Category Archives: danger

Magdalene

WARNING: Extreme graphic violence. I wanted to write a short story that pushed my writing into taboo areas and pushed the reader in the same way. This story involves torture and rape. Read at your own discretion.

 


He called me Magdalene. It wasn’t my real name, I didn’t hear my real name for years. He proclaimed I was his gift from God. He told me to call him Father many years ago, but my own name for him was The Menstealer. I had been his property since I was 16 years old, kidnapped and placed in a room guarded by a lock on the door.  

I remember the first day in the room so vividly – I was screaming, clawing at the walls to get away from The Menstealer as he approached me quoting words from The Bible. “But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female,” The Menstealer bellowed, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” His eyes bulged and mouth was agape from his last recited word. His hands reached down to his waistline and he started undoing his pants. I started screaming louder, tears streaming down my face. Blood dripped down my arm from a couple fingernails that ripped off while I was scrambling at the walls. He grabbed me by the hair and slammed my head against the concrete.

He raped me nearly every day since then and I hadn’t fought against it for a long time. Whenever I heard him unlocking the door I would climb up on the mattress and lay on my back, opening my legs for him. It made it easier.  

The room had concrete walls, ceiling and floor. When I had first arrived it smelled damp like wet rocks in a riverbed. It took no time before I didn’t notice the scent anymore. A single bare mattress lay in a corner opposite from the door. No blanket or mattress cover was ever provided to me for comfort. The only other amenities in the room were a bucket used for defecating, a roll of tissue paper, and whatever novel he would provide me to pass the time (One that he deemed worthy to God). All my food was served with plastic plates and cutlery and he made sure he got them back after each meal. Clothes were given and rotated to me every couple days, along with another bucket of clean water and a sponge to wash myself.

Once I tried to attack The Menstealer. I held the bucket high over my head when I heard the door unlocking, positioning myself against the wall. I whacked him hard over the head when the door opened. He stumbled forward and I quickly slipped between him and the open door. The Menstealer was swift when he spun around and caught me by the forearm, and with immense strength he flung me to the floor. My head cracked on the ground, briefly causing me to drift out of consciousness. When I had come around my sight was blurry. I saw his figure stand before me. Suddenly there was a sharp pain in my leg. I could hear him screaming maniacally as he lifted his leg and smashed in down on mine over and over, multiple cracks pierced the air. My right leg laid there in an unnaturally shaped L. He had broken it badly, the tibia bone threatened to protrude through the skin. The LORD has disciplined me severely, But He has not given me over to death The Menstealer said to me when he saw me pathetically laying there. He loomed over my broken body, and when he climbed on top of me the pain was so intense that I wailed out and went limp.

My leg never healed properly since. A burden gifted to me.

I laid on the mattress years later with my gimpy leg, reading a novel The Menstealer deemed appropriate. I had been ill for a few days, vomiting so much that he gave me a seperate bucket. Even without any way to know the time, I knew he was late. The Menstealer loved routine, and over the years my internal clock had adjusted to his sick schedules. But he was late. Very very late. I hoped he had died in some terrible accident, but then pushed the thought aside, If he died then I would too. I would be confined to this cell until my mass had withered away.

I heard rustling behind the door. I put down my book, pulled down my pants and lay on the mattress. The locks unclicked and he opened the door slowly. He stood in the door with tears welling in his eyes. The bucket I used to wash myself with was dangling in his hand by the handle. Except it wasn’t the day to be washed, and he had never broken that routine before.

His tears dropped and his lips were curled into a small smile. He was so soft when he finally spoke, “And so that you may live long in the land the LORD swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.” He approached and knelt beside me, another instance that broke routine. He reached out and stroked my cheek, “Beautiful Magdalene,” he passionately whispered, “God has blessed our union.” He set the washing bucket down on the floor and cupped my face in his hands – almost an affectionate gesture if not for the circumstances. It was then I noticed he left the door open, but with him so close I wouldn’t dare make a run for it. He usually locked it behind him when he entered.

He removed the hands from my face and reached into his pocket and provided a small white tube that I couldn’t instantly recognise. He placed it in my hand. It was a pregnancy test. He choked back on his tears when he said, “Magdalene, you are with child.”

A shock ran up from my stomach, a sobering surge that vibrated in my bones. I was kidnapped at a young age, but not young enough to not have had a sexual education. Over the years I assumed he or I was infertile.

“You are pregnant!” The Menstealer loudly pronounced, jumping me out of my horrified thoughts. He lifted his head towards the ceiling, “God blesses us! Thank you LORD!” His hands raised up in a spiritual gesture and I thought about making a run for it. With my disfigured leg I wouldn’t’ve been able to get away fast enough.

“What say you, Magdalene?” He turned his attention back to me. I still clutched the pregnancy test, unable to bring myself to look at it a second time. I knew he wasn’t lying. He wouldn’t lie about something he deemed so important.

I knew now that he was using my bucket full of piss and shit to test my fertility. The thought of him dipping the pregnancy test into my defecation bucket caused me to drop the test. He looked at me sharply and got closer to my face. “The confirmation of God has blessed us. What say you?”

