Category Archives: danger

The Truth: Part 35

We were well into our giant bender when Scott finally woke up. I had checked on him numerous times throughout the night to make sure that we weren’t being too loud, but each time he was fast asleep. Once I heard him murmur in his sleep. I hoped the sound meant he was having a good dream, but hope turned into despair as the murmur turned into another groan of pain escaping Scott’s lips while he slept. How can one dream of good things during these times?

“Make sure you’re being careful,” Scott said to me once he was awake. I didn’t need to tell him what we were up too downstairs. He just knew the answer and looked at me with big, soft eyes.

“I am.” I said, sitting on the end of his bed. I could hear Brendan and Ben laughing loudly downstairs.

“I think I’m going to start trying to go up and down the stairs soon.” Scott said hopefully with a twinkle in his eye.

Through my drugged state I managed to give a warm smile, “That’s awesome.”

Scott smiled back and we sat and didn’t talk, instead we listened to the mumbled conversation downstairs.

Suddenly I found myself singing softly under my breath, “It’s not easy being green, it seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.”

Scott looked at me with surprise, “That’s Kermit the Frog, right?”

“Yeah. I don’t know why but it’s stuck in my head. I think I heard it on a commercial or something.”

Scott sang softly as well, “I am green and it’ll do fine. It’s beautiful! And I think it’s what I want to be.

Downstairs; Brendan, Chris, Jay and Ben had started smoking a new bag of crystal. Ben had just been passed the pipe by Brendan and had started smoking it. I sat across from Jay, who was staring at me weirdly once again. All night Jay had been staring at me, and when I would notice he would let out a cheeky grin and look away. There seemed to be some animosity between the ‘threesome’ of boys… their three-way relationship was on the rocks, the magnitude of problems rising from Chris and Ben; Ben’s love for Chris was waning while Chris’s jealousy of Ben and Jay was growing. It was like watching the slow tick tick tick of a bomb about to go off. Random stares and mean-hearted glances were thrown between the three all night.

We didn’t do much the first night, nor the second. We smoked lots of meth and played games. Chris made lots of off-hand jokes about body temperature that I didn’t understand, Ben and Jay had their own secret conversations. Nick spent lots of time on his phone.

Brendan, on the other hand, was a wild card. When on crystal he was all over the place. Sometimes he would spent hours on his phone. Sometimes he would talk at a fast pace about random shit for hours. Other times he would clean whoever’s house we were smoking in. On rare occasions he would fall asleep in the middle of a conversation and wake up hours later. His behaviour was always sporadic and confusing. Brendan was the only one of the friend group who intimidated me. When he was in a good mood he was fun, when he was in a bad mood he was horrible. I always had the impression that Brendan didn’t like me, only because whenever we were together (and especially when he was on meth) he would make fun of everything I did. He would ask what was wrong with my hair, or why I chose to wear a certain bad outfit. He would tell me I was annoying on crystal meth (granted, I probably was) or that my voice was annoying. On the outside Brendan appeared to be a nice person, but nine times out of ten he wasn’t. That night I avoided direct conversation with him until he said, “Cody, what the fuck is wrong with you?”

I had been spaced out with that Kermit the Frog song stuck in my head, “What?” I asked.

“You’re staring at the wall.” He laughed.

“Oh, I was just thinking about something for a second.”

“Naw man, you’re fucked. You look fuuuuuucked up!”

“I’m not feeling too fucked. I was just spaced.”

“Cody, believe me, you’re fucked. Look at yourself, god! Your pupils are HUGE. Your hair is a fucking mess. You need help, mate.” Brendan laughed while Nick put his phone away and joined him. I must have not looked too impressed because next Brendan said, “Oh come on. We are just kidding. You need to grow a fucking backbone.”

“I do have a backbone!” I said a little too aggressively.

Nick piped in, “Did Brendan hurt little Cody’s feelings. Awe, so sweet.”

I tried to say, “No, he didn’t hurt my…”

“Awe, Cody is hurt.”

“Fuck off I’m not hurt.” I defended.

“Why don’t you build a bridge and get over it!” Nick said mockingly.

“No, I don’t care.” I said.

“Yes you do,” Brendan interjected.

“No, I’m just…”

“Awe look, he’s still going.” Nick laughed.

“Yeah because…” I tried to say.

“Oh my god, GET OVER IT CODY!” Brendan said with a wave of his hand, “Fuck you’re always so sensitive. We are just joking. Fuck.”

I remained silent and tried to hide my frustration. I felt my phone vibrate, it was a message from Jay.

Jay: I’m sorry they’re so mean to you.

I looked up at Jay who was already staring at me. It clicked in my mind then that maybe Jay liked me. I pushed the thought out as soon as I had it. I can’t get involved in this three-way relationship, I thought, It would get so messy.

For the second day in a row we watched the sun rise without any sleep or food. It was decided that all six of us were going to go to work that day. We decided to power smoke the rest of our crystal meth first since we wouldn’t risk having it at work. It seemed like a good idea until I saw how much we had left. Normally I would have three to four puffs on the pipe every hour… that alone could keep you up for days. That morning, in the space of ten minutes, I powered through ten good rips. We all did. Mixing ten rips with the fact I hadn’t slept or eaten for over two days was recipe for disaster.

“Oh we some fried chicken,” Brendan squealed as he pulled his vehicle onto the road. All six of us fit into his small car as we set off for work.

“It’s too fucking cold! Turn up the heat!” Ben yelled over the loud music Brendan was playing.

“No way! I’m so fucking hot!” Nick retaliated while opening the passenger-side window.

“Yeah, I’m really hot too.” said Chris, almost to himself.

“Yeah we get it.” Brendan said abruptly. Everyone went quiet, “You’re hotter than everyone else.”

Chris looked embarrassed as he said, “Two degrees hotter, actually.”

“Fuck,” said Nick, “I knew you were on about something.”

I had no clue what was going on. Everyone seemed to be in on something except for me.

“I heard rumors but I didn’t think it was actually true. If you don’t want people to know you shouldn’t be making obvious jokes about it.” Brendan laughed.

“Yeah, you saying I’m warmer than everyone else is a huge giveaway.” Nick added.

I finally spoke up, “Giveaway about what?” Everyone turned to me.

Nick said, “Chris is two degrees warmer…” I was still puzzled, “… His body temperature isn’t the same as healthy people…” I still didn’t respond “… There were rumors going around…”

“I have no idea what you’re on about,” I felt stupid saying.

After a couple seconds of silence, Ben said, “Chris, did you want to tell him?”

Chris answered, “Yeah,” and then he turned to me and said, “Cody, when people have HIV their resting body temperature is two degrees warmer than those that don’t. I have HIV.”

(I have to stop here and say that, after researching this ‘fact’, I am unable to find its validity. This is the conversation that happened, and everyone believed at the time that HIV positive people were 2 degrees warmer than other people at resting body temperature. But I am unable to confirm the scientific accuracy of said statements.)

“Oh, ok.” I responded.

“None of us care that you have it,” Nick said reassuringly to Chris, “I have a couple friends who are HIV positive. It doesn’t bother me.”

“It doesn’t bother me neither.” Brendan agreed.

“Yeah, I don’t care either.” I agreed as well.

The rest of the car ride I wanted to ask Chris questions about the disease but instead I tried to focus on not dying; I felt like an alien was about to burst out of my chest.

At Knight Call I was fucked up. I had never felt that high before on crystal meth; powering through the rest of the stash before work was starting to seem like a bad idea. I was shaking and tripping over my words. I tried my hardest to act normal in front of the manager on duty, Robert, but he kept looking at me with suspicious eyes. When Dave found out I had done crystal meth a few weeks back word got around quickly that I had done it and Robert was one of the first to step forward and talk to me about it. He kept saying to be very careful with it, and warned me to avoid Chris, Ben and Jay. And so Robert looked at me with suspicion, and then disappointment. He didn’t need to say it; I knew that he knew I was high.

