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An Ode to Australia

Australia can be described in a simple 4-letter word: see you next Tuesday. 
(I can’t count)

Actually, Australia can be summed up in this sentence: cunt.
(Why am I a writer?)

Yes, Oz is a cunt. A big, fat, cunty cunt. A beautiful cunt. The cunt of cunts. Shit cunt and good cunt. All the cunts.

Now that you are used to the word ‘cunt’ you are able to learn more about why Australia is one:

I lived in Sydney, Australia for 2.5 years. I am unable to explain the beauty of it, the vastness of the land, and the persistency of near death. Seriously, this place wants you dead.

First of all, Australia can fuck off with those spiders. I can’t count on a huntsman’s eight legs how many times I woke up with those fuckers staring at me in my bedroom. I’m talking about dinner-plate sized pieces of shit that dwell in your living nightmares for eternity. A huntsman once laid eggs in our bathroom ceiling and we woke one morning to find that our bathroom was an orgy of horrifying demon babies spawned from the depths of hell. After we bug bombed the shit out of the bathroom and cleaned up the war zone of dead baby spiders we still were finding living ones every day for about 2 months.

My neighbour had to be hospitalised three times in one summer for being bitten by a white-tailed spider. She had to get skin grafts. Mother. Fucking. Skin. Grafts.

Lets not talk about the redback spider that was crawling nonchalantly through my friend’s FUCKING HAIR at a party. I told him not to panic but then I panicked. People had to calm me. We didn’t notice where the spider went. It was mayhem.

Or the family of redbacks I found in my backyard with my housemate. Yeah, I became a non-smoker for about a week.

Did I also mention the time I was chased by a MOTHER FUCKING BAT!? I’m not talking about the cute bats that sometimes wander into your home while you freak out trying to throw a towel over them – I’m talking wingspans of 3 feet here. They’re literal foxes with wings. Well, I was face to face with this mother fucker as he rested on a very low branch. I screamed. It screamed. It flew. I ran. It chased me down the street.
Do you remember the beginning of the movie Jumanji when the girl is chased down the street by bats?
The part that gave you nightmares for weeks?
Yeah, me IRL.

“But what about the cute animals?” You ask. No, just no.

I witnessed a little possum hiss at me with the force of 27 satans.

Wombats? Yeah, my friend and I hit one while driving. Dented the fuck out of his vehicle.

Birds seem harmless, right?

WRONG!

Someone in my bus tour through Cairns nearly got attacked by a fucking CASSOWARY! Those cunts look like dinosaurs and will slice you open like french bread.

You’ll hear the cockatoos coming from 100 kilometres away and you’ll pray to god himself they don’t get too close and make you go permanently deaf.

Kookaburra’s are nice tho. 10/10.

But the pelican’s will try and eat your baby whole.

Snakes? Nah.

Kangaroos? They’ll kick ya.

Wanna die by a heap of brainless jellyfish? Just take a short dip in the cool refreshing death of ocean.

The green ants work together to build amazing structures and bring death to you and your family. 

Even the plants-THE FUCKING PLANTS– may kill you.
*Cue Mark Wahlberg touching a synthetic plant and someone running themselves over with a lawn mower in The Happening.*

I’m lucky to have lived through all these traumatic experiences. It makes me appreciate why Aussies are such hard cunts. I feel like an Australian who makes it to 20 years old should win a lifetime achievement award for not getting their eyes pecked out by a magpie.

Despite all these grievances, I still rate Australia highly. If you’ve never been, then I can’t recommend it enough. Surviving Australia should be on everyones bucket list. Ill never forget it, and I can’t wait to go back.

Ill see ya next Tuesday, Australia! (But not really because Australia is expensive as fuck.)

An Overdose

Some know basic details, few know the full story. It’s hard to explain what happened to me on that night. There are two perspectives of the story: One from my point of view and one from my friend Cheryl. Cheryl’s perspective paints the fuller picture but for personal reasons I am not going to write from her perspective because I find it too disturbing. So, as confusing as telling the story from my perspective will be, you’ll be able to enjoy the confusion I felt as it was happening.

I had relapsed back into my addiction with crystal meth, though it’s hard to say whether that played a part in my overdose or not. See, I technically didn’t overdose on crystal meth. It was on a drug that used to be legal in Australia two years ago, a drug that is still legal in Canada:

Synthetic weed.

Cheryl and I had just arrived to her house after watching a concert. I had a couple glasses of wine at the concert and I was keen to get stoned. She grabbed the bong and told me where to find the marijuana – it was in the coffee table drawer. The drawer was filled with all kinds of things; papers for rolling, lighters, small trinkets. In the back of the drawer I found a little bag of what I presumed to be weed. I brought the baggie to my nose and inhaled; it had an odd, chemical-like smell. I didn’t think much of it.

