At Work I'm A Prostitute, But At Home I'm Just MomCommentary • workplace • Opinion • ISSUE 36•10 • Mar 22, 2000 By Trista Wagner Trista Wagner When I'm at work, I go by lots of names: "baby," "honey," "bitch," "slut," "cum dumpster." A small handful of johns even call me by my street name, Queenie. But when 5 a.m. rolls around and the work day's done, I walk through that front door of my house and I've got one name and one name only: "Mom." These days, it's easy to get swept up in your career. Especially when you're in a fast-paced, high-profile field like prostitution. When I've had a successful day at work–suppose I've doubled my tricks or was the one chosen from the entire line-up for a suck job on some 70-year-old in the back of a Mercedes–I might be feeling pretty full of myself. Or perhaps it was me who one of the newer girls chose to come to for advice about which free clinics treat gonorrhea. But regardless of my accomplishments, when I come home and hang up my white fake-fur jacket, peel off my spandex minidress, and kick off my four-inch stiletto heels, I realize what my most important job is: being a mom to Brittany and Dylan, my two beautiful children. Believe me, Brittany and Dylan don't care that Big Earl counts me among his most important pieces of property. Or that he's promised to get me a suede fringed jacket if I keep bringing in all those repeat anal-penetration customers. In fact, they don't even really understand what it is Mommy does all night at work. And you know what? They're not particularly interested. Because children think their mothers have only one role–to take care of them. And, when you really get down to it, aren't they right? I might be utterly exhausted when I come home after a 10-hour shift, but a 7-year-old doesn't know the difference between a relatively easy night of oral sex and hand jobs and a grueling stretch of sado-masochism and Viagra-induced pounding. I could be bleeding from any number of holes, but there's only one choice for a working mother like myself: to put on a smile and help with that homework. So what if I've been beat up or if Big Earl makes me go down on him in the alleyway before he hands over my fix? None of that matters to Brittany and Dylan. Those kids are hungry now. It's up to me and me alone to get supper on the table. I may not be home with Brittany and Dylan all the time, but even when I'm not, I'm still mothering. The trick is to teach your children the important lessons early on. Then, even when you're on your back on a stained mattress in an abandoned building far away, they'll know not to play with matches or talk to strangers. Not to boast, but I'm raising two terrific kids. Last night, when I was forced to bring work home with me, they let me do it in peace, staying quietly in their rooms until the customer was gone. (Ever since Khandi lost all that weight and died of pneumonia, I've been getting a lot of extra business.) How do I do it, you ask? Just how can I hold down a 60-hour-a-week streetwalking job and raise a family all by myself? It's not easy, I'll tell you that. It'd be nice if I had more time to spend with the kids, much less wash the dishes, do the laundry, and clean the house. But I have to believe that someday, Brittany and Dylan will understand why I wasn't a stay-at-home mom, and they'll appreciate all the men I did for them.