I tried to calm my nerves once I got into the Boy’s Room. Luckily the only other person working a shift besides the group I arrived with was Bruce (the new Irish guy), and he tended to keep to himself. I was very quiet as I observed Nick, Brendan, Chris, Ben and Jay handle their highs with grace. I just sat quietly and tried to not have a heart attack. It felt like something was trying to crawl out of my throat. I had a hard time swallowing. My forehead was greasy and my palms were sweaty.

What seemed like hours were actually minutes. Brendan was called off to see a client. Then Nick was gone as well. Chris, Ben and Jay randomly left as well to see a private client, and soon it was just Bruce and I in the room. I silently prayed to no particular god that I didn’t want a client. I wasn’t in the right state for it. I felt like I was spinning really fast and couldn’t shake it. The silence suddenly was crawling under my skin and I found that I needed to say something out loud or else I would implode.

“How are you and Jason doing? Where is he?” I asked Bruce as calm as possible, remembering to breathe and pause at the appropriate intervals.

“We are doing well,” He answered with suspicion, “He’s working in the underwear shop.”

“Oh cool,” I said, regretting that I said anything at all. Trying to force out words was infinitely worse than sitting in silence.

I didn’t say anything else. We both sat in silence watching reruns of Futurama on the TV. I felt like I couldn’t move, so I sat in a hunched position for quite a while until I swear I heard Bruce say, “Cody?”

“Yes?” I answered without looking at him.

I didn’t hear what he said, but I guessed that he said, “How are you doing?”

I felt like it was odd that he asked me so long after I had asked him, but without looking at him I made up a lie about my day and what I had been up too recently, “… And then I went to the beach and it was amazing. I heard you live in Bondi? That’s amazing! I’ve only been there once but I really would love to go again. What do you think of it?” I asked and turned my head to look at him. But what I saw came as a shock.

Bruce wasn’t there.

I quickly stood up and looked around frantically. My heart pounded so hard I swear my whole body pulsed along with it. He was just there. He had just asked me a question. I remembered hearing his voice. A sudden thought about the second coming of Christ raced through my mind and suddenly I felt like I was in Left Behind. I looked out the glass door to make sure he wasn’t having a cigarette, but he wasn’t there. I even stupidly lifted a couple of throw pillows as if he were a lost tv remote.

Suddenly I heard Robert’s voice and it made me jump, “Carl, what are you doing?”

“Oh umm, I thought I lost something.” I lied, putting my hands behind my back as if I were hiding something.

“You have an outcall… they want you to come in twenty minutes, so you’ll have to leave here now.”

“Ok,” I said, hardly holding in my disappointment. I debated telling Robert that I wasn’t able to do it. Just tell him you’re sick, I said to myself. Instead I said out loud, “Hey, do you know where Bruce went?”

“Carl, Bruce has been gone for about an hour with a client.”

 

*    *    *    *   *    *

 

I had a mini panic attack in the taxi ride to the hotel to see the client.

When I was with the client I was unable to perform at my peak. The client looked at me with disappointment and within 15 minutes told me to go home and go to bed. I still got paid, but it was the first time a client had kicked me out.

“You’re terrible,” the client said before shutting the door on me.

Stupidly I went back to work in hopes that Nick and Brendan were back. Luckily they were and I told Nick about how fucked up I felt.

“Oh my god, really? I feel fine. It’s probably in your head.” Nick said.

Brendan said more bluntly, “You just can’t handle it.”

“No, this is seriously fucked you guys. I’ve never felt like this before.” I pleaded.

“You just don’t know how to let the high take over. Stop fighting it.” Brendan advised me.

“I don’t think that’s what this is.” I said as a last ditch effort to make them realise that I felt like something was wrong with me.

Even though I knew that Robert knew I was high, I didn’t want to give him any excuse to bring it up. So instead of doing the smart thing and going home, I stayed at Knight Call.

I got another client that night. This time the client came to Knight Call to use one of the rooms.

I entered the room. I took my clothes off. I hopped on the bed. He pulled me in. I kissed him once. Then he said, “Nope. Naw. Nope. Fuck this. I don’t want you. You’re fucked. I don’t want you.”

“What are you talking about? I’m fine.” I said a little too brashly.

“You’re not even hard, and your skin stinks. Something is wrong with you.”

I was immediately offended, “Umm my dick isn’t a fucking button that I can turn on and off. I don’t just get hard immediately.”

“No, I don’t want you. I want someone else.”

“But I…”

“Please leave now.”

When I shut the door behind me I realised I didn’t even get any money off him.

I now hold the record for the quickest to be kicked out of the room… I was in there for less than two minutes. I also was the first one to be kicked out twice in one day.

After being kicked out a second time that day I decided to bite the bullet and go home.

When I went to bed I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t toss and turn, instead I lay perfectly still staring up at the ceiling, watching it pulsate and pondering my sanity.

It’s not easy being green,” I silently sang, “It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.

The pulsating ceiling turned from being frightening to being comforting. Soon I found myself drifting to a much needed sleep.

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The Truth: Part 34

In King’s Cross there lived a homeless woman. The first time I saw her was the first day I arrived in Sydney. She had long brown hair and wore a purple sweater with black sweat pants. She was begging on the street and I gave her a few coins. She was sitting on a heap of bundled blankets on the concrete, yelling obscenities at other homeless people walking by. The next time I saw her I bought her a burger. Her face looked leaner and her teeth were more yellow. She smiled and said thanks. I saw her around quite often, but she never seemed to remember who I was.

“She’s so disgusting,” Nick commented once when we both had seen her on the street, “I never give her money because she’s obviously using it for crystal meth.”

Overtime I would see her less and less, and when I would spot her the features on her face were more sunken and her teeth started going brown. I saw her once pulling uneaten sushi rolls out of the garbage and eating them.

She asked me once, “Oi, do you have any spare change?”

“No sorry, I don’t.”

“Fuck you, cunt.”

The last time I ever saw her I was waiting in line to buy coffee before a shift at Knight Call. I was tired and coming down off crystal meth. She came into the shop and started yelling, “Does anyone have any spare change? I need a coffee!” Most of her hair had fallen out and I think she had a tooth missing. Her voice wasn’t as soft as it was before. Nobody even turned to look at her. She started going up to every person and individually asking them, but they all shook their heads.

She finally came up to me and asked, “Can I have two dollars, mate? I really want a coffee.”

I replied, “I won’t give you two dollars, but if you wait with me in line I’ll buy you a coffee.”

“I hate the coffee here. I want two dollars to buy coffee somewhere else.” Her breath smelt like rotting flesh.

I snapped, “Well you’re homeless so you really can’t be that picky.”

“Fuck you, mate!” She stormed off.

After she left I grabbed one of my teeth and wiggled it. It was firmly in place.

At Knight Call I started seeing this old man with white hair. He made me laugh, and we would shoot the shit for the better part of the hour. He came in to see me twice in one week. On the second visit he asked me, “Do you like anyone here?”

“No not really,” I answered as I rolled over to the side to look at him.

“I don’t mean like, crush like. Is there anyone here you think is good looking?”

“Kind of, yeah.”

With a cheeky grin he asked, “Who is it? I would like to have a double with you and a guy you think is really hot.”

I had never done a double with another escort before. I debated just telling him that I didn’t want to, the prospect of it made me nervous. For another escort to see how I act in the room seemed like someone would be infringing on personal matters. I acted very different with my clients than I did in real life, so I wasn’t sure about having another person I worked with witness my client persona.

The white haired man continued, “… think of it as a gift from me to you, to be able to sleep with anyone you think is really hot.”

I was quiet for a few seconds, contemplating if I wanted to say the name of the boy I really would’ve liked to have sex with. I said with a grin, “As long as you don’t tell them that it was a gift. I don’t want them to know that I’m the one who set this up.”

