Players

March 06 1927

Dinky and I have become regulars at the 43 Club in Gerrard Street Soho. It’s a fascinating place. It’s the sort of place where you might see royalty sitting right next to a table full of gangsters. The band is always marvellous and everyone is focused on dancing and drinking and smoking and being seen.

The owner, Mrs Meyrick, runs the show with an iron fist. Even though everyone knows she’s been in prison she swans around like she is the Duchess of York. She and I have sized each other up like a couple of cats on a fence.

She has a team of pretty girls who are paid to dance with the gentlemen. Anyone would think they were d├ębutantes, but of course they are not. Although you never see them soliciting openly.

That’s part of what makes the place so fascinating. It has this undercurrent of lust and vice with a shimmering surface of respectability. But I suppose that’s true of life in general.

It costs five shillings to get in. So you need to be either well heeled or very determined to have a wild time. For me it has been a happy hunting ground for rich men ready to pay for the attentions of a pretty blonde. I feel I should probably be giving Mrs Meyrick some commission. And I’m sure she would think so too. But I’ve been very discrete. Or perhaps cunning is a better word.

And I have finally taken up smoking. Well simply everyone is doing it these days and you do look so very elegant when you lean over to get a light. I used to hate cigarettes. They always made me feel sick. And one time my father caught me smoking he threw me against the wall so hard he nearly broke my shoulder. It didn’t seem to be worth the coughing and pain. But I’m free of that monster now. I can do whatever I like. And I find that smoking a cigarette not only makes me look splendidly sophisticated it actually makes me feel quite relaxed. I need to get one of those long cigarette holders with diamontes on it. And maybe a silver lighter. Although asking for a light is a very good way to talk to men.

I still haven’t asked if anyone knows Julia Smith. I’m always so busy having fun and flirting that I always forget.

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