We went out onto her balcony and I sat on a chair opposite Cheryl. I packed a bowl for myself, sparked the lighter, and finished the cone in one giant hit. It tasted like bleach and I thought of how weird that was. It was hardly a few seconds before I felt something was wrong. I remember saying to my friend, “This is really strong.” She chuckled. But right after I said it I thought, this isn’t strong, this is really bad. Something is really wrong. I tried to scream for help but nothing came out of my mouth, instead Cheryl slowly blurred out of my vision. Everything went black.

The next part is hard to describe and I can hardly understand what happened myself, but after everything went black I still knew what was going on. I couldn’t feel anything, see anything, smell anything – all my senses were switched off and I was all alone in my own head. I seemed to be in my head for a while, wondering why everything went black, wondering why I was unable to feel anything. Was I dead?

Suddenly a flash – my vision was blindingly white. I could hear a familiar voice say, “He’s going to throw up.” I felt like I was spinning around in a dryer. Something was rammed down my throat and my whole body wretched. Everything went black again.

After an unspecified time of total darkness a white speck appeared in my vision. It was so tiny I hardly noticed it at first. The appearance of the speck was accompanied by a high pitched sound that sounded like the dial tone of a telephone, just at a higher frequency. The dot started moving in slow spirals. The movement of the dot caused the noise to grow louder. The dot started moving faster and faster and the noise began to get louder and louder. It was hell. I was sure of it. I was in hell. The noise became so loud I couldn’t even bare it anymore. It was splitting my mind apart. I was being ripped to shreds because of it.

I thought it couldn’t get any worse until a second dot appeared, this time accompanied by another high pitched wail. The old speck started to vanish but the noise it made remained at the splintering frequency. This new dot started spinning like the first, it’s noise also getting louder. Now I heard two different frequencies that were so unbearable I wanted to die. I actually was wishing for death. I’m not being dramatic or overreacting, the sensation was so powerful that I was hoping it was the prelude to death. I only wished for silence.

The sequence repeated with a third dot. And with a fourth. And with a fifth, and a sixth, a seventh, an eighth, ninth, tenth, twentieth, fiftieth… it seemed never ending. I was lost in eternity with a hundred different frequencies that looped over themselves.

But then there was silence. There was darkness. I was relieved. Maybe now I was dead.

The first sense to come back to me was my hearing. I heard a bunch of voices, one of whom seemed to be yelling at me but the words were muffled.

Next I was able to feel. I couldn’t move my arms. What the fuck is wrong with my arms?

I was underwater. I’m drowning, I’m fucking drowning. Air wasn’t passing through my oesophagus.

What is that fucking noise?

It sounded robotic.

Suddenly, I could see light. It was so white.

Someone was still yelling but the words didn’t make sense to me. I thought I heard a female voice yell, “Breathe Cody! Keep breathing!”

How can I breathe when I’m underwater?

I tried to move my arms again but I was still unable to move them. I felt claustrophobic and started to move my body around violently.

“Stay still, Cody!” The voice said, “And remember to breathe…. BREATHE!”

I was holding my breath. The voice got closer but I could only see white light. The voice said, “Cody, I know it feels weird, but you need to breathe. You have a breathing apparatus on which is why it feels weird.”

Something was ripped from my face and I could suddenly see blurry figures. A woman was bent over close to my face and she said, “Hey Cody, did you hear me? You have a breathing apparatus on and I need you to breathe. You need to inflate your lungs and deflate them. It’s weird because you can’t feel the air but I assure you everything is fine.”

My head hurt so much and her words took a long time to make sense. I stopped holding my breath and I could feel my lungs expand even though air wasn’t passing through my mouth.

I realised then that my mouth felt like it was pried open. I could feel something down my throat.

The blurry figures were slowly coming into focus. I tired to lift my head but the woman said firmly, “Don’t move your head.”

I tried to yell at her but something was pressing my tongue to the floor of my mouth.

I finally understood why I couldn’t move my arms; they were tied up. I started to panic again and began to pull at my restraints. Tears rolled down my cheeks. The woman said to me, “Cody, don’t pull at the ties. We had to restrain you because you kept ripping out your IV’s during your seizures.”

My seizures? What seizures?

The woman continued, “I’m gonna untie you now though, but please don’t move around. Can you do that for me?”

I obviously couldn’t answer her but I stopped struggling.

“Ok I’m going to untie you now.”

As soon as my one hand was free I brought it up to my face, ignoring what the woman said. A large apparatus protruded from my mouth, it felt plastic. The woman grabbed my hand and said, “We will remove the breathing apparatus soon, but please keep your arms by your side.” I put my arm back down. My vision was coming into focus and I could see that she was in a nurse uniform. The nurse untied my other hand. There were two other people standing around me as well: one looked like a man and the other was definitely a woman.

“Cody, we will remove your breathing apparatus now. We just need you to hold still please.”

Someone unclipped something close to my face. I felt a pressure being relieved around my mouth.