“Thats fair enough. So whom shall it be?”

I couldn’t hide my smile, “Jake.”

“Oh, and who is he?”

“He’s this really muscular guy that I work with. He’s pretty cool, sometimes really annoying. He drives me home from work on the nights I work late once in awhile.”

“Sounds fun. I’ll set it up once we are finished here.”

It took Jake only one day to find out we had a booking with a client together. He announced it in front of the entire brothel.

“Cody and I are having a double in a week,” Jake said loudly to all the boys in the Boy’s Room. He had a cheeky grin and looked directly at me, “I’ll be your first double, correct?”

“Yeah, you will.” I couldn’t hide me smile.

“He booked it for next tuesday. Are you excited?” He asked, obviously happy he still had the attention of the room.

“Meh, I don’t really care.” I said nonchalantly. A couple of the boys laughed.

Jason, Bruce’s boyfriend, had started working that week. We all thought they were a cute couple. Everyone remained thoroughly entertained at their Irish accents, making them say words like ‘leprechaun’ and ‘thursday’ and laughing when they pronounced it ‘Tuuuuursday’. Jason seemed really nice, though. He seemed to care for other people and wasn’t like most of the other boys. He obviously liked to make people laugh, and he had a devilishly charming smile.

Immediately Jason got along well with all of the boys, and many fancied him as he was really good looking. He had a second job working in a gay underwear shop located near Oxford Street (the gay street.) I got along with him very well, and it didn’t take long before he became a good work mate of mine. We would spend time telling funny stories and smoking darts in the outdoor area, but outside of work we had never hung out.

The week went by as I was getting to know the Irish couple at work, and Jake texted me everyday saying:

Five more days till we have that double….

 

Four more days….

 

Three more! Are you nervous?

 

Two more days and we have that double.

 

Tomorrow is the day!

Then the day arrived. I was nervous. The client had booked it for early afternoon, but requested that I came into the room for the first fifteen minutes alone and then go down into the Boy’s Room to collect Jake when we were ready. I liked this plan as it gave me time to calm my nerves. I smoked a cigarette minutes before the white haired man was supposed to arrive. When he arrived and we met in the room I told him I was nervous and he said, “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.” He didn’t seem to understand that I was nervous because this was the only thing I wanted to do for the past three months. Sleeping with Jake was something I wanted for a long time.

After fifteen minutes I went down the stairs and collected Jake.

“You nervous?” He asked.

“Nah, this will be fun.” I said with as little emotion as possible.

Jake disappointingly blew his load within 5 minutes and then begged me not to tell the other boys; he was obviously embarrassed. We had kissed roughly, the client sitting naked on the chair watching us throw each other around a bit. Then when it came to the actual sex Jake didn’t last long at all.

“I just don’t want people knowing.” He said once again before we left the room.

“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.” I promised, but it wasn’t even an hour after our session that I had told everyone about it. Payback was a bitch for when he let everyone know I had gonorrhea the week previous.

Nick was jealous that I had the double with Jake and acted snarky with me the rest of the afternoon. Nick had fancied Jake for a while, his crush being strengthened once when Jake and him cuddle on the Boy’s Room couch one afternoon (Photo evidence of this was provided to me by Matt, the Brothel stalker and good friend, as I was not there during the cuddlement). Nick had been wanting to be the first one to have a double with Jake, but I beat him to it.

“He blew within five minutes,” I laughed as I was telling Nick.

“That’s because he probably wanted to get the fuck out of there.” Nick said with satisfaction, which didn’t make sense to me because normal people blow early because they’re too riled up.

That night we decided to go on a big bender at my place. Nick’s intentions seemed to be that he needed drugs to alleviate the emotions he was showing towards the situation with Jake. Nick hated emotions. The rest of us just wanted a fun night on it. Scott would be sleeping, so it didn’t matter to us that he was there. He would’ve never found out that we were smoking crystal meth. Nick brought the poker set, and Brendan drove him and I to my place in little Chippendale. On the way we picked up four points of crystal from Brendan’s dealer, a man who would literally throw the meth off his third story balcony in an envelope and Branden would have to try and catch it as it was falling. Branden would then put the money in the dealer’s letter box. I guessed that the dealer was trying to be smart and not get caught dealing by the police, but I thought that having random people stand under your balcony trying to catch falling envelopes seemed way more peculiar than doing a deal in person.

“We are such meth addicts,” Branden said while driving from the dealers.

“I’m not,” said Nick, “I just do it every once in awhile.”

“Fuck off, we are all addicted.” Branden laughed.

“I don’t think I am. I’m not loosing my hair and my teeth aren’t brown. I can control it,” Nick retaliated.

“Look at us, we do it all the fucking time. It’s ok to be addicted. It’s better when you just admit it.”

Everyone was quiet. I cleared my throat, “I’m addicted.”

“Of course you fucking are!” Branden howled.

“Well you two may say that you’re addicted, but I know that I’m not.” Nick hissed.

“If you’re not addicted then don’t have any tonight.” Brendan looked at Nick with malevolence.

“Fuck off,” Nick’s eyes were wide, “I paid for my half of this for tonight, I’m not gonna waste it.”

“Whatever you say,” Brendan gave up.

I instinctively grabbed one of my teeth and wiggled it. I was sitting in the back seat of Brendan’s car, which was silent.

My tooth was still firmly in place.

The Truth: Part 32

Statistically, escorts would have many clients who were HIV positive. I never had a client fully come forward and tell me that he was positive, but in a city where the HIV rate among gay men was 1 in every 10 I assumed that a few of them were.

Dean was still working at the brothel at the time of Scott’s return. Although I hadn’t heard from Blaire in a few weeks I knew that she was still hanging out with him. Dean wouldn’t come in and work shifts, he was strictly booking only so I never saw him hanging around the brothel.

One slow day at Knight Call I managed to get only one client. He was Asian, wore glasses and had a skinny frame. He was very awkward at first, but once I gave him a massage I felt his body relax and he engaged in conversation.

“Have you ever heard of Dean?” He asked me lying naked on his back. I lay beside him looking up at the ceiling.

“Yeah, I know him. The kiwi guy, right?”

“Yeah, him. I had him last week.”

I rolled over to face the client. I loved gossiping about other escorts with my clients, it helped me learn what they liked and disliked, “And how was he?”

“Well, he’s very good looking, which is a shame because he was shit in bed.”

I chuckled, “Really? Why was he shit?”

“He didn’t want to do anything with me. He only wanted to give a massage and to get me to suck him off. He refused to touch me or do anything to me. What a waste of money.”

“I’ve had someone tell me that before, I think it’s because he’s straight.”

“Yeah, maybe. But is he really straight?”

“Probably not.” I laughed.

“And he said something to me at the end. Something very odd.” He paused as if hesitating to say what it was.

“What did he say?” I egged him on.

“Well, at the end of the session he told me that… he told me that I shouldn’t bother booking anyone else here.”

It didn’t surprise me. Dean was cut-throat and would do anything to keep a client as a regular. But what the client said next really took me aback.

“He said that you were all dirty and diseased.”

I shot up into a sitting position, “He said what?”

“He said that most of the boys here didn’t use condoms and that most of you had HIV or other STD’s.”

“That little…” I wanted to say cunt but I didn’t want to offend the client, “poop.” The client seemed to enjoy that I was flustered, I continued a rant. “Who does he think he is? Going around say all that… stuff. No wonder he gets so many clients. I wonder how many people he has told this to? Did he say any specific names?”

“No, he said just all of you.”

“That crazy…” I couldn’t hold it in, “…fuck.”

After the client had left I took no time running into the boy’s room to announce it to everyone. Word got around to Pete the owner, and when Pete confronted Dean about it Dean blatantly denied saying it. I was called into the office by Pete one night.

