SWork Day

Illustration by Mathew Borrett

Good Morning

The Provider wakes up to a kiss at the back of her neck. She almost startles, forgetting that she’s with an overnighter and not at home in her sweaty futon.

They fool around for a while. She defines “a while” to last as long as the muffled Metro Morning segment playing in the room beside them. She preps breakfast as he showers. Over waffles and diced strawberries, he complains about his boss making him work weekends. The Provider nods along.

“Asshole’s just riding me about coming in late, just on and on 24/7 non-stop. Not my fault traffic sucks and the TTC’s impossible, blame Doc May,” he says, around a mouthful of Nutella. “See, I would’ve voted for that Daniel Cook guy. But he got landslided. Well, here we are.”

The Provider nods.

Just as she’s showing him out, he surprises her with a tip. On top of his deposit before they met, his full payment at the start of their session and the Pizza Pizza coupons he left on the dresser, it’s a great start to her day.

She cleans the room fast: Lysol wiping all flat surfaces, restocking the condoms in the bedside drawer and replacing the sheets for the next worker.

Good Afternoon

She asks her car for the news. It feeds the Provider a tidbit about Timbits, telling her a batch of nutra-boosted glazed ones will help kids focus in math. An anti-condo rally in East Chinatown reaches its second day. Her ears perk at the last one, an announcement from Doctor Mayor about the expanded Scarborough reach for the city’s mental-health crisis-response service.

It’s a choice the Provider predicts won’t play well with the pro-cop crowd, but she couldn’t disagree more. She likes the health-conscious city leader, a favourite in the industry ever since she defended them against whorephobic fearmongering during the 2028 outbreak. A popular theory was that sex workers were transmitting the virus from athletes’ village to the general population, one that gained enough traction to net international headlines that even she read back home. Then a public-health official, she held a press conference devoted solely to shutting that misconception down.

The Provider’s car informs her that Tropical Joe’s has sold out of goat. Would she like to reroute?

She does, grumbling. No use pulling in for mild beef. She sets a course straight for the...

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About Al Donato