Not Hamish

I’ve already mentioned HB to you – here – but he deserves a proper introduction.

A good way to describe HB is to compare him to Prince. The two men have a lot in common, but their approach to things is very different. In the regal paradigm of naming, HB’s title would be “King”. Where Prince glides through life with ease, grace and an air of insouciance, everything about HB is heavy, hard, solid, dead serious and set in stone. He even looks this way. The kingly image on the right is HB to a T – less high heels, stockings and raven locks, obviously. If he were to take on responsibility for an empire, every last stray dog in the realm could depend on him, but the place wouldn’t be fun. Edinburgh escorts' clientsFor the first half a year I was absolutely sure he has no sense of humour. The first time I saw him laugh was in February, during our Cornwall holiday. We were up early in the morning to be on time for Eden Project. I was still fumbling in my clothes, half asleep and grumpy, when he walked into the bedroom, all dressed, bright and breezy, with a smile on his face. ‘Oh stop smiling, it’s inappropriate before 10 am!’ I grumped*. And yes, he laughed – inappropriately, as you understand.

Our first date was quite late in the evening with no chance of a dinner out, so we’d agreed that we’d cook something. There was a small kitchen in his temporary Edinburgh home, I brought some vegetables, we made a salad and sat down to eat. All the while he was acting like this is completely normal. I’m not saying it’s not normal: people making a meal and eating together is one of the first things that made us different from animals, nothing is more normal than this. But when it comes to sex work, it’s not the sort of stuff you engage in on the first date. Most of my first dates are spent trying to reassure clients and make them feel comfortable around me, cooking only happened twice. I suppose it’s one of those things that people usually do in their family circle, and sharing it with a stranger is weird – far more weird than having sex with that stranger. But it wasn’t the last time HB showed that his line between personal from public isn’t that well-defined. The time when I had to explain it to him why it’s not ok to walk in on someone in the bathroom – even if you’ve already seen this person naked and even had sex with them – is proof enough.

And you probably want to know what HB stands for. Not Hamish Buccleugh or other hard to pronounce Scottish name. In fact, it’s not a name at all, but he does sign his e-mails as HB closer to our coming dates. Everything is simple. He got this nickname during our second date. It was a crispy cold November afternoon; I texted to let him know that I’m in a cab and should be there in 10 minutes.

HB: I’m waiting outside for you.

Jewel: Go inside, you’ll freeze your balls off!

HB: My balls are hot!! I want to greet you when you arrive.

Jewel: Well hello, Hot Balls!

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* A totally valid claim.

Sticky (and icky) business

There’s this restaurant on the corner from my home, where Walter and I often end up when he comes to pick me up or drop me off. It’s a cosy, very intimate place with great food. The waiters haven’t changed in the few years that we’ve visited it. The manager (who, I believe, is also the owner) is a short plump man in his forties, with dark curly hair, a moustache and an accent, always in a fluffy cardigan.

I remember the first time I was there without Walter. I was welcomed, given a table, and asked where my partner was.

“Whooahhhhe’s away on business!”

So after that I would only go there on my own as an exception to the rule. When together with Walter, the manager just lets us be.

On one of those exceptional days I spent a delightful afternoon in bed with Nicole, with Prince somewhere in the background, hovering above us like the Ghost of Hamlet’s father now and again. As is his habit, there were chocolates, presents and flowers. In the evening, on my way home, I was tired, hungry, and laden with beautifully wrapped boxes. The idea of cooking was a turn off and I asked the cabbie to drop me at the restaurant.

It’s a small place so it was only when I walked in that I noticed something was wrong. It was empty except for an elderly couple at a table in the corner and the manager standing by them. I clearly interrupted their conversation. The manager welcomed me heartily and explained that X-factor and football nights were always quiet. He offered me a table next to the couple. Leaving at this point would be plain rude (Of course it’s the football night, what was I thinking about! Bye!) Asking for another table would be even ruder.

I arranged the presents and the flowers on the adjacent chairs and hid my face in the menu. Didn’t help.

“So what are the presents about?”

“Oh, these are all… you know… birthday presents.”

“Your birthday! Isn’t it brilliant! Happy birthday! Give me a second, we’ll get a cake for you! Anna! Where do we keep cake candles?”

“Don’t worry about it, please! PLEASE! You know I don’t do gluten anyway!”

“Ah, true! Pity! But wait, where’s your partner? You had a birthday party and he wasn’t there with you? Don’t tell me he is away on business on such a day!”