“Carl, please sit.” Pete usually used my escort name in place of my real name. I sat in the office chair opposite of him. “You must not go around spreading these rumours about Dean any longer. I have banned that client from ever coming here again, he obviously was looking to start drama.”

“But I think he was telling the truth.”

“Carl, I have known Dean for a long time. I trust his word.”

That was the end of that conversation.

As the days passed I noticed a change in my body. What started as a tingling feeling in my nether regions turned into a painful burn every time I peed. I was scared and I didn’t tell anyone about it. I let it go on for two days, hoping that the pain would go away on it’s own. I started getting a thick yellow discharge and the pain became so unbearable that I was scared of peeing altogether.

I went to the free clinic for prostitutes the next day by myself. I told Nick to wait for me at work.

The nurse ran through all the tests, doing blood work, anal swabs, a very uncomfortable penis swab (which entails sticking a cotton swab up the urethra), and a urine sample. When she inspected my penis she almost immediately said she was certain it was gonorrhea. She had the Doctor to come in and look at it and he concurred.

“Now, it will take about a week for the test results to come back to prove whether or not it actually is gonorrhoea,” the Doctor said, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose, “But we are going to give you the medication today as a precautionary. You are an escort, correct?”

‘Yes I am.” I said quietly while swallowing back tears.

“You won’t be able to do escort work for a week from today,” He leaned back in his chair, “The reason being that gonorrhoea can raise your risk of getting other diseases such as HIV significantly, so it’s safer to take a week’s break.” He noticed I looked upset and said, “Don’t worry, gonorrhoea isn’t too bad. It’ll clear up in a week and you’ll be, umm, back to normal.”

The treatment for gonorrhoea included a week’s worth of large white pills you need to take daily, and a one-time needle in the butt.

I mistakenly thought the needle wouldn’t hurt that bad, but after it was done I could hardly walk on the leg that was attached to that butt cheek.

I walked with a pimp limp, head down in shame, to Knight Call. Luckily it was Dave who was manager that day so I told him the truth about why I couldn’t work the roster that week and he said he’d keep my secret. I went into the boy’s room sheepishly and told Nick to come outside for a cigarette with me.

Nick laughed when I told him, “OH MY GOD! That’s so funny! Even I haven’t got any STI’s yet! Who did you get it from?”

“I have no idea.”

“Wait, you’ve been using condoms, right?”

“Of course I am!”

“Well then how the fuck did you get it?” He took a drag of his cigarette.

“The doctor said that if someone has gonorrhoea in the throat they can give it to you when they give you a blowjob.” I paused, wondering how to word the next question, “You let clients suck you off without a condom too, right?”

“Yeah of course. Everyone does.” Nick swished his cigarette through the air.

I bit my lip, “But, do you sometimes suck clients off without a condom?”

“It depends on who they are.”

I slowly nodded and looked down at the ground. It was a cloudy day so I didn’t cast a shadow. I took the last drag of my cigarette and flicked it into the ash tray.

Since there was no point in staying at Knight Call I decided to head home. Scott was awake when I went into the room to check on him. He yelped in pain as he struggled to sit up. I sat on the bed next to him.

“I thought you were at work, darling?” Scott asked drearily. I could tell his eyes were having a hard time focussing.

“I am unable to work for the next week.” I replied with a mock frown.

“Oh no. What happened?” Scott looked at me as if he knew the answer.

I let out an almost guilty smile, “I found out today that I have gonorrhoea.”

“Oh that’s awful. From who?” His voice was uneven.

“I don’t know,” I realised I hadn’t had sex with anyone but clientele for the last month so I added, “A client.”

“Are you ok? Do you want to talk about it?”

“No, I think I’m alright. I’m a little bummed out about it but the doctor explained everything to me and it should clear up soon.”

Scott was quiet, and then he said with a cheeky smile, “You’re a dirty bitch.” Then he tried to chuckle but each laugh sent pain through his body so instead he ended up wincing and moaning in pain. Scott fell quiet and sunk down into the bed. “I need to rest.” He said it with a pang of defeat.

I left him alone and went down into my room. I suddenly realised that, for the past two and a half months since I started working in the brothel, work was my whole life. I worked almost every single day and partied almost every single night. I could still do the partying for the next week, but I was at a loss of what to do for an entire week without the brothel.

I messaged Nick: What are we doing tonight?

Nick replied: I heard the threesome (Chris, Ben, and Jay) wanted to get together tonight for some. (Meaning a night on crystal meth)

Me: I’m in.

The Truth: Part 31

Scott was living back up in his room after that agonising night on the couch, his nightly screams continued but at least were muffled in his new location. He managed to get his hands on a wheelchair, kindly donated to him from an organization in which he was affiliated with.

Scott was unable to walk up and down the stairs, so every day I would have to deliver him food from the kitchen, or bring him up cigarettes, or any toiletries. Luckily Scott had a couple friends who would make food deliveries to the house. They would come with fully cooked meals that I would store in the fridge and deliver up when needed. I still had to feed Deniro every day and bathe him once a week.

Most nights I would come home from work just to simply check if Scott was still alive. Calling him was pointless because he was sleeping most of the time. He’d be in such a prescription drug slumber that no noise would wake him. I was sure I would come home one day and find him dead; one time I was sure he was. He lied twisted in the bed with his tongue hanging out, his breathing was so shallow it was unnoticable. I rushed to his bedside and shook him. He woke after a few good shakes, simply opened his eyes and weakly said ‘Hey darling’ before passing out again.

Once I had checked him and took out some garbage or dishes from him room, I would deliver up anything he needed. I would then get ready and leave the house again. I was out with the boys drinking and smoking almost every night.  

One night someone suggested we go to a place I had never been before; a sex sauna.  

I went with Matt, Brendan, and Nick.

The entrance to the sauna was fairly discreet despite its busy location. It was nestled in a corner building just a block off Oxford Street (Sydney’s gay street). It was past 12 at night, and we waited in a small line.

“That will be twenty dollars,” said the front desk attendant as we reached the front of the line. He clarified, “Twenty dollars each.”

I paid in cash and he handed me a towel and pointed me in the direction of the locker room. I waited until everyone had paid, and we all walked in together. I was really nervous and Nick could tell.

“You’re gonna be fine. Just relax.” He said.

“I’m actually kind of scared.”

“I’ll be with you the whole time. Don’t be such a baby. God.” Nick snapped.

The lockers had an assortment of older men undressing and I tried to suppress my laughter at their nakedness. I looked towards Nick with horror as the men gawked at us, and we both ferociously giggled and safely found lockers as far away from the wrinkly older men as possible.

I was too embarrassed to get naked in front of everyone, so I held the white towel around me as I took off my pants and underwear. Then I tightly wrapped it around my body.

“Let’s go to the sauna first.” Matt suggested.

The sauna and steam rooms were located downstairs. I slowly crept down the stairs afraid of what I might be about to witness. Luckily there were only three men in the sauna in opposite corners looking very timid. The men shifted their posture as we approached and I had the sudden realisation that I would have to remove my protective towel in order to enter.

Nick, Brendan and Matt hardly took any time removing their towels and entering the sauna, but I hesitated for a second too long and everyone gave me weird looks. I removed my towel and quickly used one hand to cover my crotch and basically ran and jumped into the sauna.

“Fuck, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.” Brendan said about my modesty. I swear one of the older men was licking his lips.

We sat in the sauna, the bubbling water providing safety from prying eyes looking at my bits, and became boisterous. We laughed and splashed each other at the expense of the other men who were trying to relax. Soon the heat of the water was getting to our heads, and Matt started nodding off.  

“Oh my god, look at Matt!” Nick laughed at Matt who slept with his head back in an unnatural angle. Suddenly Matt’s head rolled forward and dumped right in the water. We waited a second for him to wake up, but when he didn’t I quickly waded over and rescued him. I lifted his head out of the water.

“What are you doing?” Matt said groggily.