“Ok, we are going to remove the tube now. It’s going to feel really uncomfortable so please don’t struggle. Ok, removing it now.”

I could feel something rip up from inside my body right out of my throat. It scratched as it rose and made me unable to breathe for a second. I coughed as air passed through my mouth for the first time. I was catching my breath and trying to speak, my voice was weak and hoarse, but I managed to say, “Where am I?”

The one nurse got close to my face and said, “You’re in the hospital. You had some seizures and are coming out of a medically induced coma.”

I was too fuzzy to even try to make sense of what she was saying. I lifted my head slowly and saw three IV’s coming out of my left arm, two coming out of my right.

I noticed I had two hoses going up my nose as well and I realised there was something snaking up my leg and right to my… FUCK! I thought, NO NO NO NO! It was a catheter.

I slowly drifted from being fuzzy to slightly less fuzzy. I was exhausted. I wondered where my friend Cheryl was. The nurses were trying to get my medical insurance details from me but I was hardly in the mood for formalities and didn’t know where my insurance card was.

The nurse handed me a phone, it was Cheryl on the line. She said, “I’m so sorry, Cody. I had to go to work and I thought that Shane” – another friend of mine – “would be there when you woke up. I’m so sorry.” She offered to go to my house after her work and look for my insurance card. I understood why Cheryl was unable to stay, she had a very prestigious job. She’s an amazing friend for keeping me well until the ambulance arrived when I first started having the seizures. I love her to bits.

Shane arrived not long after the phone call and sat with me all day. He’s the greatest friend I could ask for.

Aldo brought me flowers and came to see me even though he was hungover. He’s so special to me it’s insane.

My friend Kathleen brought me underwear (I woke up naked and in a diaper for gods sake! They had to cut all the clothes off me in the ambulance.) She’s like my fairy godmother.

I was visited by another friend and he brought me some soul food… McDonalds. It was awesome. There was a couple other’s as well who came and I am so happy they did.

The doctor came when all my friends were by my side and officially explained what had happened. He said I had about sixteen seizures in a row and was placed into a medically induced coma to stop them. When I arrived to the hospital in the ambulance I had stopped breathing and was a code red (I can’t remember what the code was actually called but lets just say it was ‘red’), which meant that all the doctors in ICU had to stop what they were doing immediately and come help me. All up I had eight doctors trying to save my life. I thank them for their work.

When I heard the story from Cheryl’s perspective I was deeply disturbed. What happened during my seizures is something I never would want to witness myself and I am deeply thankful to Cheryl for keeping her composure.

I am thankful every day for the friends who came to see me after I woke out of the coma. They’ve always been like family to me and I keep them close to my heart always.

I am now predisposed to have seizures. Because I am more susceptible I have a blacklist of things I’m not allowed to do to my brain; including taking crystal meth. So in a way, my overdose on synthetics saved my life. I’ve been free from crystal meth for a year and a half now.

The first day I was discharged from hospital I was with Cheryl and we went to this market that was outside in the parking lot. In the market I saw two earrings: A bird and an elephant. I bought them and wore them for a year and a half. I thought of them as my ‘healing earrings’. This weekend I took them out for the first time and replaced them with two new earrings: A peace symbol and a diamond.

May I never overdose again.

The Sickness 

I’m laying in bed with the man that I really like. We’re in Sydney, and to be brash we just had sex. We aren’t cuddling but he’s laying next to me and the sides of our arms are touching as we both lay on our backs. He’s asleep – or at least I think he is because his eyes are closed and his breathing is heavy. His barrel chest slowly moves up and down. I like the sound of him breathing, it’s deep and powerful. It makes me feel safe. 

The power of infatuation is the spell I’m under. In this time of my life I need a protector, someone I can confide in. Someone who likes me despite the lifestyle I have warped myself in. 

Sex for me doesn’t come easy. It’s not because I’m bad at it, it’s because it comes with baggage. Being a prostitute skews my view of sex and it’s hard to detach work from life. Some nights I spend with him are easy – my problems slide from view and I just live in the moment. Other nights his touch feels unfamiliar. His face unreachable. A haze hangs over our encounter and it’s like I’m watching us lay in bed from a distance. I forget who I am and it’s hard for me not to get and up and run away. 

He doesn’t know this double side of me. I’ve mentioned to him that sometimes it’s hard to seperate work from personal life but I don’t feel like he understands the depth of it. 

I can feel a layer of sweat build between our arms that are touching. It feels really hot in this room. I can feel the heat radiating off of him and it’s starting to give me anxiety. He rolls over facing me and puts his arm around me. I know he’s asleep for sure now because his eyes are still closed and I can hear a very subtle snore. 

His arm feels like a vice. It’s just resting on top of my chest but I feel like it weighs a thousand pounds. The panic and anxiety start to overcome me. I feel him vanishing in the distance and my head clouds with memories I have tried many nights to drink away. 

