Friday, November 19, 2010

Love for Sale.

No Sale. Elizabeth Taylor. Butterfield 8

Love for Sale.

“You don’t have to be naked for us to do this. You can put something on. Don’t you have a…”

“Honey, I did put something on… the radio.”

“Alright, ma’am.” My gentlemen caller blushes and puts his head down. Nervously he stammers out a little more of his mama’s best manners. “B-b-b-but really it isn’t necessary. I just want to talk… a-and ask you some questions. You should just be yourself. As comfortable as that is ma’am.”

This evening, here in my boudoir, I’m entertaining a civilized young man. A true gentleman. Educated. Not your ordinary run of the mill John. Refined. Definitely not a man here to ship in and out of port for an hour or two. A writer. Refusing the typical services. Instead wants to know more about my life and tell my story. I’ve been nothing but candid with my young man. After all, he is paying, like any another man. Despite my every attempt to put him at ease he continues to refuse.

“We can talk honey, but for what you’re paying I can do a lot more than talk. But let’s get one thing straight, I ain’t anybody’s mama, so stop it with this talk of ‘Ma’am’.” I make my way through the room dimming lanterns and lighting more candles.

“Excuse me, but Ma’am… um, sorry Miss. Can you leave some light so I can see my work? I can’t really write in the dark.”

“Look, honey, you said I should make myself comfortable. I’m working here too. Don’t get so upset over the little things. I’m not gonna tell you how to do your job over there; please don’t tell me how to do mine. Unless you want me to…” I motion once again to his pants.

“No, m-m…” he blushes again and turns those pretty baby blues away.

Repeatedly I’d offered him a little slap and tickle as he would have no problem talking or asking questions while I worked.

“Shall we continue…?” I offer as an olive branch.

Certainly a different caliber of person this young man. Impressive for one so very youthful. My language skills seem a bit crass or oafish at times. He blushes at any and all references to COCK or CUNT. Yet I continue to regale him with stories of clients. Some named Charlie wanting to be spanked and called Sheila, others that are to be known only as ‘DADDY’, and the secret indiscretions of notorious men and women. Until finally we came to the stories of my wild days spent dancing naked and blindfolded for money in the red light district.

The hours had slowly passed and neither of us realized that the night grew late. Some part of me knew we hadn’t gotten to the real purpose of his interview.

“Son, I think it’s time you get to the real purpose of your visit. Now I can chew the fat all night and fill your head with naughty bits to share with your friends. But what is it you really want to know?” Quite comfortable, I’m certain he’s ready to deal. They all want to play the game. Young and naïve certainly wouldn’t change that.

“What’s it like to sell your body?” he blushes, but never breaks his stare. “Is it hard, or do you just learn to accept it?”

“Oh, honey.” Attempting to be frank without disillusioning the poor boy I begin, “I’m a business woman. To call it any other name cheapens it. Whore. Prostitute. Escort. A woman does not sell her body, she provides a service… Are you understanding?” He nods silently and doesn’t turn away. For some that service is sex, and for others it is something different. They pay for my attention, whatever that purpose may be and I provide it without question. Discreetly, I lend them my body for a short time at a fixed rate. Tonight, you asked to talk, I provided that.”

“What of love, do you believe in love in your line of work? Doesn’t it interfere?” asks my suddenly confident friend as he quickly thumbs over another page in his notebook.

“Love. It’s meant to be interference. Why isn’t that the purpose of it all? People want love. To be bothered with that which they do not have. And with that being said… Honey, I sell love! People just want to own a piece of it to call theirs once and again. Say they had it. It was part of their small little lives. Each and every time they walk through the door I make them feel like I belong to them. Their possession. Theirs to love. Theirs…”

“Wait!” the eager young man stops my train of thought with a pounce. He’s apparently having an epiphany. “I’m sorry to interrupt,” he says out of breathe, “That’s understandable. Love is definitely a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder, but have you ever been in love, yourself? Perhaps, outside of this or with a client?”

Things begin to venture where I had not expected. This young man isn’t looking for a story. He wants to understand. Do I dare give him answers? What’s the harm? No one could blame me for the life I’ve lead.

“Yes my dear, I was in love. There was a time during all of this life when I found myself amidst the most brilliant love affair. At the time I was already deeply lost in the lifestyle of the night. Nights spent catering to the most brilliant men of the city; the wealthy; the politicians; the artists; and the men behind the men with power. These were the true thinkers that would make the world spin forward. It was during my youth that I found him. Unlike the others we would spend the days talking, much like you and I are tonight. Talk of money never exchanged our lips in conversation. Only the sweetest kisses did pass those lips. Until…”

“Ma’am, until…” he rests his hand quietly on mine.