“You fell asleep and were about to drown!” I replied.

“I didn’t fall asleep.” Matt retaliated as he rested his head on the edge of the sauna and fell asleep again.

We waited a few minutes and decided we wanted to look around, but when we tried to wake Matt up he told us to leave him there.

“I don’t want to leave him,” I said. I added more quietly, “He’s drunk and I don’t know what these guys will do to him if we leave him.”

“That’s his problem.” Brendan said brashly.

“Yeah, who cares. He can take care of himself.” Nick agreed.

“I’m not going to leave him alone here.” I said firmly.

“Fine, if you want to stay here with him then you can. I’m going to go look around.” Brendan got out of the sauna and wrapped the towel around himself. Nick followed.

I was left alone with a sleeping Matt and two old men.

I sat in the sauna and tried to look interested in everything but the two other men in the sauna. One of them was sitting across from me, and when I was checking out a poorly painted mural on the wall I felt something between my legs. It was the man’s foot.

My head whipped down to look at him as he rubbed me. At first I was shocked. He wore a crooked smile and was quite older, but he wasn’t bad looking. I could tell he had a nice body even though most of it was submerged in the water. Before I knew it I reached my foot out under the water and touched him too.

This man and I fooled around without words while Matt slept a couple feet away.

The man left the sauna once he was done and left Matt and I alone. I violently shook Matt awake and told him to go home if he was too tired.

The second level of the sauna was a giant dark sex maze. Literally. There were gloryhole nooks, sex swings, dead ends, and small rooms with “beds” in them (“Beds” because it really was just a platform with a mat on top of it). The maze really freaked me out. The walls of the maze were painted black and there was hardly any light. A couple times I walked around a corner directly into someone else. A few times a stray hand in the shadows reached out and grabbed me. Nick laughed at how on edge I was. While I was inspecting a glory hole he snuck around to the other side and put his hand through the hole and grabbed my leg. I screamed so loud that a few strangers congregated around to see what the commotion was.

Pretty soon I got the hang of the maze. I would confidently pull stray hands off my body and started walking around alone. None of the men were my type so when I was about to call it quits I was surprised when a tall man accidentally ran into me. Our eyes met. He was tall, muscular, tanned, and Italian. He grabbed my hand and without another word said, “You’re coming with me.”

We had sex in one of the rooms.

The Truth: Part 27

Scott had just called me, Deniro’s neck was bleeding, and I was high as fuck. He reminded me of the birthday that I missed and had asked me about Deniro. Luckily he was also fucked up on his own form of prescribed medicines so he was unable to sense the unease and paranoia in my voice.

“I went outside today,” He said proudly, but quickly grew sad, “I was so scared.”

“Well that’s good you left,” I praised him, “That’s such a good step.”

“I had a hard time crossing the street. I was so scared of the cars,” He paused and then added, “I have to wheel myself around in a wheelchair, you know?”

“Oh… well you are going to be able to walk again, right?”

“Yeah, but that’s what I wanted to call you about. Deniro hasn’t been a pain to deal with, has he?”

“No way,” I look down once again at his bleeding neck, “I like taking care of him.”

“Would you be against looking after him for a longer period of time?”

“Yeah, that should be ok,” I assured him.

“Ok, because the doctor told me today that I won’t be released from hospital until September.”

SEPTEMBER, I think to myself, THAT’S MONTHS AWAY! I responded with, “That should be ok. Don’t worry about us, just focus on your recovery.”

“Thanks hun.”

The conversation ended there. I wished him luck and hung up the phone.

The five of us grabbed our coffees and teas and went back to my place. I brought Deniro into the bathroom with a roll of paper towels and cleansed his wound. I got the bleeding to stop but didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t even know where the nearest vet was nor did I have a vehicle to take Deniro to the vet in. In my drugged state I decided to let the wound run it’s own healing course and wish for the best. I decidedly neglected something that needed immediate attention, and I take full responsibility for that now. I had a shift at KC that day, but when I came back that night I checked Deniro’s injury again and cleaned it once more. Deniro was very patient as I cleansed it. He didn’t move or whimper as I dabbed his wound with paper towels. When I was done nurturing his wound I looked him deep in the eyes and started tearing up. I was stretched thin from the stress of the day; from the stress of having these responsibilities, of not knowing when Scott would come back, of trying to fit in, the stress of work and how toxic it became because of Chris and Ben; but when I looked at Deniro and his unrelenting patience with me I felt as if all those problems sunk away. He needed me as much as I needed him. Deniro slept by my door that night for the first time.

Sleeping after a three day meth bender was harder than imagined. You’d think that after three days your body would be begging to sleep, but instead I lay with my eyes closed for hours. Just when I’d be about to sleep my body would jolt and I would be wide awake again. Once I did fall asleep though I was in such a state that only a good shake would’ve woken me. The mornings were for regret, and usually for crying as well. As I stumbled to try and get ready for the day, the come down in full force, I felt empty and emotionless. The smallest thing would make me burst in tears, and there was numerous times I cried to the Les Miserables soundtrack. I felt heavier with each step when I was walking to work. I would have my sunglasses firmly in place with a power drink gripped in one hand. I would sometimes get shaky and my breath would get uneven. My heart would be racing and I would have to tell myself that it was all in my head. In my comedowns I would always tell myself, Next time I’ll wait a week before having more, or I would think, Maybe I won’t do it for three days in a row next time. But once the comedown was gone it was also forgotten and all I could remember was the unforgettable high that preceded it.

One night Chris, Ben, Matt, Brendan, Nick, and I met at Nick’s apartment. Since Matt was there we tried to keep the drug use on the down low and had it prepared and hidden in the bathroom. When one of us felt like we needed a hit we would excuse ourselves to the bathroom and take a puff or two (or three… or four…). Brendan and Nick were obviously less worried about keeping it from Matt as they would usually both go into the bathroom together. At one point Chris, Ben, Brendan, Nick and I were ALL in the tiny bathroom before Brendan noticed and said, “Fuck, not all of us at once! He’s gonna know!”

Matt wasn’t as stupid as we loved to pretend he was, so he knew right away. He didn’t say much about it but still gave his judgemental two-cents. It was quiet royal coming from a gambling addict and ex-stoner.

When Matt went to the bathroom (to actually USE the bathroom for it’s intended purposes) Brendan leaning in close to Nick and I and whispered, “Let’s play a prank on Matt.”

“Ohmygod yes,” said Nick, “That would be HILARIOUS.”

Besides his normal job and working at KC, Matt also worked as a private escort and advertised online (as a rent boy). Although it was riskier, private escorts made double (sometimes triple) the amount that escorts in a brothel made. Instead of giving some money to the brothel owner, you kept the whole sum for yourself. The trade off was that you had to handle your own calls, emails, texts, and transportation; basically the manager’s job.

“Let’s text Matt’s rent boy account and pretend to be a client,” said Brendan, obviously proud of his plan. Matt had two phones; his personal phone and his work phone. Our plan was to text his work phone pretending to be a client that was interested in his services and see where it went from there.

“Yes!” exclaimed Nick. I nearly gasped at how funny the potential was. We were all in agreeance.

Brendan texted Matt from a blocked number just as Matt came out of the bathroom. When I saw Matt I was pathetically having a hard time composing myself even though nothing had happened yet. I pretended to look out the window so that he wouldn’t see the stupid smirk that was struck across my face. Matt pulled his work phone out of his pocket when he felt it vibrate. As a group we never hid work-related things. Work was our entire lives.

Matt unknowingly corresponded with Brendan for a while. Brendan came up to me at one point and said, “Do you think I should send him a picture of this guy and pretend it’s the client?” I furiously agree and he sends it. It was a picture of a hot, shirtless lebanese man.

Almost immediately Matt looked at his work phone and said with excitement, “Holy shit! Holy shit guys! Look at the hot client that wants to hire me tonight.” He goes around the room and shows everyone the picture on his phone. He was beaming. I tried my best not to laugh.