The elderly couple were looking at me expectantly.

“Er… He’s… Ok, here’s what… happened. My birthday was some time ago… and erm… the party tonight was… at work (looking down at my own business outfit – on Prince’s request). Yes, in the office. They… (turning to the elderly couple) they threw a party for me tonight because I was away on my actual birthday. With my partner… of course.”

“Aw, he organised a little trip for you?”

Sometimes people want a story. Sometimes people think they are being friendly, when in reality they are being bored with what’s going on around. Sometimes you happen to be the only prey available to them. And most of the time – in my experience – the least painful way of getting them off your back is to give them what they want. Even when I’m not paid for it.

We have twins, Nicky and Vicky. They started school this year and we’ve never had so much headache before. Yes, they are identical. Vicky is quite a tomboy, but it’s Nicky who is the real pain in the patella. Yes, you are right, he spoils them rotten, it’s all his fault. Anyway, for my birthday… No, Vicky is half an hour older. So on my birthday my partner took me away for a few days, so we could have some time to ourselves. Oh, grandparents love them, they would have the kids every weekend if I allowed!

And so on.

Needless to say, Walter laughed. Needless to say, he immediately called our children Icky and Sticky. Needless to say, now and again he still asks how they are doing at school. Needless to say, we will never go to this restaurant again. Ever.

I hate friendly people.

My restaurant business

It’s odd but this part of London I have not visited before. From the cab window I can see little boats and large willow trees, bridges above the canal and ducks in the water; everything in Little Venice looks cute and laziness-inducing even in the hail – up until the moment I suddenly think “And how is this different from the Water of Leith?”

I’ve lived in Edinburgh long enough to be unable to enjoy London again.

By the time I check in and unpack, the raging torrent outside turns into an ordinary rain and then disappears altogether; the sky is bright and clear blue and my mood is better. I put on my new grey jumper and set off to explore.

I walk down the path along the water for quite a while before I suddenly realise I’m in Paddington. By now it’s well past 6 so I pick a restaurant for an early dinner.

In front of me, a couple of empty tables away, a man is sitting on his own, nose in a newspaper, picking at something on a plate with his fork now and again. He raises his eyes from his paper and instead of looking at his fork he looks at me. I acknowledge his gaze. Half a salad later I catch his eyes on me again. I look back. He smiles. Must be the new jumper. I smile back. With pleasure.

He looks like someone who would work in Central London and live in Watford with a wife, 2 kids and a dog. Only he’s clearly just finished work and instead of rushing home for dinner he’s idly reading a newspaper in a restaurant and making eyes at a strange woman. Either not married or something is rotten in the state of Watford. His plate is long empty and he’s still there, looking at his newspaper.

He stands up eventually, picks up his raincoat and briefcase, and waves good-bye to me. I wave back. He leaves.

What an English way to go. Sometimes I wonder how this nation still reproduces. You see a woman, you show your interest, the woman reciprocates – what do you do? You leave! Why not come up to the woman and tell her that her smile made your dinner and that you’d like to buy her a hot chocolate*. Or at least pay for her salad. Ah, romance is dead…

Independent Edinburgh escortsBack in Edinburgh, a few days later, I’m having lunch at my favourite restaurant. The waiter, who had previously endeared himself so much by totally looking at my bum, brings me a hot chocolate. In the centre of the thick cinnamon-sprinkled froth I can see a little, uneven heart-shaped opening. Clearly custom-made, not a result of a mould or some froth-arranging device. An analogue of waving at me? Or just re-creation of something memorable?

* I sometimes have a feeling men don’t understand the concept of offering a drink to a woman. By buying her a drink you buy her time. If she accepts your offer, she agrees to give you her attention for as long as the drink lasts. This drink should be enough for both of you to decide if another drink is a good idea or if you’d like to move on. See, nothing scary! Yes, you two enter into a sort of social contract but it’s not a commitment to spend the rest of your lives together. Not even an obligation to exchange phone numbers. Just an opportunity to get to know each other a little to decide if it’s worth it.

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As you no doubt have noticed, I’ve been very quiet lately. August is a mad time anyway, plus I’ve been working on a personal problem so I didn’t have that much time left. I am sorry about any disappointment caused and I will try to resume the semblance of regularity on this blog. To make up for my online absence, I looked at some of the old drafts and here‘s a new old entry for your amusement.