His arm isn’t a vice anymore, it’s a grater. I feel like the tiny movements of his arm across my chest as he breathes are slowly taking away my skin. I can feel his breath on my neck and it makes me feel like I’m being burned. I want to run. I can’t handle this. I roll over so he stops touching me but he pulls me into a spooning position and I want to scream. My temples are pulsing from my fast heart beat and I try and control my breathing. I try and lay still as to not wake him up. 

I fucking hate this. 

I fucking hate myself. 

I’m a disgusting human being. 

I don’t deserve this. 

I lay awake until morning. His alarm goes off at 7am to remind him to get ready for work. He kisses me good morning and I feel sick. I try my best to make small talk but all I want to do is get out of there. 

I want to be alone. 
I’m sick in the brain. 
Help me. 

Help me. 

The Gold Pendant 

I am sitting in Venice inside an apartment with a view of one of the many canals below me. I can hear the locals speaking Italian on the busy sidewalks that skirt the edge of the water below. A slight breeze blows through an open window, a ray of sunlight shines upon a bookshelf on my left. Roger, a man I frequently care give for, is out on the upstairs veranda making conversation with his company that has come from Amsterdam for work. I can also hear them talking softly.

Our itinerary on this trip hasn’t been too unusual, our plan is to go to Amsterdam, Prague, Venice and London. Our trip is halfway done, hence why we are currently in Venice. Amsterdam was too busy, and Prague was too unfamiliar, and that is why my secret mission is to be completed here in Venice.

I get out of my chair and lean outside the open window, looking three stories down to the water below me. The water today is a beautiful blue hue, not the muddy colour it usually is. I lean as far out as I dare, my hands grabbing both sides of the window sill to keep my balance. I have a thought about jumping. Jumping far far down into the water where I can sink to the bottom and rest there for eternity. I imagine the water is concrete – If it were and I had jumped I imagined the feeling of free fall before the feeling of nothing, my body left in a squashed mess for someone to come and clean up.

I decide that this is the perfect spot.

I run to my suitcase and dig through it until I feel a small round object. I pull it out; it’s a round pendant made of gold. The pendant itself is meaningless to me, a token a mother gave to me in some form of apology. It’s what was inside the pendant that is most important.

I run back to the window with the pendant in my hand. I feel it’s size between my fingers, the smooth roundness of it and it’s familiarity as I’ve had it in my possession for a year now. I had thought once of breaking it open and taking its contents out as there was never a need to keep what was inside contained. It needed to be free.

I hold the pendant out of the window. I look to make sure no one is watching. The coast is clear, and with one small toss I watch the pendant fall three stories and splash into the water. I smile at what I have done. He’s free. He’s finally free. What better way to lay my friends ashes to rest then by throwing them into the bowels of a city that will also disappear one day? This city will sink into oblivion, way down into the depths where the mud sits and gold pendants rest.

An Ode to Whistler: I should be dead.

I always knew this time would come, I just never knew when or in what way. It’s time for me to say goodbye to Whistler and say; thanks for almost killing me.

Never in my life have I stood on the precipice of death and laughed. I mean that literally. Figuratively I’ve stood on the precipice many times and laughed until I cried, but Whistler provided the unreal opportunity to really be slamming on death’s door.

It was the first time I’ve ever skied in the glades. My friend insisted that my 186 cm long skis would be fine for navigating through trees and I stupidly and naively believed him. I was doing horribly. I pizza’d my way through the glades like a retarded 5 year old while my friend effortlessly manoeuvred and sped his way through on his snowboard. The pizza technique was hardly working and I continued to build speed. My friend had stopped up ahead and I came at him like a rampaging animal before I noticed he was stopped at the edge off a small cliff. I wanted to stop but just screamed ‘OH SHIT’ instead as I plopped over the side head first. Luckily the powder was deep, so when I landed on my neck and continued ricocheting off small rocks it wasn’t that painful. My friend looked mortified as he jumped off the cliff after me, determined to stop my limp body. And yes, I was completely limp. In the face of death my body went into rag-doll mode and I didn’t even try to stop myself from sliding down. I couldn’t feel anything. All my brain could think of when I was tumbling down was the Whistler newsletter headlines: Gay Boy Tumbles Off Cliff And Dies. It would be my last claim to fame. Luckily the whole ordeal was less dramatic than I make it seem, the powder slowly built up around my head and stopped me from sliding down further. I lay motionless for a few seconds, mentally scanning my body for injuries. When I realised nothing was broken I burst out laughing. I was unable to get up because of the way I was laying, so I stayed there and laughed for what seemed to be ages before my friend caught up to me.

This has been my whole whistler experience. I’ve fallen off cliffs (twice), I got a major concussion from stupidly not wearing a helmet, I got a second concussion, I suffered through bronchitis, the flu, throwing up in garbage cans at work from bad hangovers. I’ve fallen off stripper poles, cut my lip from the sharp edges of a snowboard, been trapped in a gondola because of a bear.