Brendan consulted with Nick and they both decided to pretend that the client’s address was the apartment complex next door, that way we could secretly watch Matt walk to his ‘client’s’ apartment and witness his disappointment. They texted him the address.

“Oh my god!” yelled Matt, “He lives like, right there!” He pointed out the sliding glass doors toward the apartment complex, “I’m sorry guys I’ll have to leave you. If he wasn’t so hot I might pass but this is just too good!”

“That’s ok,” we replied, trying our hardest to act at least somewhat disappointed.

Matt left the apartment in a rush. When the door closed behind Matt, Brendan sent him one last text. It read: Will you do bareback with me?

Matt texted back: Probably not.

Brendan texts: What if I gave you an extra $500.

Matt: Yes, then I would.

Immediately I feel some humiliation for Matt. Nobody would ever admit to doing bareback with a client. It was so risky, and for someone like Matt to admit he would, even with his fear of HIV, was embarrassing. I had a slight feeling that maybe we went too far with that question, but was still laughing along regardless.

We scrambled to the balcony and watched Matt head towards the complex next door. He stopped at the gate and texted: Your apartment number isn’t on here? (We gave him a fake apartment number so that he wouldn’t accidentally buzz someone in that complex).

Brendan texted: Yes it is.

Matt: No, it’s not.

And then Matt calls Brendan’s number. Brendan tells us all to shut up and then answered the phone yelling, “Yes it is cunt!” The five of us lost our shit laughing. I am howling as Matt tried to explain miserably that he knew it was us all along, “Yeah right!” yelled Brendan, “You fucking didn’t know shit,” then he said in a mocking voice, “look guys, he’s soooooo hot!” I laugh even harder.

Brendan decided to meet Matt outside of the elevator, and when the doors opened and Matt saw Brendan, he took a swing at his face.

We laughed. It was a really good time. Matt cooled down after a minute and laughed himself.

“We should plan a vacation together,” Matt suggested after Ben and Chris left to go home for the night.

We all agreed that was a good idea. 

The Truth: Part 24

In the land of Gods and Monsters
I was an Angel
Looking to get fucked hard
Like a groupie incognito posing as a real singer
Life imitates art

You got that medicine I need
Dope, shoot it up, straight to the heart please
I don’t really wanna know what’s good for me
God’s dead, I said ‘baby that’s alright with me’

– Gods and Monsters, Lana Del Rey

I was nervous and uncertain of how to properly do crack. Brendan held the pipe for me up to my mouth with one hand, with his other hand he ignited a lighter and held it under the glass. White smoke started billowing out of the pipe and Brendan told me to start inhaling. He stressed that I would need to inhale slowly, and to inhale for as long as I could. Once my lungs were at capacity I removed my mouth from the pipe and held it in.

“Don’t hold it in, just let it out right away,” said Nick.

I exhaled. The smoke didn’t taste like much when being inhaled, but when exhaled it had that burnt plastic quality that hung in the back of my throat. It wasn’t a horrible taste, but it wasn’t a comfortable one either.

“How long do I have to wait?” I asked.

“It’ll kick in a few minutes,” answered Brendan, “We’ll just let you have that little bit to see how you feel, then if you’re ok you can have more later.”

Ten minutes pass and I don’t feel anything. “I think it’s not working, I don’t feel a thing,” I said.

Brendan laughs, “Cody look at your pupils, they’re HUGE. You’re fucked.”

“But I don’t feel any different,” I explained.

“That’s the point,” exclaimed Brendan, “But don’t you feel on top of your game? When I do it I feel like I can run a marathon.”

“Yeah, I guess,” I pondered, I did feel like I was more awake and alert than before. I also felt like talking, another effect of crack. “So this is crack… as in, like, crack cocaine, right?”

“What the fuck,” Nick gasps, “You’re fucking kidding me, right?”

Brendan laughs, “Crack isn’t crack cocaine. This is meth babes.”

“Crystal meth?” I was shocked, “But I thought ‘crack’ meant crack cocaine?”

Nick shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know. This is what I was told it was called.”

“Oh fuck,” I grumbled, but then I start laughing, “Holy fuck… I went from only ever doing marijuana to one of the worst drugs in the world.”

I was enjoying the seemingly non-existent feeling of crystal meth. I noticed my speech ran at one million miles per hour and when I had gone to the bathroom to look at myself in the mirror I saw that my pupils were like giant black saucers. Brendan, Nick and I laughed and talked about the random things. Then Brendan’s two friends arrived and immediately had some crack and joined in the conversations.

“It’s his first time!” Brendan yelled and pointed at me.

“How does it feel?” Said one of Brendan’s friends.

“I feel so good.” I replied.

Brendan would have to hold the pipe for me while I took more puffs which, at first, made me feel like an idiot, but after that first couple times I didn’t care. I realised I didn’t care about a lot of things that I normally cared about while I was on meth. Meth turned the rational part of my brain off and I found myself saying things that I normally wouldn’t. I was becoming louder and more boisterous. I also had a nervous tick that annoyed Brendan and Nick: I would ask everyone if they were ok every half hour.

Later in the night Brendan received a frantic phone call from a girl. I can’t remember the full details of what was wrong with her, but when Brendan hung up he told us that we had to make a trip to her boyfriend’s townhouse. The gist of what I can remember is that her boyfriend was a drug dealer and that the cops either had just raided his place, or were about to, or both, or that they were getting removed from it… either way the girl was upset and she needed to get out of the house as soon as possible.

So we all go with Brendan on an adventure to help this girl out at 3 am.

I realised that the townhouse was very close to the place I was living in Chippendale. From the outside the house looked pretty run down. The tenants must’ve lost the actual house numbers because instead they had painted a giant 180 beside the door in white paint. I felt like I was in a movie as we walked in the front door. The place was rundown and derelict. It was a stereotypical drug house. Brown and yellow stains ran up the white walls and onto the ceiling. The place wasn’t furnished except for a green couch that looked like it had rats living inside of it. The floors were messy with garbage and the floor boards were ripped in places. The odor of the house was sour and there was a dampness that hung in the air. The lighting was dim which cast everything in long shadows. Brendan walked into the townhouse nonchalantly, but upon entering Nick immediately clasped his hands together and held them close to his chest. I followed suit and it was obvious both of us were scared to touch anything.

I was introduced to the girl by Brendan. She talked at a high speed as she thanked us all for coming. She made us follow her up the stairs into the bedroom. The stairs were slanted and I tripped trying to walk up them. The bedroom had a musky odor and the gray carpet was stained and ripped. A stained mattress lay in the middle of the floor with a dismantled bed frame beside it.  

The girl tried to ask Brendan for some crack in a way that screamed hidden desperation. As he carefully took out the black bag and slowly opened it to reveal the glass pipe I noticed her squirming in place. She rubbed her hands together, and then rubbed them down her legs. Her face lit up when she saw the pipe. She spoke at a speed that could only be described as ultrasonic as she failed to make us think she wasn’t too focussed on Brendan preparing the pipe. She asked us basic questions but kept eyeing Brendan, and once he had the pipe prepared she basically leapt towards him. She smoked an inhuman amount of crystal and I noticed Brendan looked unimpressed as she inhaled the drugs that he bought.

Brendan splayed on the stained mattress while I cautiously sat on the corner of it trying my best not to touch anything. Nick decided to stand and looked ill. I grew annoyed with the banter between Brendan and the girl so I decided to go back downstairs and find the bathroom. I almost tripped down the stairs again but recovered myself by putting my hands on the wall, which was sticky. There was a man I hadn’t noticed before sitting on the green couch. His eyes were bulging and fixated on his phone. The phone’s screen cast strange colors onto the man’s shaded face, the spark of humanity seemed to be drained out of his long facial features. He looked zombified as his mouth hung partially open. He didn’t acknowledge my presence as I found my way to the bathroom.  

