She just keeps repeating it periodically…
“Owwwwww, you’re hurting me.”
I listen intently. Is she being raped? Did someone crawl through the window? Or is she enjoying the pain? Hard to say. Whoever is “hurting” her is a silent partner. What is he doing to her? What is causing her discomfort?
“Owwwwww, you’re huuuuurting me.”
It’s weird there are no other sounds. Maybe the rapist doesn’t want to make any identifying noises. If it is rape, I should call the front desk. I envision the police seeking me out because I was registered to the room next door…
“Actually officer, I did hear a woman quietly moaning around three in the morning.”
“Well, she kept repeating one phrase over and over again. It was hard to tell if she was in distress. You know, that fine line between pain and pleasure? She just kept saying: ‘Owwwwww, you’re huurting me.’ ”
“And you didn’t find that odd? You never thought to call the front desk?”
“I did think of it, but if I was wrong, it would be rather humiliating for the people involved. From the sounds of it, nobody was being forced to do anything against their will. I just figured it was some couple doing their kinky thing.”
“Well, a woman was raped last night. Maybe you shouldn’t assume peoples’ sex lives are as weird as yours.”
“God, I feel terrible, but it really was difficult to tell. Mostly I was ticked for being kept awake. I had an early flight in the morning.”
“Well I’ll let the victim know she inconvenienced you.”
Oh the guilt. The dilemma. What should I do? It would help if she’d expand her repertoire. Anything to give me a clue. I wait and listen for something to indicate she needs help.
“Owwwwww, you’re huuuuurting me…”
It’s getting old. I have to get up early for work. Layovers are shorter than ever and I’m a junior flight attendant stuck on undesirable trips that take off pre-dawn. Whoever these people are, they obviously aren’t interested in sleeping. I just want it to stop.
“Owwwwww, you’re huurting me…”
Maybe she’s a working girl and won’t get paid if she doesn’t stick to the script. I feel like a dirty third party. Just when you think it’s over, she moans again. It’s riveting and impossible not to picture what they might be doing.
Who knew my sex life was so banal? The only person I would trust to hurt me is myself. Fortunately myself and I agree pain is a bad thing. I’m not into other peoples’ pain either. Listening to this woman is uncomfortable enough. People who believe there is a fine line between pain and pleasure must see the Grand Canyon as a hairline crack.
I now believe there is a fine line between sordid curiosity and criminal intent because I’d like to hurt this woman. Permanently. I would kill for sleep. I could call the front desk genuinely concerned, then wait greedily for the knock on their door which would, at the very least, interrupt the one-sided “intercourse.”
I haven’t heard her plaintive cry in a while. They’re either finished or she’s dead. Excellent. Maybe I’ll get a few minutes of REM before my alarm goes off. I can’t wait to share this with the crew. This will be worth a few laughs in the van to the airport. Sharing it will help keep me awake until I can grab a few winks on the jumpseat.
Within an hour, I exit my room bleary-eyed and hear the doorknob turn on the door right next to mine. My god, I’m going to come face to face with one of them. It’s so early, what are the odds?
Turns out the odds are good when the captain of my trip, who has the same sign-in time, escorts a demurely smiling blonde out of his room. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain at the moment. Captain Bob offers a cordial “Good morning.”
I’m dying inside. Does he know I know? Just act normal. “Good morning!” Did I sound a little too chipper?
Captains look so formal in uniform. They’re the ones you trust with your life and feign respect for. I will forever hear the haunting voice of this lady whenever I fly with this dignified, salt-and-pepper-haired man. It’s a whole new image. Maybe the wings on his jacket were poking her because she literally loves a man in uniform.
Thank God I did not phone down to the front desk. I would have had to transfer to another base. I won’t be telling this story in the van. It will have to wait until I get to the back of the plane with my peers.
I won’t be napping on my jump seat either. I will be hyper-vigilant, watching and listening for any signs the plane might be acting out of the ordinary, because our beloved “Captain of Pain” fell asleep at the controls due to a night of slow torture. I can hear all the passengers screaming as we plummet.
Yep, instead of napping, I’ll be calling up to the cockpit periodically and whispering throatily: “Owwwwww, you’re huuurrrting me” then hanging up. That should keep him awake. It worked for me.