Whistler has been life on the edge, and I’ll never experience anything like it ever again.

Mainly it’s been the people that made Whistler a memorable experience. The friends I have made here have been the most beautiful people I’ve ever met. Sure, they have also been the ones to influence me to take that one last drink on a night out that gets me (almost) kicked out of a club called Maxx Fish (Technically they did kick me out but I came crawling back in like a cockroach when they weren’t looking). They’ve been the ones to convince me that drinking 5 jugs of beer the night before bungee jumping is a good idea, or the ones to cheer me on as I funnel an entire bottle of red wine (please don’t ever try it, I actually almost died. But it didn’t stop me from funnelling an entire bottle of Fireball on a seperate occasion. Or funnelling half a bottle of Okanagan peach cider either. Please don’t. Just don’t.).

As you probably guessed, a lot of my fondest memories are fuzzy from a night on the drink. But that’s Whistler life. You really haven’t experienced Whistler until you drunkenly walk up a ski hill at 3 am comforting a crying friend in between throw-ups yelling ‘You’re beautiful! *throw up* Any guy would want you! *throw up*’.

I’ve done many things since I’ve been here. I’ve tried to get recognition as Whistler’s only drag queen (my drag is atrocious but borderline ok when you have no competition). I’ve learned to snowboard so that I can finally be that guy that can say snootily, “I ski AND snowboard.” I’ve zip-lined, hiked, camped, bobsledded, paddle-boarded, sat in a dingy down a river, and more.

Working for Whistler was a pain made better by the people I worked with. Every day I would go to work happy to see all my friends, less happy to deal with stupid customers. Believe me, the customers were stupid. Full on stupid. I was working as a rental tech (someone who sets people up with their ski equipment) and the amount of times I would measure someones feet but they insist that the boot I give them is too small and make me go up three sizes larger is unfathomable. Don’t try and fight me on it bitch I’ve been trained 2 weeks for this!

Living on the poverty line was hard. Mr. Noodles and I became close acquaintances. It didn’t help that I spent most of my money on alcohol but I will never regret that for one second.

I’ve seen some bizarre shit as well. I’ve watched a girl piss on a bathroom floor, a girl took a shit in front of me once, I’ve seen people skiing naked. Once I saw a friend fall down an entire set of concrete stairs. I’ve drunkenly played bumper-cars with laundry carts in a hotel parkade. I got my drink drugged once and watched the trees melt upwards and everything I looked at was shades of red.

This place will always hold a special place in my heart. I’ve come so far from who I was before to who I am now. I feel more energised about life. Feel more positive about things. And it’s really cool to be around people who just don’t give a fuck about who you are. We all came here for the same reasons: to have fun and make friends. I feel like I’ve accomplished that and more.

Every person here has affected me in brilliant ways. It didn’t matter if it was a best friend or someone I met drunk at a bar once, everyone had a story to tell and piece of their story will stay with me forever.

I know an ode is supposed to be a poem, but I can’t put all of this into poetic words. The entire experience was poetic and I am unable to capture that in any significant way. The best way I can are with these words I have put in writing here.

A piece of Whistler will always be a part of me wherever I go. I may leave, but it will never be forgotten.

I’ll send it into the next life,
Cody Oak.

The Truth: A Reflection/New Beginnings

It’s hard not to dwell on the past. Moving forward consistently feels like one step forward, two steps back. I ended The Truth because reflecting on the past was draining. It takes every fiber in my body to put words on a page about things I have done. I would come out of writing a blog post exhausted both mentally and physically. Most blogs posts came with some cigarette breaks in between to calm my nerves, others I had to write drunk because sobriety wasn’t an option for reliving an experience.

I tried to compare my mental state with those that also worked with me at Knight Call. I would check up on their facebook pages, talk to them online, follow their journey. Some still work there. Others have left. Some had left for a bit and came back. Some have gone on to study in University, trying to do good things with their lives. Others are unperplexed; their lives moved on the second they walked away from the life. In monumental ways I’ve moved on as well. Less often now I have to take controlled breaths to try and relieve my anxiety. Less often I cry alone in my room.

Living on the straight-and-narrow is difficult. Some days I just wish I was able to make quick hard cash again. I’m constantly skirting the poverty line. My life feels so boring and empty. Not like being a prostitute was fulfilling but at least it came with a sense of intrigue and adventure. Most days I’m just going through the motions without feeling like I’m actually living.

I’ve looked up seeing a therapist, contemplating the idea often. But what would I even say to them? I feel like they’re not even capable of dealing with what I’ve been through.

It’s coming up to a year now where I officially left that life behind me. I remember the defining moment in my life when a client called me for the last time and I said to them, “No. I am not doing that anymore.” It was empowering. I even think I danced a little when I hung up the phone. Who knew such freedom came with a cost?