J or The Fortunes of Vice

In some inexplicable way our demonstration on Friday reminded me of her. She had the name of one of the infamous sisters from Marquis de Sade’s writings. I’ll call her J. Edinburgh escorts

I met J in the early summer of 200X. I had just joined a little agency run by an old gentleman. That evening I was sent to Savoy. I was told there would be 2 clients and one other lady. A man opened the door of a little suite and I joined the company in the sitting room.

My client went to sit down on a sofa, I sat next to him. The other man was sitting on a chair opposite us and she was on another chair, three quarters to him, I couldn’t see her face. She was wearing a plain black shift dress and low-heeled square-toed black shoes. Her hair was dark, very short and curly – the hair that I would have if I ever allowed myself to have it cut above my shoulders. She turned to me and stretched her hand.

‘I’m J,’ she said, and smiled.

‘I’m J,’ I replied and touched her hand.

I showed off my new shoes; I bought them the day before, they were made of fabric that was identical in colour and pattern to the bright summer dress I was wearing. My client, the host, served drinks, there were snacks, the men were talkative and funny and soon the conversation was flowing. J spoke little and always very softly; to hear her, everyone had to go silent. I thought it was a great trick.

After a while, the clients went to another room for a quick chat and we were left alone. J turned to me. Her eyes were blue. This is the closest I’ve ever been to falling in love. I looked at her.

‘I love your hair,’ I said and my throat went dry.

‘I love your shoes,’ she replied. And smiled.

The men came back and she left with her client. I ended up staying with mine for the whole night and didn’t get to see J for almost 2 weeks.

Next time it was a little hotel in Park Lane. I had met that client before, when he went on and on about how he would like to see me with a woman. This time I expected to hear it again because this talk seemed to be his favourite fantasy, but it turned out he decided to put his money where his mouth was (erm, yes, both puns). I walked into the room and J was sitting there on the bed, in her black shift dress and square-toed shoes. A couple of months later the old man who ran the agency would tell me that J asked him for that. Her lips and skin were soft and cool. She did everything slowly and quietly, concentrating fully on what she was doing.

She sat on her knees between my legs as I stretched out on the bed, and traced the outline of my thigh with her finger. Then she squeezed it.

‘This is amazing. You’re thin and at the same time so fleshy. So succulent.’

Charles, the client, first got bored, then jealous. Men with this fantasy sometime don’t realise that watching 2 women together means you’re left on your own. He asked J to leave and I stayed for another half an hour. When I walked out of the hotel, J was waiting outside in a cab. I came up and opened the cab door.

J shared a squat in Baker Street with half a dozen other people. When she wasn’t working, she was up all night smoking hash and drawing horoscope charts for political events or daydreaming of the Vestals dancing around the sacred fire. Hedonism wasn’t her hobby, it was her way of living. She liked that I was so determined, she said I added structure to her life. She brought chaos into mine. Her company was a pleasure but I could never know when I would have it again. Eventually I left the agency and soon after that I moved to Newcastle. J was unwilling to keep in touch. Or incapable of it.

When I moved to Edinburgh, I came across her photos on a website of a little parlour in south west London. The rota said she was there every Saturday. A year later her photos were removed.

Last summer, walking along Princes Street, Violet and I passed a girl dressed up as air hostess giving out leaflets. She was about my height, slim, with blue eyes and fair skin. I came up and asked for a leaflet.

‘What do you need it for?’ asked Violet when I caught up with her.

‘I don’t need it. The girl was pretty.’

Violet laughed.

Operation Windermere, Part 1

It’s a cold but clear April morning. I wake up, shower, swallow a handful of antibiotics and painkillers, throw the rest of them into the little bag that I packed the night before, call a cab and go to Waverley. By the time I reach Carlisle I feel rather queasy: the side effect of the medication I’m on, I’ve never been travel-sick in my life. It’s 40 minutes until my connection and I walk around the station trying to coax my stomach into behaving itself. A beautiful carriage catches my eye and I get my mobile out. I know nothing about trains, but this one is really lovely; I take a picture of it and e-mail it to a client who loves trains. Ah, the beauty of modern technology that allows you to share what you see with people miles away from you in just a few clicks and several seconds! Then I board one of these hateful trains that make you regret having had dinner the night before and suffer for another hour. By the time I get to Oxenholme I am so weak at the knees I can barely walk but that’s ok, because The Nutter meets me right at the platform, takes my bag and  drags me to his car.