I hardly ever spoke to The Menstealer and when I did it was with my head down in soft words that would please him. This was not that time. I looked him straight in the eyes and hissed, “I’m not going to have your fucking baby.”  

His face burned red and his eyes bulged as his drew back his hand and slapped me. He climbed on top of me and slapped me again. I tried to push him off, but that caused his open hands to become fists and he punched me in the face again and again. I cried out and covered my face with my hand, which he caught and with a loud crack he bent it unnaturally, snapping my wrist. I wailed out and his bulging eyes seemed to recede back into their natural place. His face went soft but still burned red.

“Beautiful Magdalene,” He said, using a soft tone. “We have been blessed. You must be so overbeared with the emotions of God and swayed but the whisperings of the devil.” He got up off me and motioned towards the bucket. “Take your time and be overjoyed. God is inside of you now. Inside both of us.” He left the room, locking the door behind him.

I laid crying on the mattress, my broken wrist resting below my breasts. I wanted to curl into the fetal position but the pain was too much, so I lay on my back until bile built in my throat and I shot up and spewed vomit onto the concrete floor. It was then the pain was refocused from my wrist to my face. With my unbroken hand I gently touched my face, outlining with my finger the swollen bits. My right cheek was puffed, as well as my lip. My left eye had been slowing closing until the swelling confined it to a puffy slit.

I fucking hated the Menstealer – a fucking devil. Satanic were his grotesque eyes that would push out of his head unnaturally. Demonic the seed inside me he planted, forming the antichrist within the walls of my very womb. I will not have this baby I told myself. I cannot. It is unnatural, it is a leviathan in a sea of beautiful things. I will strangle it as soon as it’s entered the world. I will raise my bucket high above my head and bring it down onto the babe until it’s crushed on the floor. I thought about how The Menstealer would be there by my side as I gave birth. He would probably snatch it away from me before my hands could reach its neck and then he would probably dispose of me or rape me till I beared more of his offspring.

I wouldn’t not allow it.

I grew larger as months past. The Menstealer would come visit me more often than usual, providing me with healthier foods and daily wash buckets. Before my wrist healed he would wash my naked body with the sponge daily. My wrist healed as disfigured as my leg, and just like my leg I could still use my wrist but sometimes pain would shoot up my forearm and I wasn’t able to hold onto things like I used to.

One night I lay on my bed, my small belly protruding skywards like a hilltop. Something inside the mattress jabbed at my side so I sat up and felt it with my hand. It seemed as if my unfailing mattress of many years was slowly deteriorating. A metal spring inside the mattress had apparently come loose. Maybe if I asked nicely The Menstealer will buy me a new king sized tempurpedic I laughed, He’ll probably just flip the mattress over. For some reason this thought made me laugh harder.

I lay back down on my side facing the broken spring. I ran my finger over it and felt it through the mattress. Absentmindedly I picked at it, the threads slowly unravelling until the spring had fully poked through. It was rusty, but feeling the tip it was also quite sharp. I shot up with an idea. I began picking more of the mattress away until, after a few minutes, I was able to see further down the protruding spring and its many coils. The coil was sturdy, but after bending it around and twisting it with my good hand I was able to snap it off. I held the coil in my hand and inspected it, deciding it would be best to try and straighten it out.

I was bending it and twisting it when I heard the door unlocking. I lept to my feet – which pained my bunged leg – and panic shot through me. The lock clicked as I rushed to put the coil under the mattress. I then remembered the hole in the mattress and dove on top of it. A piece of the metal had stuck straight out from where I had snapped the coil off and it impaled silently and easily into my side. I winced in pain but remained over it as it was too late to reposition myself. The door was open and The Menstealer stood in the frame.

I was laying in an unnatural position on my side, looking like a model in some awkward photo shoot. In a normal situation- and if not for the piece of metal that was painfully in my side- it would’ve been funny.

The Menstealer gave me a weird look when he got closer to me. “Are you alright?” He questioned.

“Yes I am. It’s just comfortable like this on my side. More comfortable for my belly.” I lied.

“Are you in any pain?” He looked concerned and knelt beside me.

“No,” I stated, almost too quickly, “I am fine. Just resting.”

“Here, I will help you up. Lean against the wall.” He motioned to grab me under my arms.

“No!” I snapped.  

He was taken aback, his eyes beginning to bulge, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” He aggressively grabbed my arms and lifted me, the metal in my side tearing violently down before exiting. I felt my side getting wet with blood.

He threw my back against the wall, then his eyes got soft, “And the wife must respect her husband.”

“I’m sorry, Father.” I humored him, “Please forgive me.” I had my arm against my side where the metal had stuck in, hiding the blood. I quickly glanced down between my legs (I was now sitting on top of the hole in the mattress but managed to not get impaled by the broken coil a second time). Something else had caught my eye. There was a little blood stain on the mattress, right between my legs high up near my crotch. I had glanced quickly, but The Menstealer had noticed and quickly followed my gaze.