Something in my life that has suffered greatly (but also has to do with location) is my sex life. I think I’m scared of sex and of intimacy. If Channing-fucking-Tatum walked into my room naked right now I would probably turn him away. I keep telling people I’m happily single – and in a way I am – but the truth is I just want someone to take care of me. I feel selfish in the way where I want someone to come into my life to help me carry my burdens. I’m so tired of carrying them alone. I’m tired of being independent. I’m tired of relying on myself.

Life ‘round here.

 

Even though I’m not supposed to, I have been doing some recreational drugs. Not regularly, but I’ve taken MDMA and maybe have done some lines. The doctors said I wasn’t allowed to do any drugs, but they specifically said no hallucinogens so I’ve avoided those at least. I also like to get drunk, but i’m limiting myself to only going out once or twice per week (been sticking closer to once per week recently). It’s been good to allow myself some freedoms in the form of some controls.

I’ve also been doing drag every once in awhile. It’s hardly even worth mentioning because my drag is absolutely and hilariously horrid, but it’s been really fun focussing on something else. It’s also enabled me to keep that small part of me that was gay-boy-in-the-city. I miss that part of me so it’s been fun playing that role in such a small village.

 

I’m sure you’re all bored reading this now: my list of complaints.

But I will tell you this story:

 

Halloween: 2014.

I was dressed as Dr. Frank-N-Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Had the black curly wig, the tight leather shorts, the long red nails… it was really the full getup and it looked absolutely fabulous. It took me nearly two months to find all the pieces to put the costume together and I was really quite proud of it.

I was at a house party with some friends, a lot of whom were prostitutes I knew but at parties you don’t talk about such things. I had one or ten too many shots and drink mixes and I had broken the seal so was going every 10 minutes on the regular. Getting in and out of the tight leather shorts with long fake nails on was a true challenge, let alone it was the first true night I’ve ever spent in heels and my feet were ready to be amputated.

After visiting the bathroom for the twentieth time my friend noticed one of my fake nails was gone. I wasn’t too mad about it, saying something like, “It probably came off when I was using the bathroom. Let’s do some shots.”

When I went to the bathroom next I scanned around the room hoping to  find it but when I couldn’t I just assumed it fell in the toilet or something.

The night continues for another couple hours. People (as in I) are starting to get drunk and rowdy and I remember seeing a hot shirtless guy dressed as Wolverine and I decide to take a running leap straight for him hoping he would catch me in his arms (like a true superhero). He does, and this is photo proof:

frank n firter 2

It’s not long before a friend and I take a taxi back to his place. In the taxi I got a message from this (very) hot guy I’d been chatting to online. We had been chatting for a while by that point but he was officially asking for me to come over to his place for the first time. I obviously wasn’t going to show up as the Dr, so I spent an hour at my friend’s house removing my makeup and rubbing my very sore feet (Umm ladies, why do you never talk about that phantom hole-in-the-ground feeling when you take off heels because its cool and really annoying?). To the best of my drunken ability I manage to take everything off and put on some respectable clothes.

A very short bus ride later and I’m at this guy’s house. To paint the only picture you need to know about how hot this guy was: he was an ex-Calvin Klein model. It’s really not that long before we are fooling around. He’s taking off his shirt and I’m wishing that I don’t have too take off mine after seeing his body.

We are completely naked on his bed and making out. His hand wanders south of the border. Suddenly he stops kissing me.

“What the fuck is that?” He says, pulling his hand away and kind of pushing me off him.

“What?” I asked, desperately trying to kiss him again.

He deflects my kiss and says, “You’re clean, right?”

I regret some of these next words but whatever. I say, “If you mean by STD’s yeah, if you mean by hygiene – probably not. I have just been wearing ten tons of makeup and was so sweaty all night.”

Yikes.

He replies, “Then what the fuck is that thing under your dick?”

Now I am terrified. What was under my dick!?

I sit up. I grab and lift and to my horror I see that SOMETHING RED AND HARD WAS ON MY DICK OH GAWD wait – phew – it was my missing fake nail. Explaining to this demigod why I had a fake nail stuck to my penis was probably funnier than this actual written story.

I want to end this by saying we still had sex (probably against his better judgement) and I went on to wear that same costume the next night for a halloween gay-club party that ends with me crawling on the ground, full costume, to puke in the toilet.

Classy and sassy.

 

I want to take this time to say that, as of this story I just told, I am going to continue to post stories on my blog. They will be related to The Truth but will carry their own names and won’t directly be about my life as a prostitute. I want to tell you the many funny and endearing stories and forget all the crap.