Edinburgh escortsThe hotel is right on Lake Windermere. From our room balcony a narrow garden path leads right to the water. We walk down the path, along the old wooden pier to get a better view of the lake. The view is so beautiful you wonder if it’s real. And it’s a clear sunny day which, as The Nutter dutifully informs me, is exceptionally rare for the area. Well, seems like it was meant to be. It’s the first time I’m in the Lake District and I  know I absolutely have to paddle in the lake: who knows if I’ll ever have another chance? The water is not easy to get to but if you’re a determined woman on painkillers – nothing stands in your way. I slip off my shoes, put my socks into the pockets of my jacket, roll my jeans up to my knees and jump off the path onto the rocks in the water.

The water is cold. The water is so cold that at first it doesn’t even register with my feet that they are in the water. Yet it feels the right thing to do: I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m barefoot, which is rare, or the subzero temperature of water, but it gives a sudden clarity to my mind and this unexpected treat of a trip becomes very real. I want to say thank you to the Nutter.

We walk around the hotel garden. It’s beautiful, the heart of it is a little brook jumping on mossy stones. My feet are still wet, my jeans rolled up, and my shoes dangle from the Nutter’s hand.

Back in the room I have a shower and change for what is the actual reason of our Lake District visit – Home Service concert. It’s one of The Nutter’s favourite bands and he wanted to share it with me. He also wanted me to wear something casual to blend in with the audience. This isn’t the case of “even if I say so myself”. In jeans and a plain off-white top I still looked a few degrees hotter than any day an average member of this audience ever lived through. The Nutter did warn me to expect a bunch of bearded blokes with beer bellies. I had a close look before the show: out of 46 people in the audience 32 had facial hair and some of them were women.

I won’t say the concert was sheer joy, but I enjoyed myself a lot. With 46 people in the audience, the concert was quite intimate – just as I like it. I could see The Nutter’s pleasure, I loved being part of it. This type of music was new to me and I appreciated the experience. I got to see John Tams live, he hasn’t changed much since Sharpe’s days. And, of course, I got to be stared at by a bunch of bearded blokes with beer bellies: never before being beardless gave me such an advantage.

Part 2 will be unusually graphic for this blog. I’m quite looking forward to writing it.

A man, a woman and a suitcase

My cab stopped in the hotel’s driveway and a porter ran up to open the door. He grabbed my suitcase by the handle, pulled it and lifted his eyes at me.

‘Yes, I know. Sorry.’

He tried harder, managed to pull it out of the cab and then heave it up the steps to the front door. There I took over. On days like this you want to shake the hand of the bloke who invented the wheel. And also that of the genius who suggested to attach it to a suitcase.

The Nutter meets me inside. We kiss and he takes the handle of my suitcase as we make for the lifts. And stops.

‘Exactly how many thongs have you packed?’

‘Six. No, wait, I’m wearing one, so it’s only five inside.’

His eyebrow is still raised as he pulls my suitcase into his hotel room and positions it on the floor. I open it straightaway: I can tell he can’t wait to see my thongs. What he sees is rows and rows of carefully packed books*.

‘Well that explains some things but raises another question. I didn’t realise you’d been to the Army.’

‘I hadn’t. It was the Navy.’

He looks at me.

‘Oh alright! It was prison!’

Now he smiles.

‘I’ve a CDO,’ I confess.

‘Ah. That explains pretty much everything.’

We need to be in the National Theatre for 7.30 so I rush to the bathroom. Out of the shower, I put on some make up, arrange my hair, get dressed and we’re out. All in all, it took me about 40 minutes to get ready. As the cab drives off, the Nutter turns to me.

‘All this time I looked at you getting ready and thought “Why won’t she just get a move on!” Why do women go through all these needless things when they get ready?’

‘Exactly what would you rather I skipped? The shower? The make up? Getting dressed? Brushing my hair? Kissing you between all of these?’

‘Well, when you put it this way, I’m not sure.’

We get to the theatre just on time. It’s The Captain of Kopenick with Anthony Sher. I think both of us enjoy it, even if for different reasons. The Nutter holds my hand throughout the show and lifts it to his lips now and again.

It’s a dry frosty night as we leave the theatre. The cloudless sky is full of stars. We walk across Waterloo Bridge, stop for a late dinner at a small restaurant and get back to the hotel.

