I was at Scott’s memorial, which was held at a large venue on Oxford Street and was filled with all sorts of characters. There were people who had starred alongside him in musicals, old friends who were like family, his actual family, neighbours and people he hadn’t seen in years. Everyone was there.
I hadn’t cried in front of people yet, and the only time I cried about his death was the day I got the call and found out: I was in Canada and my friend just told me the police came to his house and told him that Scott was dead. I almost dropped the phone. We finished the conversation and I was completely emotionless when my mom asked me what was wrong. I just nonchalantly replied that Scott was dead. I then proceeded to walk around like a zombie, making breakfast and taking a shower. I had to help my cousin move that morning, so I got into my old truck (that my parents kept) by myself and sat for a second before turning on the ignition. I put the truck in gear and drive down the driveway, up the gravel road and towards the highway. Once I hit the pavement of the highway I pushed the gas-pedal down to the floor and screamed at the top of my lungs, “YOU FUCKING CUNT!” I repeatedly swear while my truck reaches 160kph. After screaming I burst into tears and cry so uncontrollably that I had to pull over in fear of getting into an accident.
At the memorial we drank Sambuca shots and tried our hardest to keep things lighthearted, believing Scott would want it that way. I met one of Scott’s old friends, a father figure to Scott during the times when Scott didn’t have any resemblance of a family of his own. I had never met him before.
He shakes my hand, “I’m happy to finally meet you,” his voice is soft and soothing, “Scott told me so many wonderful things about you. You were very special to him.”
Then, randomly and uncontrollably, tears burst out of my eyes as I grab at him and hug him.
I agreed to start working at the brothel the following Monday. Blaire told me I should keep shopping around for real jobs and that escorting should only be a temporary fix. I agree and continue my job search.
It was also time for me to move out of Blaire’s apartment, so I headed back to the hostel I was staying in before. My hostel was eerily close to Knight Call.
Over the next couple days I applied to many jobs and landed an interview for just one. It was a job that involved handing out flyers on the street and trying to get people to donate to kids with cancer. I went to the interview, killed it, and the next day was offered a full-time position. I accepted. The cancer kids job wanted me to start Monday.
I had to make a decision: which job should I do? To most people the choice would be easy, but for some reason I couldn’t help but ponder the possibilities of working in a brothel. The prospect terrified me, yet filled me with adventure. I knew it had the potential to destroy me mentally, to ravage my personality, to overbear me with depression. But I also knew that it could be empowering, sexy even. Guys would want me and even pay for me. I wasn’t a faceless nobody, people would know me and pay for my time and company.
The other escorts I’d have to work with could be drug addicts, rapists, or murderers. This prospect was also terrifying. But even then I thought of adventure, because who would want to work with mundane people when you could have the possibility of working with Sydney’s most crazy and spontaneous? I imagine young guys like me sitting on a couch shooting up heroine, and I am suddenly filled with passion.
Passion is a weird word. By definition is means a strong and barely controllable emotion. The thought of working in a brothel filled me with just that. It evoked a strong and uncontrollable emotion inside of me, the most uncontrollable emotion of all: curiosity. I was filled with passionate curiosity. I had the opportunity to walk down into Sydney’s underbelly and discover a whole new world for myself.
So on that Sunday night I had two choices, and for all selfish and egotistical reasons I decided to adventure into Sydney’s belly.
Once again walking up to Knight Call I had a mini panic attack. It’s almost 8pm. Pete told me that normal shifts start at 7pm but I should come in later so I’m not flooding in with all the other boys. He also got me to email him a picture of my body that he could post online for the website.
I ring the bell at the front door. I could hear someone rustling towards it, and then it swings open and I see that, unsurprisingly, it’s Pete.
“Why hello Carl, how are you?” Pete almost purrs (Pete always reminded me of a cat, mischievous and cunning and will always get what he wants).
“I’m good,” I reply.
“Good,” Pete nods, “Well I guess I’ll start showing you around now. The first thing you need to know is that the bell you are ringing is called the ‘client’ bell.” Pete pushes aside some plants covering the left wall inside the doorway, revealing a hidden grey doorbell, “This is the bell that the boys push when they want to be let in. Each bell makes a different noise so that we know if its a client by the door or an escort.”
Pete ushers me inside. We walk down the hall and past the office and come to a door on the left and stairs going up on the right. Pete pauses at the door, “This is the boy’s room. In there we have a kitchen, couches, a backyard for you guys to sit in the sun or smoke. Kitchen is fully furnished so you can cook if you want, we also have a television to keep you entertained. Sometimes it can get very… dull here.”
Pete doesn’t open the door to the room, instead we start walking up the stairs. We come to a bedroom with the door open.
“This is Room One,” Pete indicates, “Come inside.”
I step into the room after him. The walls were painted the same deep red as the office. The setup is very minimal, just a bed with disgusting red/brown/god-knows-what coloured mattress and pillow covers. On each side of the bed is a bedside table, and opposite the bed is a large dresser with a TV above it. The room also had two windows with white blinds on them.
Pete tells me that after each client we are responsible for making the rooms look tidy for the next one. The managers (there are four of them) are the ones that wash the sheet and towels, and Pete hires a cleaner once a week to clean the whole place at nighttime.
We head up a smaller set of stairs outside of Room One and come to a hallway. There is a toilet and a shower in the room to the right, and straight ahead is Room Two, which is almost identical to Room One except that its a bit smaller. Then we head up another set of stairs to the top floor, which is where Room Three is. Room One and Room Two have to share a bathroom and shower, but Room Three has it’s own bathroom on it’s floor, and it was also the biggest room.
We then head back down the flights of stairs and back into the office.
“This is usually how the whole thing works,” Pete explains, “You boys wait in the boy’s room. When a client rings the bell I let them in and bring them here, to the office. I show them pictures of you boys on the TV screen here,” Pete points to the TV, “The client will then tell me which boys he wants to interview. When that happens, I go into the boys room say which boys he wants, and one by one you’ll go into the office, introduce yourself and what you do, and then go back into the boys room. After all the boys have done the interview part, I go back into the office and the client chooses who he wants. When that happens I bring the client upstairs and put them in a room. Then I come down into the boys room and tell them which boy he wants. So, if you’re chosen, you come into the office,” Pete reaches into a cupboard beneath the TV, “And grab two white towels,” Pete pulls out the towels, “And then grab a bed sheet,” He takes a bed sheet out of the cupboard as well, its the same disgusting colour at the mattress covers in the rooms upstairs, “And a glass of water,” Pete points to a mini fridge beside the cupboard, on top of the fridge were glass cups, and presumably inside the fridge was the water. “And then you take all of this and go up inside the room. I suggest you make each client shower before doing anything. Make sure you lock the rooms as well, we’ve had a few incidences of other boys accidentally walking into the room.” Pete sets the towels and bed sheet down, “And the most important thing is: always get paid upfront. Don’t start anything until you’ve been given the cash. Legally I can’t give you the money, I can only get the money for renting the room, which I take before I bring the client up the stairs. It’s up to you boys to ask for your share of the cash when you’re in the room. You got that?”
“Yeah I think so,” I reply.
“Let’s bring you in to meet the boys,” Pete announces. A shot of nerves spikes through my body.