 

Thanks for reading Xxx

The Truth: An Ending

When Scott first told me that he was in fact not hit by a car but instead tried to kill himself, I cried. As he told me about how he jumped off a third story balcony I buried my face deep within the crook of my arm. Scott was touched by my emotion, but he, nor anyone, knew I wept for selfish reasons. I didn’t weep because the lack of love Scott felt made him throw himself off a building, the tears tracked down my cheeks because for the previous few months I wasted my time taking care of him. I took care of Scott because I felt bad for him being hit by a car. I struggled with my own morality to stay around and help him recover, the man I hardly knew. When the truth that Scott was the cause of all his own pain was put forth I was angry because if I knew the pain was self-inflicted I would’ve skipped town months ago.

 

I lost my friendship with Nick and Brendan over crystal meth. I didn’t want to do it anymore and this caused a rift in our relationship that couldn’t be fixed.

 

I ended up becoming a stoner with Scott and that’s when our friendship really began. I didn’t have anyone else to hangout with so I spent all my time with him and I really grew to love him. I started to not regret taking care of him, and I started feeling terrible for even having those thoughts. Scott was a gentle, beautiful human being. He helped me through my (admittedly first of two) crystal meth addiction. He told me things about his past that made me weep. He was really a man searching to be loved.

 

When I made the mistake of making friends with a cunt named Keith, and when I made the even bigger mistake of moving in with him, Scott and I drifted apart. My obsession with Keith made me insane and I cut off everyone who cared about me so I could focus all my attention on him. Keith and my relationship was toxic, and we were both to blame for it. I did some batshit crazy things because of him, and he did some truly disgusting things to me. Our destiny was always doomed and Scott had seen it and he desperately tried to warn me about it. I ignored him.

 

The last time Scott and I hung out I did crystal meth with him. I hadn’t relapsed (yet), I was just living by Scott’s motto; you need to let loose every few months or else everything is going to build up inside and explode in more destructive ways. But if you can allow yourself to be bad once in awhile, then you can control the monster deep inside you. I don’t know if that motto applies to everyone, but at least for Scott and I we definitely had giant monsters living inside of us. Still do.

 

Scott’s world seemed to be on the rise until one day I got a call from him. He said that he was going to try and kill himself again, and that none of his so called ‘friends’ were there for him. I was the only one he could get a hold of and he said I was the one of the only ones who still cared. Scott’s plea was that he just needed someone to care for him. He only wanted love. He gave and gave and gave and only a handful of people ever gave back. Scott was thrown in the dirt time and time again and that’s how I know he’s the strongest person I ever met because I would’ve killed myself years ago if I had been in his same shoes. But he kept trying, and he kept trying, and when things started to look up the world would fail him again and he would be left alone to pick up the pieces.

 

That is why, on April 30th, 2014, Scott decided to end his own life. I was visiting my family in Canada at the time, needing a break from my Sydney blunders (especially more recent developments from Keith and I) and I received a call telling me Scott was dead.

 

I was so angry. I was so lost. I was so hurt. It wasn’t a question of if he would commit suicide, but of when… I didn’t expect it to come so soon. When I flew back to Sydney I attended Scott’s memorial. It was filled to the brim with people I didn’t know. People who never came to visit when Scott was bed-ridden, people who never offered to help. In the sea of sad faces all I saw were masks of people trying to get some attention, to fill the need for their lives to be more interesting; People trying to play the I knew him longer game like it actually mattered. I didn’t even know Scott for a full year before he died, yet I am haunted by it every fucking day. We all could’ve done something more to help him. Looking around the memorial I realised we all had killed him.

 

The memorial was a shit show, as was organising Scott’s belongings, as was finding a home for Deniro, as was everything else in my life. You’d think that people would come together in a time of need but all I experienced from Scott’s aftermath was greed and deception and I quickly understood how Scott wasn’t able to feel love in his life. I can count on one hand the individuals who were there for him in the beginning.

 

I started studying in college, I made new friends, I got fired from the brothel and was working independently. The next few months flew by and I was being flown around the country in a next level of escorting. I was making the big coin until I relapsed.

 

My second time addicted to crystal meth wasn’t as fun as my first. And in the height (and end) of my second addiction I was given something of Scott’s: the script for a musical he was once in. Flipping through the dense script I came across something very peculiar. It was five pages of written words from Scott with the title My Script Idea. What was written inside wasn’t really a script, it was a cry for help. I am still the only one who has read it but I’ll say the subject matter was haunting and intense. It wasn’t a script at all, but a brutal retelling of the real things Scott had been through in his childhood. I only know it was real because when Scott and I were stoners he would briefly tell me the stories but never in detail. I was shocked and disgusted and I hid the papers away in a box so I wouldn’t have to see them. Scott was truly a broken man with a sick past who was looking for redemption.

 

Two weeks later I ended up in hospital in a coma from a drug overdose.

 

Two months later, with the help of some friends, I decided to go back to Canada for my own safety and wellbeing.  

 

Seven months after I came back to Canada I am sitting in Staff Housing in Whistler, looking at the sun shine out of my window, wondering if I will ever be the same again. I never asked for pity from anyone, and I never will. I had been through hell and back; through rape, addictions, prostitution, insanity. I sit here, looking out my window at the beautiful Canadian wilderness, and I wish for things to be different. But when I ask myself what I would like to be different, I can’t come up with an answer.
I don’t regret anything.  