In the morning, the Nutter stays in bed and watches me rushing around the room packing. His present of the date is, ironically, a book. A large and heavy book. The first edition of The Making of Classical Edinburgh. He knows how to please me but not my suitcase. Eventually we agree that I’ll leave a few books with him and he’ll pass them to me the next time I see him. I quite enjoy loading him with a Mosby’s Dictionary and a couple of textbooks on anatomy and pathology of a similar size. Now there’s enough room for his present and I don’t even need to jump on my suitcase.

He looks very comfortable and relaxed in bed, even though his eyes keenly follow my erratic movements around the room. I’m packed and getting dressed when suddenly he asks if he can see me off to the station. Why ever not? As the bathroom door closes behind him, I shout ‘And get a move on, will you! My train’s in 40 minutes!’

This is the first time I see him out of the shower. Independent Edinburgh escortsWhat a transformation! His wet hair brushed back looks much darker than ordinarily and gives him a sudden sharp look; his features so clearly defined, he resembles young Clint Eastwood with the square jaw, prominent cheek bones and piercing blue eyes on a face that now appears much thinner. But his long white fluffy hair dries within minutes and soon Clint is gone, replaced by the soft face with a timid smile that I know so well.

The Nutter pulls my suitcase out of the front door and the porter runs up to him.

‘Let me help you, sir.’

‘No, thank you, I’ll cope.’

‘But this is what I’m here for, sir!’

The Nutter looks at him and smiles a little.

‘Oh no, young man, this is what I am here for. Why don’t you get us a cab.’

Unusually for Kings Cross, the gates for platforms are open and the Nutter takes me all the way to my carriage. He shoves my suitcase under the baggage rack and kisses me good-bye. My thoughts still revolve around saloons and cowboys when I arrive in Edinburgh.

* I don’t usually travel with a suitcase full of books. This case is too surreal to try to provide a believable explanation.

Cambridge

Right off the train from Newcastle I found myself on a lunch date in, believe it or not, a Scottish restaurant in Cambridge. No, wait, there was something worth mentioning just before that: cows. As my cab passed the city centre on the way from Cambridge train station to the restaurant, I could see cows grazing on a little bit of green. Cambridge received city status half a century ago. Someone needs to inform the citizens.

M meets me in the restaurant. This lunch can be summed up under the title “Introduction to the city of Cambridge, its life and lifeforms” lecture which was very helpful indeed. Of Cambridge lifeforms there are three:

  • Petrol-based intelligent agents, road-rage-driven. Commonly known as drivers.
  • Biwheeled embodiments of kinetic energy and the three Fs (this, by the way, stands for “fast, furious and f@cking annoying”, not for “female, forty and fat”) – cyclists.
  • Bipedal carbon-based near-extinct minority of pedestrians, woe is them.

As for the life, the daily entertainment consists of the correspondence page of “Cambridge News” where one day a driver slags off the cyclists and the next day a cyclist slags off the drivers. The downtrodden pedestrians don’t get the chance to trample anyone. If I were to stay in Cambridge for anywhere over a week, I would start this tradition, being completely pedestrian by birth and religion. I don’t mind drivers that much as I’m already used to them: I can speak their lingo should the need arise and I know how to kick a car and keep my shoes intact. The cyclists were a novelty and in all honesty I didn’t exactly take to them: I’m not fast enough to kick a passing bicycle, and shouting my opinion after it is rather pointless. Suddenly I see what the cows are for. Sorry, make it four lifeforms of Cambridge:

  • Graminoid-fuelled ruminant quadrupeds. These are situated right at the exit of the pedestrian anger vent.

M has soft blue eyes, a way with words and a needlessly critical view of self. He is genuinely fun to talk to and I’m not only saying this because of his cute little bum. His curious take on things makes him funny in a see-the-bigger-picture way. It’s probably due to his job which some could call bureaucratic but he practices as inventive. He’s a pleasure to share a meal with. After lunch M picks up my suitcase and we make our way to my hotel where I check in, he runs a bath and we enjoy each other. Somehow afternoon just flies by. What a perfect start to my first time in Cambridge!

The following day begins with a quest: find the Wren library. It’s on the map, but its location on the map isn’t entirely relevant to its accessibility in terms of real life. It took me half a morning to find the entrance and once I did, I was supremely disappointed. Oh no, it wasn’t closed, but photography was not allowed where all I wanted was a photo of Winnie-the-Pooh’s manuscript. Damn!

