The night was rather cold for 2 September. The fact that I stood motionless wasn’t helping. The noisy crowd around me smelt of beer and cigarettes. The fireworks were totally worth it.
The following day, 3 September, was beautiful: sky so clear and blue I suddenly realised that I hadn’t seen sky for a very long while now. And it was hot. Really hot. I’d say hotter than any other day this year. I went for a very long walk, keeping my camera eye on the sky. The walk took me past H(ugh)‘s home, not on purpose but simply because there are lovely views in that part of Edinburgh and he just happens to live there. Of course I thought of him.
Last time I saw him we had dinner at a Spanish restaurant, watched a film cuddled up together on his sofa and then I, abiding by the international rules and regulations of romantic dating, asked him for a pair of scissors and, in his words, invaded his (now former) privacy. The way I see it, just because his privacy hasn’t been invaded in the last 70 years, it doesn’t mean he should die not having seen what his privacy actually looks like. And the fact that his privacy harbours more hair than his scalp, face and ears together is the last straw. Anyway, that was mid-July, and I haven’t heard from him since except for an e-mail a few days ago, the subject line screaming “Hot balls!!!” Apparently, if you remove a thick and long natural covering, it gets hotter, not cooler. I’m not a physicist, so I’m not going to occupy my pretty little head with this nonsense.
About 20 minutes later as I’m walking home, my phone rings and – that’s right! – it’s H(ugh). Well, if he noticed the slight change in his balls’ temperature after my professional help (free of charge, by the way!), it’s only natural that now his balls will sniff me out within a mile and cower in fear. Yet he’s still willing to see me, yes, tonight if I’ve no other plans. He calls to book a table at a fancy restaurant close by and even checks with them that they have gluten-free stuff on the menu. Aww.
During the dinner he tells me how much he enjoyed the festival, the shows he went to see, such a pity he had to do it on his own. Under the table, I pretend to try to kick him and he moves his legs out of my reach quickly. The conversation moves to the end of the festival and the fireworks the night before. He tells me he had 2 tickets but couldn’t get anyone to go with him so went on his own.
This time I really kick him. Twice. And I make sure it’s hard. He winces and reaches to his shin under the table. Good. Now, if he gets 2 tickets somewhere, he’ll think of me, at least for as long as his shin hurts. The e-mail I receive after this date says that apart from the bruised shin and ego he’s now absolutely fine and it may seem daft, but he thinks of us as friends.
Whatever the society thinks of my profession, it’s far more honest than a lot of marriages out there. A client can have sex with his wife – for free. He can pick up someone at a bar – for very little. He can even go to see another lady (and if it’s in Edinburgh, chances are she’ll be charging less than me. I’ve looked around recently and it seems that I’m the most expensive prostitute here, which is sad, but hey, my parents can be proud!). Yet with all these choices he prefers to pay up to see me. I’d say it looks like he really wants my company. Likewise, when I agree to see him, he knows it’s because I really want to see him, not because he’s paying. After all, everyone pays. It’s up to me whom I choose to accept payment from and you can guess I’m rather picky. In marriages people can (and do) manipulate each other through finances, sex, feelings and kids. When my clients and I get together, it’s because we really want to see each other.