The bathroom was so disgusting it was almost unexplainable. The only way to describe it would be that I had seen better bathrooms in Southeast Asia.

Nick was awkwardly standing outside the toilet when I came out.

“That bathroom is disgusting,” I warned him.

“Yeah I’m not going in there,” He says, “This whole place is rancid.”

“Aren’t we supposed to be here to help her? Why are we just sitting around?” I asked.

Nick just shrugged, “I don’t know. I hope we leave soon because I’m going to need a bleach shower after this. I don’t even want to touch anything because I’m afraid I’m gonna catch a disease.”

Earlier, when we first pulled up to the townhouse, I had pointed out to Brendan and Nick that I lived a couple streets down. The girl decided to give Brendan the bedframe since he needed one, and she needed a place to store some of her stuff temporarily. I told her we could bring her boxes of stuff to my place and store it there while my housemate was gone. Brendan’s car was too small for the frame so we decided to store it at my place as well.  

So, at four in the morning, we started running boxes through the streets to my house. Deniro happily greeted us at the door, but once inside I noticed a foul odor as I remembered I hadn’t bathed Deniro in some time and it was long overdue.

“Oh my god what’s that fucking smell?” Brendan gasped and tried to cover his nose. I explained that it was the dog.

The mattress was the hardest to move, but only because most of us were scared to even touch it. It took all of us to get it down the stairs, three of us to run it across the street, and all of us to drag it across my floor to my kitchen. We placed the small boxes of stuff under my kitchen table, along with the bed frame. The mattress we rested against the wall. Nick urgently needed to use my toilet while I grabbed a few items from my room and fed Deniro.

I had a moment to pause and look at all the girl’s stuff in my kitchen. My consciousness tugged at my heart and tried to explain to me that I had seen the warning signs that night. A big part of me felt disturbed, but I wasn’t able to pinpoint what it was. I had a glimmer of truth resting inside of me but I wasn’t able to grasp it. The warning signs were in place, but through the haze of adventure I decided to push them deep down so I couldn’t hear them.
Everything is under control, I told myself.

The Truth: Part 22 and 23

Part 22

I made a trip to the sexual health clinic. I’d like to say it was my first time getting a sexual health screen, but that would be a lie. A few months prior when I was still living in Canada I had to get one done. When I had sex for the first time, it was unsafe. The guy I was sexualising with didn’t have any condoms, and I had lacked in knowledge about sexual health. I had been naive enough to risk it. I secretly booked an appointment with my family doctor and told my parents I was going to hangout with friends. When I arrived to my appointment and told my family doctor why I had come, she scolded me. “Cody,” she said, “I cannot believe a good boy like you is in here for that. How could you be so stupid?” She gave me a stern look, “I better not catch you in here for the same reason again. Legally I’m not allowed to tell your parents, but I’d have a good mind to!”

The sexual health clinic for prostitutes in Sydney is cleaner than expected. It could be easily mistaken for a normal walk-in clinic sans the giant posters on the wall about safe sex, how to properly inject drugs, info about methadone meetings, etc. I forced Nick to come with me because I had been scared to go by myself, but when the nurse called my name I told him to wait outside. I looked back towards Nick before entering the screening room, he was slowly shifting his weight away from a woman in the waiting area who was scratching all over her body and mumbling to herself. A brief moment passes where I thought about bringing him with me. But in the end I entered the screening room without saying anything.

The health screen took longer than expected. She asked me a series of questions about my sexual health history, which sexual roles I engaged in (“Do you give, receive, or both?”), info on HIV, and the last time I had unsafe sex. She asked me if I was a sex worker and I felt uncomfortable when I said yes. She dealt with prostitutes all the time, yet I was embarrassed and my face turned red as she ticked Sex Worker off on the form.  Then I had to do a blood test, rapid HIV throat swab, normal throat swab, pee in a container and stick a swab stick up my butt. The rapid HIV tests came back negative, but the full blood results would return in a week, as well at the other results. The nurse explained to me that the main STD/I’s they looked for were Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis, Herpes, and HIV. I was relieved to hear that the nurse personally thought I was negative on all counts, but I would still have to wait a week to get the official results.

Nick and I went straight into work after the health screening. Dave opened the door for us and said, “You boys should really just go home now.”

“Why?” Asked Nick, “We are scheduled on for tonight.”

“Yeah,” replied David, “You and thirteen other boys.”

The Boy’s Room was packed. Bodies of boys were strewn all about. They were sitting in each other’s laps, some were sitting on the floor. Dave told us that no clients had come in all day. Pete had just arrived as well for the manager change-over to take on the night shift. As the owner of the brothel, Pete wasn’t pleased that there had been no clients. Pete never vocalized his displeasure, he would have a weird, almost worried look come across his face and say methodically, Hmm that’s interesting. He would then come up with a bogus story about the stock market and the economy and use it to excuse the lack of clients; They are holding onto their money, he would say, because they are scared of the falling economy.

There wasn’t any room on the sofas so I grabbed a pillow and sat on the floor. All the boys in the front half of the room were yelling, laughing and talking over one another. The other half seemed moody and remained quiet. There were a few boys I couldn’t recognise but I didn’t really care to make an effort to introduce myself that night. Trying to get a word in was nearly impossible, but a boy finally confirmed a question I had about there had been no clients that day.

“Yeah,” said the boy, “ There has been nothing. Its been so fucking boring!”

A boy shouts, “Everyone fucking leave so that I can get a client!”

“You ugly fuck, no client would actually want you.” Said another, and the boys broke out into a laughter.

Brendan was in the corner of the room and spoke up, “It doesn’t help that half you cunts have the same look as me. If another skinny blonde guy starts working here then I’ll be out of business.” More laughter erupts. I wonder if Brendan thought that when I had first started. I notice that two new blonde skinny boys were on the silent half of the room, talking quietly to themselves.

I turn to Nick and say, “Well, Brendan isn’t wrong,” and then motion towards the two new blondes.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” Nick says, “I’m gonna give Pete a piece of my fucking mind. Between you, Matt, Brendan and I we have enough skinny blondes. He doesn’t fucking need more.”

I had agreed with Nick and stepped outside for a cigarette. I found myself glaring at the new blondes through the sliding glass, thinking about how they might ruin my business. I had been getting a good chunk of the clients for the past couple weeks and didn’t want my winning streak tarnished by new blood. The problem was that the clients loved new boys. I was worried.

Jake stepped outside even though he didn’t smoke, which had me annoyed because that meant he wanted to talk.

“What do you think of the new blondes?” Jake said with goofy grin.

“I’m kinda mad. There is so many of us now.” I reply, taking a drag of my cigarette.

“Yeah it’s kinda funny how there is so many twinks here. I am lucky because I’m basically the only muscle guy.”

“Fuck off.” I say, not even looking at him. I continued to watch the boys through the sliding glass door.

“But it’s true,” he gave a guilty laugh and then continued, “I get the most clients here. I’m not ashamed to admit that. A lot of clients like a muscle top.” I glare at Jake and am about to tell him to fuck off again when he continues, “But, you have got the second most clients out of all the boys here. I’d hate to see you lose clients, you were here before those two so you deserve it.”

I hesitate before saying, “Thanks.”

Jake adds, “That’s why I am going to talk to Pete and try and get rid of them.”

“What?” I respond, “You mean get them fired?”

“Yeah,” Jake says, “Because it’s totally not fair to you or to Nick or anything.” The client bell rings and rejoice floods over the Boy’s Room. Jake says, “Finally,” and goes back inside with me following him.

