My Pyjama Girls
Your first love stays with you, that’s what they say.
For me, it was my second love that got me all balled up. Don’t get me wrong — my first girl was the snake’s hips. Jean Morris had the face of an angel, and the body of a movie star. She was a real doll.
She didn’t love me, Jean. Sure, she let me have my way with her whenever I could afford it, but I was just another John to her. That’s the problem with loving a prostitute; she’s always loving everybody else. I put a stop to that one night, though, half-mad with booze. She looked so lovely in her nightgown, all stained with blood.
It’s true, you know. You do always remember your first.
Annie. Now she was my second love, my famous love. Face and hips just like Jean’s, but Annie said she loved me. Said she’d give up the hooking for me, if I could take care of her. It worked just fine until the night I came home early to find some Joe Blow grunting away on top of her and had to send him on his way with a shiner.
Annie, my Annie. She was a true crime of passion. She made me furious enough to light her up by the side of the road when I was done. I didn’t know she wouldn’t burn all the way through. Or that they’d find her, pickle her, and put her on display like they did.
I went to visit her in Sydney, laying in that stinking vat of formaldehyde. A scrap of the lovely nightgown she wore that night was displayed nearby. “Linda,” they called her, as they stared at her naked body. Animals.
“I know who you are,” I whispered to her. “You’re my Annie, my Pyjama girl.”
I don’t know why the Agostini chump took the fall, in the end. Wrong girl, wrong thug. He might have gotten rid of his ball and chain, but my Annie sure wasn’t her.
My guess is they beat it out of him, or they offered him a real good deal. Six years in the big house was all that Diego did, before getting shipped back where he came from. I doubt I would have been so lucky.
And me? After my Annie was laid to rest, I got real careful.
Nobody ever found my Clara, my Margaret or my June. I’d learned to keep my Pyjama girls all to myself.