To get over the disappointment, I go to the Fitzwilliam museum. For a cow-infested place Cambridge has a marvellous collection next to which the Scottish National Gallery may consider investing in comfort food.

The evening I spent with P. His introductory call quickly turned into a friendly chat. First he made himself irresistibly attractive by describing my writing style as a real turn on. Then he went on to ask if I’d had my first punt yet. I somehow tend to think of myself as a punted rather than punting type, but in Cambridge this word is still used in its weird boat-related meaning.

We didn’t get a punt as it was too late in the evening. We got something better: P took me for a walk around night-time Cambridge and then to the college where he studied. This personalised tour was studentically romantic in a hungry but intellectual sort of way. Hungry, incidentally, is the word cut out for P. As a lot of self-centred people (I speak with authority here), he is hungry for new experiences, new conquests, more admiration. He appreciates women so he learnt to attract them by making them feel good with him. He enjoys sex so he learnt to be great in bed because the better your contribution, the better the sex. What a perfect finish to my first time in Cambridge!

Men are like lifts. There is this one button, you press it – the lift comes. Women, they are like accordions. You can get a melody out of it but you have to know how to play. This may seem unrelated, but it’s a good way to explain why I now think of Cambridge as a place filled with music. I am so going back! Even if only to finish my tour of the Fitzwilliam museum. And for the cows, of course. You don’t really think I’ll forget about the cows, do you? Or the great clients.

Seduction, Act 2

Continued from Act 1.

I meet Walter in an Indian restaurant across the road from the theatre. At the table, we discuss the pleasures of oral sex. If right now you suddenly have doubts about having recently decided to get in touch with me to take me out for a meal, you are wrong but I understand. My aloo sag arrives and I try to tempt Walter with a little piece of it. He doesn’t like sharing food but he doesn’t like saying no to me either so the lesser of evils is chosen and I generously cover a little piece of potato with the spicy sauce and send it down his oesophagus. He says it tastes great. As I continue my lecture on cunnilingus, I have to use the stuff on the table (plates and utensils) to explain what the internal part of clitoris looks like. This draws Walter’s attention to my plate and he sees

– Cauliflower! This is cauliflower!

– Yes, it is, why?

– How can you eat it, it’s disgusting!

– You had a bit of it off my fork 5 minutes ago and you said you liked it. You did, didn’t you?

– It was cauliflower?! (some shock, doubt and mental turmoil) Yes, I did.

– Would you like some more?

– HELL NO!

– But you liked it the first time. Why say no to a bit of something you liked? Please?

So I generously cover another bit of potato with the spicy sauce and he swallows it.

– So? Is this cauliflower disgusting?

– No, but it doesn’t mean I’ll ever eat it again!

Just as any other reader, this is the first time Walter reads about my dirty tasty lies. Oh well. He wasn’t going to eat cauliflower anyway, whether I tell him the truth or not.

At 7.30 we make our way to the Playhouse and for the second time in a span of a week I enjoy “The Phantom of the Opera”. Walter, believe it or not, enjoys it, too! I wasn’t sure about it really until during the break when he turned to me excitedly and said: “Incredible! Did you see how they use the light!” Men will be men, I suppose, until they invest into becoming a woman. I have to admit, however, that everything about this new production (including the use of light) was quite impressive indeed.

It’s about 10pm when he sex trafficks me in his car to his hotel where he exercises even more violence against women by presenting me with a very thick envelope. I run the bath and we fool around a little, running around the room until he catches me, throws me on the bed and rips my lingerie off. This is the most playful I’ve seen him in years and if I’m honest, it was very endearing. The bathtub is now full and we dive in.

The can of whipped cream that Walter hid by the bathtub was not much of a surprise: Walter and sweet edible things go hand in hand. The real surprise was the fact that it worked! Almost 3 years ago a client wanted to play with cream so I got a can. It was the first time for him (and for me) and he was very curious. We tried very hard for about 20 seconds and then silently but mutually agreed to forget about it. I never saw him again and never used cream after that. Pity, because as I now know, that first time we didn’t use it the right way. The cream isn’t for eating! I mean, you can eat (lick, slurp, etc) it, too, but it’s not its main use! And it’s far better used in the bathroom than in the bedroom where we end up when we run out of cream. It’s quite early in the morning when I finally leave Walter alone and move into my separate bed.

