The next day, Lurch bustled me to the Hall of Justice to procure my masseuse license. I was just the office girl, but everyone got a license. It was a fringe benefit.

With my incognito stage name and a purloined social security number, I was fingerprinted, photographed, and received a laminated masseuse license that same day. No matter that I had no other identification, no work permit, and no training. This was corruption in action, and it was on my side.

My first day on the job, I sat at the reception desk, all teak and brass in a room of red velvet wallpaper and golden chandeliers, for six hours. The halls were patrolled by a guard with twin rottweilers who were chummy with me. Having left the ratty world of punk rock for glamorous goth, I looked forward to being the face for the business, untouchably lovely and dutiful to the house.

The second day I was pulled into training.

I looked forward to being a trained masseuse, adding a measurable skill to my repertoire. Instead, I learned how to be bait. I was the little sister, who for $50 extra would join in.