The client asked to interview all the boys, which took a really long time since there was fifteen of us. Almost half an hour later the interviews were over and Pete went to see which boy has been chosen. Dirty looks shoot across the room as the boys wait in anticipation. A lot of boys had desperation on their face, and I felt bad for them. We all needed money to survive, and some boys had it harder than others. Boys like Jake made thousands of dollars, others barely made anything all all. For most boys, escorting was a last resort, so it was sad to see the desperation on their faces and know that getting a client could mean the difference between going hungry or not. When times were tough and the brothel was slow, boys would look at other boys who got jobs in animosity. Although we knew it was out of our control, we would feel a deep jealousy towards the boys that got too many clients. Some boys even got angry about it.

Pete simultaneously swings open the door and says, “CAAAAAAAAARRRRRL!”

The boys all moan and turn to stare at me. Most of them looked bitter, a few looked angry. I didn’t help the situation by saying, “Who, me?”

“Yes, he wants YOU,” Pete replies, “Hurry up.”

I carefully tip-toe around the boys and make my way to the door. Everyone is relatively quiet as they try and mask their disappointment. In ways it felt good to be picked over everyone else. I quickly glance to the new blondes and think to myself, I’m doing just fine.

Part 23 

Most of the boys had gone by the time I was done with my client. They had grown fed up with waiting and no other clients had walked in the door. Jake was one of the boys whom had left, along with Blake and the two new blondes. Nick had been waiting for me with Brendan and I found them in the back having a fag.

“How was the client?” asked Nick, making room for me to sit beside him on the wooden slats.

I sat down and replied, “Meh, it was alright.”

Brendan spoke up, “I saw you doing the strut up to the door when your name was called.”

I put on a flaming gay voice, “It felt so good,” I put my hand on my heart, “to beat out all you skinny bitches. I wanna thank jesus, my good looks, and…”

Nick cuts in, “Yeah you probably went into the interview and told him you’d do it for free you little slut.” Nick and Brendan laugh.

Brendan adds, “Gave him a little sucky sucky in the interview.”

“Oh you’re just jealous I got him over you guys.” I jokingly bite back.

“Oh yeah, who could be jealous of that?” said Nick.

Brendan basically yells, “He was so disgusting. You can HAVE him!”

We stay and talk for a while before deciding to leave early. Not even the present company could ward off the boredom of waiting for a client. Brendan had a car, so we decided to go to his apartment. I hadn’t been to Brendan’s apartment before, so I was intrigued to see it.

Brendan was an enigma to me. He talked about being a good person but then acted like the biggest bitch of the walk. He was loud, he was stark, and he could be very rude. Despite these flaws he could also be extremely generous, and he could stand up for you when you weren’t able to stand up for yourself. Deep down, under his lost boy persona, there was a very good person that came out once in a while. At the time I considered myself closest to Matt and Nick and furthest from Brendan. The cracks in his tough-guy attitude showed his humanity, which kept me wanting to be his friend, but I tended to keep him at arm’s length.

On the drive over to Brendan’s apartment he was telling us about his racked up debt. I won’t say the amount, only because I can’t remember, but it was definitely on the higher side of five digits. Most of the debt seemed to be from the ridiculous amounts of speeding and parking tickets he would get.

“Cody, we need to make a stop and pick up some stuff.” Brendan said as he looked back at me in the back seat of his car.

“Ok… what are we getting.” I reply, hoping it’s food.

“You can’t get all crazy, ok?”

“I won’t.”

Brendan exchanged a look with Nick and then said, “We are going to get crack.”

“Why would that make me go crazy?” I asked.

“Because you’re this little goody goody and I don’t want you freaking out about it.”

“I won’t freak out. I don’t care.”

“Ok, because we will probably be doing it tonight.” Nick hits Brendan in the arm and Brendan turns to him and yells, “What? He’s gonna be there anyway! He midaswell know!” He turns back to me, “You can try some if you want.”

“No, I promised myself I wouldn’t do any drugs.”

“Well, I’m not going to force you. But if you wanted to try it now might be a good time. It’s just gonna be you, me, Nick, and two of my other friends at my place tonight. We are all going to be doing it so you’ll be the only sober one.”

Brendan parks on the side of the road and goes up to this apartment block. Nick and I wait in the car, and not even five minutes pass before Brendan is running back.

“Whew!” yells Brendan as he hopped in the car, “We gonna get fucked.”

We arrived not long after to Brendan’s apartment. The apartment was beautiful and expansive. It was two levels, three if you included the stunning rooftop terrace. I didn’t know what I was expecting when I entered the apartment, but I was thoroughly impressed. The apartment was clean with a ‘showroom’ kind of feel. The furniture was basic with clean lines and a modern touch. Brendan’s housemate was technically the leaseholder of the apartment, and he resided on the first floor. Up the stairs was Brendan’s bedroom, two balconies (one accessible through Brendan’s room, the other was accessed through the living room), kitchen, living area and the bathroom. The next flight of stairs took you to the rooftop terrace. The terrace was stunning and looked over a small park. The surrounding area was apartment city, which was a shame because the view would’ve been even more spectacular if it was extended beyond the park.

Brendan immediately took us to his bedroom and shut the door. The walls in his room were bare and he didnt even have a bed frame: his mattress was just lying on the floor. Brendan got me to sit on the mattress while he opened the sliding glass mirror to reveal the closet. There he rummaged through some drawers until he found a small black case. He sat on the bed and carefully opened the case to reveal a glass pipe.

“Is that what you smoke it with?” I asked.

Brendan smiles and says, “Of course.”

I watch as he takes out the small bag from his pocket. It’s a square ziplock bag with a clear substance in it (the ‘crack’, as they called it).

“Can I look at it?” I asked, intrigued by the harmless looking drug.

“Just give me a second,” said Brendan as he carefully unzipped the bag. Nick was sitting behind him pretending not to care too much about the process. Brendan carefully took a small section of drinking straw from the black bag and used it to carefully remove a crystal from the bag and dropped it in the pipe. “Here,” he said and zipped up the bag and threw it at me. I inspected the bag and saw that the ‘crack’ looked like large pieces of salt. They were cubed and opaque. I squeezed the crystals between two fingers and felt how hard they were.

Brendan puts the glass pipe to his mouth and sparks a lighter. He is about to hold the lighter up to the glass pipe when he catches my eye, chuckles and says, “Cody, I can’t do this when you are looking at me all wide eyed. Are you gonna be ok?”

“Yeah,” I said sitting up straight, “Sorry I’m just interested in how this works.”

“Mmmkay,” Brendan responded. He sparks the lighter again and holds the pipe to his mouth. He rolls the pipe side to side under the flame, and soon I noticed the crystals melting into a clear liquid and then dissipating into a white smoke. Brendan starts slowly inhaling, and the smoke stops rising out of the top and quickly falls back through the pipe and into his mouth. He diffuses the lighter and inhales the last smoke for a good few seconds before removing the pipe from his mouth and exhaling. The smoke escaped from his mouth in a thick cascade. The smell of the smoke was like a less intense version of burnt plastic. He repeated the process and handed it to Nick. You could tell Nick wasn’t as confident in the practise as Brendan was.

I asked both of them a series of questions about ‘crack’. They tell me that the high is really hard to explain: It’s not hallucinatory, nor does it make your brain fuzzy. They said it was like sleeping for 12 hours and then drinking a large coffee; you feel normal and on the top of your game.

It’s a good hour before Brendan asks me, “Are you sure you don’t want to do any?”

I am silent for a second, “I don’t think I should.”

“There is nothing to be afraid of. You won’t really feel any different. But it’s totally up to you.”

I am completely silent, Nick and Brendan watch me in anticipation.

In the end I feel like it was inevitable. The draw to it seemed unreal. All my life I had the mentality where I wanted to try all, see all, and do all. I had told myself since a young age that I would never do any drugs (except weed), but even then I always felt it was a false promise. I did want to see what it was like. I had the perfect opportunity to try it with a friend I trusted and an environment I felt comfortable. If Nick did it, then it couldn’t be that bad.

“Fine,” I say, “I’ll try it.”