A few hours later we stop pretending that we’re both sleeping. I rarely sleep during overnights because of unfamiliar surroundings, don’t know what was Walter’s problem. It’s still dark so we try talking to each other across the room from our separate beds. Does anyone know why and how being in the dark makes mature adults turn to whisper even when no-one around is asleep? It feels like little girls in the dormitory at night so I give up on sleep and sneak back into his bed.

At 10 I finally switch off. I don’t notice him getting up, making tea, pottering around, packing his suitcase, opening his laptop to send me a thank you mail and getting back under the duvet with me. He wakes me up eventually and cuddles some more, until the absolutely last minute when we totally have to get up if he is to be on time for his plane.

Walter gets off at the airport and I wave my hand as the cab rides off. Within seconds, a text from him arrives: “Miss you”. I get his present – “Maskerade”, Terry Pratchett’s spoof of “The Phantom of the Opera” – out of my handbag and open the book, hoping to divert my mind from the sudden feeling of loneliness. This ride home feels much longer than the actual 20 minutes.

Safety-in-numbers syndrome

It’s about 7.30 when I come out of X hotel, turn round the corner, cross the road and go to the taxi rank at the bottom of the street. On the way I pass a restaurant where I once had dinner, also on my way from X hotel. Establishing a bit of a tradition is always nice, besides, I’m tired and hungry, so I open the restaurant door.

The waiter who takes me to the table smiles and says it’s great to see me again. Well, it’s one good waiter because I can’t recall seeing him here last time. He leaves me with the menu; I get my diary out of my handbag and look up the previous date at X hotel. About 40 days since I was here first time. Yes, a good waiter indeed. I then place my order, he smiles again and says:

– The same as last time, eh?

– Do you remember all your customers so well?

– No, not all of them, – he winks at me, turns round and goes to the bar, leaving me sitting motionlessly at the table, looking intently at the pattern on the table cloth. His wink reminded me of what happened here last time – which I totally forgot about. Men only have 2 faults: all they say and all they do. About 40 days ago…

…I entered that restaurant for the first time. I sat down, studied the menu, ordered something which the waiter remembers and I don’t, got up and went to the bathroom. In the cubicle, I took off my dress, opened my handbag, fished out my bra, put it on (yes, sometimes I leave hotels in a bit of a hurry), then the dress, and went out. On the way back to my seat I had to pass a group of men – all in their 40s, professionals in smart casual, loud, animated and in high spirits – sitting at a long table. As I was passing by, one of them, who was sitting with his back to me, turned around and looked at me. Not just a casual quick look, but an invasive long eye contact. I gave the same back. As I passed their table, all the men laughed loudly. I ignored them. Kids will be kids.

An hour later, I asked for the bill and went to the bathroom again, this time to actually use it. The men were still there, and on my way back to the main room the man did the same: went out of his way to turn round and stare me in the eye. As I pass them, they laugh again. And again other customers look at me with curiosity.

My problem is that I really don’t bear fools easily. They only act this way because I’m on my own (can you imagine them laughing at me if I were accompanied by a man?) and because there are 12 of them. I pay the bill and instead of heading for the doors I go in the opposite direction.

As I come up to the man who gave me the look, the whole group goes quiet. The man understands that something’s going on and turns round. The twelve of them are now looking at me in complete silence. He is sitting, so if I am to stand straight, I get the dominant position. But if I go down to his level (literally, not metaphorically), I get an advantage. So I smile, make one last step to the back of his chair and bend down slightly. Now my lips are close to his left ear and his nose is almost touching my cleavage. I regret having bothered to put on that bra, but too late now. “Hi,” – I say in his ear.

There was a number of things I thought he might do, but I would never have predicted this: he audibly swallowed, like they do in cartoons. Did you know it was possible at all in real life? He didn’t say hi. He just nodded. So I went on:

– I’ve a feeling there’s something you may want to tell me.

– I… er… Maybe… Could we go outside for this?

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

– You mean you can make fun of a woman in front of your friends, but you can’t give your apologies to her in front of them?

Suddenly all his friends, who have been listening attentively, turn away and start talking to each other. Whether that was to give us privacy or to avoid embarrassment – I don’t know. He keeps on stammering, his eyes running from my cleavage to his hands and back:

– Apologies? I… I didn’t mean to… It’s your dress!

– My dress?

– Yes, your dress! It’s a very beautiful dress!

– So you saw me passing by and you turned to your friends to tell them that you liked my dress?

– Er… Yes, I’m sorry.