“It wasn’t meant to be. That’s all.” I shake my hand free. “You wouldn’t want to know. It’s not a happy ending. As you can see for yourself we are knee deep in the underbelly of life.” Gently I touch his cheek, “I’m an early-made old woman and you have the rest of your life ahead of you”

“You’re not that much older than me. And despite my manners and appearance, I have seen enough in this lifetime to make me appreciate my own circumstances. I may lack the understanding, but do not judge me for not walking in your shoes. Please tell me.”

“Alright… Things were quite magnificent. Until one evening after a marvelous dinner, we decided to walk back to his flat. Beneath the stars it took shape, a conversation to end all others to come. One-sided talk of money and taking care of my affairs soon escalated. Before I could stop him, he had out his pocketbook. There it was; the large bundle of money. Like the others. He was no different than any other man. Wanted to secure his investment with a deposit. Hold his piece of heaven with a few nice dresses and a fancy new address. Well, I couldn’t do it. My heart wasn’t for sale. So I took care of it. That night beneath the stars, in the dark shadows of the park, I…” The words seem to drift away from me.

“Do you need a minute?” impatiently he pushes out the phony sympathy.

“No, I’m fine. It’s just a dark stain in my life that I hadn’t looked back on, in quite some time.”

Taking a deep breath, I pause indefinitely. There’s no pointing fingers and no one to hold accountable but myself. Getting up from the table I walk over and pour a glass of gin. Composing myself I continue to talk.

“I had a child, you know. That man, the one I loved, he was the father. Doesn’t make a difference though, does it? I gave him away. The baby. I… You understand? Of course that child has a better life for it. Certainly better than I could give.”

“What happened that night?” eagerly the writer circles back to his intended purpose.

“I always carried a knife with me. See, in those days it was quite dangerous to travel alone. Although I wasn’t alone that night it was a habit to keep one safely tucked in my garter. When he started taking out the money and offering to buy me… ME, Buy ME, Give ME, that’s when something in me broke. Before I knew it, there he was laid out on the ground, bleeding. So many times that little dagger must have gone in and out of his heart, through the veins of his arms and legs, across his face cutting into his neck. Laying there dying, he tried to talk, but nothing came, not even air. I remained still and watched over him until it was over. Life slipped away into the dark night.”

The room is quiet now. He’s finishing up the last few sentences I’ve said. For the first time in a very long time I’m feeling vulnerable. Standing in a dark room, completely bare telling a stranger my deepest secrets. Finally I put on my robe and break the silence. “That was the only time I was in love. And as you can see it does produce quite the disturbance.”

“Among other things,” says my writer friend without looking up. “Love can produce the most brilliant disasters…” His mood is far more subdued than earlier.

Carefully I pull the front of my robe shut and turn toward the window. The night is nearly spent. Sun is slowly making its way to the threshold of the horizon. Two hands slowly reach out and circle my waist. The pair of unfamiliar limbs spins me into a secure embrace. My arms return the gesture. Losing myself in the comforting folds of flesh and warmth of unknown. Delicately it tears into my belly, starting off slow like honey. The blade has no emotion yet delivers so much meaning. I can feel the sting of its passion cutting into my breasts. Never does he break his grip around my back. Crushing me into his body. My own body loosely begins to slink down into his grip.

“Mama,” he whispers into my ear with the sting of hate as he slowly lowers my body. “Selling your love. Love that should have been mine. You did sell your heart. The same day you gave me away. This is the price you pay for that.” Those baby blues of my dear sweet little boy looking at me with the fury of a thousand judgments as he gently places me on the floor. Naked.

Are you for sale? How about love? Can you sell your love? Is sex love? No, but you can sell sex. Let me rephrase... Can you sell your soul? What's your price? The truth. You can sell your soul, but not your love. And in the end what's worth the price of your soul? People often ask me for advice and typically I tell them to follow their heart and trust their instincts. Rarely will those things steer you wrong. The trick is truly listening to what it is that your heart and instincts are telling you. Not your desire. Sometimes it is very different to advise yourself but in the end everyone knows what will work for them... and sometimes the hard way may be the right direction. Anyhow, this is older, borrows a bit of Marilyn, a bit of darkness and hopefully you love the fabulous ms. taylor. enjoy. kisses. m.

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