He leaned back in horror, “Magdalene! You are bleeding!” He reached his hand out between my crotch and felt the blood, an odd gesture, “Magdalene! You are not well! The child! Oh God the child!” Then – with great surprise to me – he slapped me across the face.

“You’ve been courting with the devil to bring harm to this child, haven’t you?” He slapped me again, “You mean to bring disruption to our union!”

“No,” I pleaded, “I didn’t know I was bleeding.”

“You were trying to hide this from me! You know you rot from the inside.”

“ I did not! I swear!” I cried out as he slapped me again.

“I will fix this!” He screamed, his voice reaching unhuman levels. He was unhinged and I expected to be beaten, but he rose to his feet, “I will be back, and when I do you will truly feel the wrath of GOD.”

He quickly left the room, locking the door behind him. I didn’t know how long I had before he came back, but I knew I had to act fast. All I knew was that he would probably beat me within an inch of my life, but I also knew the child still lived inside me.

I moved quickly, pulling the piece of wire out from under the mattress. It was misshapened but as straight as I could make it, one end formed a small hook. I took off the ugly pregnancy pants The Menstealer so graciously gave me a few weeks previous and lay on my back. I inserted the hooked end of the straightened coil into my vagina. The wire was uncomfortable as I inserted it further and was met with some resistance. The misshapen features of the coil meant I had to move it around a bit to insert it further.

I must admit I had no idea what I was doing. A joke stuck with me over the years I once heard in school: Coat hangers, they really bring out the kid in you. I could feel fluid dripping down my labia. I was unable to push the wire in any further. I moved the wire around and it caught. I pulled the mattress wire out slowly, trying to supress my wails. I noticed a lot of blood on my hand and a small piece of flesh hung from the end of the hook. I brought it close to my face and knew that it wasn’t the fetus. I picked the chunk of my insides off the hook and I reinserted it.

Through my stress and anger and pain and sadness I could no longer compose myself so I screamed out. I moved the coil around until it was met with resistance, this time hoping I had caught the fetus and not the lining of my insides.

I heard the door unlocking; The Menstealer was back. With one hand motion I pulled the wire back out, met with pressure, pain, and a feeling of expansion. The Menstealer was in the doorway, face frozen with shock and horror as the wire fully came out of my body. Something the size of my palm moved slightly on the end of the wire and I threw up, rolling to my side and dropping the wire.

The Menstealer, screaming and not bothering to close the door, ran forward and dropped to his knees in front of the abortion. The fetus had stopped moving. The Menstealer pulled the hook out its lifeless body and threw the wire aside, landing to my left. He picked the fetus up in his hand, trembling, and shrieked, “What have you done?”

I didn’t hesitate nor did I answer, I picked up the coil and inserted it into his neck. He dropped the fetus and turned to me, the coil protruding from his neck. I went for the open door.

He grabbed me by the leg and I fell forward. My face ricocheted off the concrete, knocking the wind out of me and at least a tooth. I twisted onto my back and The Menstealer ripped the coil out of his neck, a trickle of blood coming out with it. I kicked him in the face with my bad leg, causing a sharp pain to run up my shin. The Menstealer fell backwards as I sat up. I  was almost on my feet when I was slammed back to the ground, The Menstealer tackling me onto my back. Both his hands were wrapped around my neck and his eyes looked like marbles about to fall out of their sockets, his mouth hung unnaturally wide open with an odd slant. Maybe I broke his jaw.

His hands squeezed my neck with a strength and fury that could only mean he was going to kill me. I gasped for air, clawing at his arms. He face was inches away from mine, drool dripping out of his open jaw onto my face. In the moment he looked like a sadistic animal.

My hands moved to his face as he bore down on me harder. I clawed at his face and he moved his head back trying to avoid it. My bad arm fell to my side and I felt something metallic on the floor. My arm twisted and turned, desperate to pick it up. I felt that it was The Menstealers keys – they must of fell out of his pocket when he tackled me. I got a good grip around them and brought them up to his neck, stabbing him. His body curled down when the keys punctured the skin, I removed it and with a frantic movement stabbed them into his eye. A jelly liquid mixed with blood bursted out of his eye and onto my face. He lurched back screaming and I kept the keys tightly in my hand. He landed on his ass on top of the abortion, sliding slightly from the slickness when it was broken apart beneath him.

I scrambled to my feet, The Menstealer held a hand over his eye as I loomed over him. I thought about kicking him but realised how absurd that was, an open door was at my back; freedom was so close. I turned and limped to the door, blood dripping down from my vulva in red lines.

I went past the open door and slammed it shut. I fumbled with the keys. I already knew what lay outside the room from my attempt to escape long ago. During that time, when I managed to slip past The Menstealer before he caught my arm, I had seen that I was in an unfinished basement. The basement looked the same now as I remembered it had back then. I tried two of the keys on the lock but they didn’t work. On the third key, I pushed it in and with a satisfying click I turned it to the locked position, hearing the deadbolt slide inside of its corresponding tunnel.

The Menstealer was screaming in blood curdling cries, “Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!”  

End.

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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.

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.