I’m not at all sure he’s feeling sorry about making fun of a woman, but I can tell he’s sorry he came to this place, and he’s sorry he tried so hard to show off in front of his friends who have now deserted him completely. That’s good enough for me: if he doesn’t do it again when with his friends, he’s highly unlikely to do it when on his own. I can tell he’d make a very good client: a man with his mates and the same man alone with a woman are often entirely different people. I straighten up and head for the door. No-one’s laughing this time. Outside, I get a cab and go home, and the following day the waiter is the only one to remember the incident: the man, I’m sure, is trying hard to forget it.

Professional identity crisis or how to piss off a woman

First of all, 2 posts out of sequence: here and here. And now to the point.

Last week I saw a client who I meant to write about. He had a hand fetish (which I found very touching) and a bunch of other weird likes, so the date was fun and went quite well.

Tonight he calls me again and we have a lovely chat with a laugh as he invites me to come over. I have a shower, shave, do deodorants-body lotions-perfumes, put on my make up, straighten my hair, get dressed, pack the bag, choose the shoes, call the cab and go all the way across Edinburgh. I’m saying all this partly to remind men that it takes time and effort to get ready to see them, that if they want a woman “right now”, they’ll have to take the one who’s already standing outside their hotel/ home, but also to explain why I get so pissed off later.

I arrive to his home and knock on the door. He opens it just a little, eyes me up and down through the crack and smiles. 2-3 seconds that would be acceptable for this pass very quickly and turn into half a minute. Eventually he opens the door, I step inside and, still keeping the door open, he says: “Here’s your money, I’d like to pay straight away”. On the table right by the door lies a wad of notes.

If his neighbours were in, they definitely heard it. I wonder if he did it for me, for himself or for the neighbours. I ignore the money and point at the door, meaning both the eye-up and the fact that he makes our relationship public: “What was that for?”

“Oh, just to throw you off”, he smiles. Well, he succeeded. I decide to ignore it because it’s impossible to tell if he’s drunk or just trying to be funny.

– You smell really nice, – he goes on.

– I do, – I agree. – Unlike some people here.

He’s wearing the clothes I saw him in last week. If he had a shower today, that was over 12 hours ago as it’s already quite late. I understand that not everyone has my standards and I don’t want to seem harsh, so I smile and tickle his side to make my remark seem friendlier. He closes the door, turns and goes down the corridor. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to wait or follow him, so I choose to wait: it’s not my home and I don’t want to walk around in case I end up in places not meant for strangers. I pick up the money, count it, put it in my handbag. Wait. He doesn’t come back so eventually I go down the dark corridor after him and find him in a sitting room on the sofa in front of TV. I sit down next to him.

He points at the TV and tells me it’s the last day of the Olympics. I express genuine surprise, he laughs. Long pause, while he looks at the TV and I look at him. He asks if I’d like a drink.

-Yes, a glass of sparkling water would be nice, just as I said on the phone.

– I couldn’t be bothered, you’ll have to take something else.

I look hard at him although I don’t mind it this much if I’m honest; I understand that he doesn’t HAVE TO bother. Anyhow, we’ve already wasted a lot of time and he doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to start the booking. He keeps on smiling but does not act welcoming at all.

– Ok, so how about you go have a shower and wash your face so we could…

– No.

– Think again.

– No, these are my terms. If you’re not happy, you can leave – you’ve got your money now.

I get up, take the money out of my handbag, keep £40 to cover the cab fare to his place and back, and put the rest on the sofa seat. Turn round and walk out.

The first 10 minutes of the way back I’m fuming: I’ve just wasted over 2 hours of my life on a jerk. Then I start feeling miserable and guilty, which is a natural reaction for a woman in a patriarchal society when she’s been treated unfairly. I do know, however, that I could have acted in a different, less reactional and more professional manner. The man is clearly unhappy about something going on in his life and he’s going the self-harm way, pushing people away. What he wanted was to spend time in front of TV, watching the closing ceremony and not feeling lonely. And I would have been really happy to help him if he didn’t act like a jerk. But I should have told him this, I’m sure he’d reconsider a shower if he saw that people care. And my trouble is that I really do care. Took me 30 years to realise it, and only thanks to Walter who’s been opening my eyes to this fact booking after booking. I’m in prostitution because I genuinely enjoy helping people. And I always thought I was in it for the money. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to live with this.

I ask the cabbie to drop me off at the city centre: I don’t want to go home with all these negative feelings inside.