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Dissent: Volume 6 of the Helter Skelter Anthology of New Writing


His story was nothing new, I guess, to most working in the “biz”, but to me, it was quite repellent. One day, he said, he was sitting in the editing studio, working on a project, when his assistant informed him that someone had come to see him. They were quite insistent that they see him.

He told his assistant to tell them he was busy, but they refused to leave. So he walked into his office to find a mother with her very young daughter. By young, I mean a 15-year-old girl.

He didn’t know them and was rather uncomfortable, especially when the young ‘un barely had any clothes on and more makeup than any Lakmé print ad. He tried to get to the point immediately but the narrator wouldn’t let him. He fumbled with his pen and dropped it a bunch of times, picking it up only to drop it again. His disturbed mind accepted defeat and sat in his chair as the narrator continued with the spoken word—

Helter Skelter: Compromise
Big girls don’t cry. Photograph by Sugandha Garg.

Big girls don’t cry,
Page three people don’t lie…
In bed
With their standby.

Sweet girl aged 15,
Pimped by her mother,
Compromise and you’ll get there,
Sweet daughter.

Compromise, she said,
When she came to his room
Compromise, I was told,
Is the secret ingredient in this perfume.

Three buttons undone,
Lipstick lips locked in fear,
Can I be your alibi?
I promise not to spy.
Just wanna hang around
Like your neck tie
Thrown nearby.

Afraid of being caught for secretly enjoying the attention, he walked out abruptly. His well-trained assistant asked them to leave politely. The young ‘un seemed scared; as if she had failed an exam and was gonna get her ass beat. The mother, a woman on a mission, seemed even more determined. They left, only to come back at night. He was still in the editing studio. They knew that. That’s where they went.

Things are different now,
They say,
The couch does not exist.
This incident happened yesterday,
He could not resist.

The young ‘un was cast in a commercial, and then another. And then came many more. The man was quite smitten. It was apparent—

See Also
Sacred Cows, Indispensable Women

Marry me, he said,
In a moment of passion,
To his wife and kids at home.
Compromise is all I’ve been taught sir,
She rationed.

The Narrator was on the floor, rolling with laughter. As if he knew the outcome before the story even began—he has no mercy! The young ‘un moved on to other editing studios. The mother spent most of her time at the jewellery store. The man, well, went back to his wife and kids—the sad part being that they took him back.

Things are different now,
They say,
The couch does not exist.
This incident happened yesterday,
He could not resist.

Back in the day, they burned bras. Today, we have “slutwalk”, where women are fighting to wear cleavage-hugging tees and underwear-showing pleats, fighting a battle against rape, against men—which I support all the way, by the way—but then we also have mothers disguised as pimps. Uh… I mean sluts… I mean… I’m confused!

“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.”— Janis Joplin

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