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 17

Chippendale: Rumoured to be inner Sydney’s greenest suburb, is also said to be Sydney’s smallest. Driving down Broadway you would blink and miss it. Chippendale was filled with hipsters, students, artisans and old people. For such a small suburb it had a lot of character. Most of the housing units were old and most were made of brick. Gardens with edible plants lined the sidewalks with signs that said anyone living in the area could pick and eat the plants whenever they wanted.

Chippendale was the suburb where Scott lived.

Dave, the manager, warned me the day before, “Oh my god!” he squeaked, “Chippendale is near Redfern!”

“Why, what’s wrong with Redfern?” I questioned. It was daytime at the brothel and I was hungover from a heavy night of drinking.

“Redfern is the train station where everyone gets stabbed!” Dave replied, throwing his hands in the air.

“Oh really?”

“Yeah it’s where all the druggies and aboriginals live. You be careful, I don’t want the news headlines tomorrow to be Gay Canadian Backpacker Gets Stabbed.”

“They won’t,” I reassured.

Redfern station was fine. I had learned online that, although there was a couple stabbings there in the past, they had put in a police station and were cleaning Redfern of the druggies and housing commissions. Scott met me at the station and lead me through a confusing maze of back alleys from the station/suburb of Redfern to the suburb of Chippendale. It was only a ten minute walk to Scott’s house, but through the back alleys I could already tell that Redfern and Chippendale were the artsy suburbs of inner Sydney.

Scott’s house was a split house made of red brick. The house had two levels; the entire top level was a bedroom and bathroom where Scott lived. First through the front door was the living room. Dark and warm colors were accented in that room, and it gave off a masculine vibe.  The bedroom to the left off the hallway was the one I was there to inspect. After my potential bedroom was the staircase to Scott’s room, then the bathroom, and then the hallway ended with three steps down into the kitchen. Beyond that was two glass doors that led to the backyard patio.

I really liked Scott’s house, it had a masculine energy that felt welcome and well-lived. The artwork in the house was made up of dark colours, as was the carpet. The whole house felt warm and lived in. As Scott talked I could tell he was very proud of it.

After inspecting the house, Scott invited me to sit with him in the living area to have a chat. He introduced me to his dog, Deniro, who was a beautiful golden Sharpei. Scott told me that Shapei’s were bred to be Temple dogs who would sit around all day with the monks. They are known to become loyal to only a few people in their lifetimes; their family units remained small.

“I wanted to let you know that I invited you to come look at the house because I think you are different,” said Scott. He sat with Deniro at his feet, elbows on his knees and a giant, warm smile on his face.

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” I asked, my default question to that kind of statement.

“It’s a good thing. I’ve seen something in you… You aren’t like the other boys.” Scott spoke with a sense of sincerity and familiarity in his voice.

“I’m not?”

“No, you aren’t like the other bitches there,” He laughs, “I’m not saying you are mature or anything, you still have a lot to learn in life, but I think you’re a good person. I’d be the first to say that your generation is the most fucked up, but you aren’t caught up in the glamour of it all. You seem genuine and I like genuine people.”

“Thanks, you seem genuine as well.” I say uncomfortably; unable to take a compliment and even less able to give one.

Scott laughs again, “You don’t even know me babe. At work, Knight Call, I’m a different person. This is the real me,” He leans back in his chair,  “I put on a giant act and I don’t get too involved. I want my work identity to be different than my home identity… I need to keep them separate to keep me sane and to remain detached. I can tell you do that too.” I didn’t think I did.

I told Scott that I would need a couple days to think about moving in. He said to let him know regardless if I wanted to move in or not so that he could find a replacement as soon as possible. The rent was too much for one person to carry themselves.

Before I left, Scott stopped me and pointed at a picture frame on the wall and said, “There is only one thing I need you to do when you move in here.”

I looked at the frame, which had three pictures in it: all pictures of Scott with different groups of people. I said, “What do you need?”

Scott looks me directly in the eyes and in the softest voice he says, “I need you to bring in a picture of yourself. A picture to put in that frame,” He turns to look at the frame, then turns back to me, “If you move in here you’ll become family.”

************

A few months after Scott died, I decided to walk by the house again. A short time after Scott had passed away his housemate moved out, so when I went to visit there was new people living in it. I just wanted to walk past and look at it from the outside. I had been avoiding Chippendale altogether, besides the time after I first touched down from my visit in Canada and went to Scott’s place to see if there was anything I could take after his passing. But besides then, the area remained out of sight and out of mind.

I stood on Myrtle street and looked up upon the house I lived in for those 7 months. I tried to focus on the good memories with Scott, the few times I had seen him smile or hear him crack a joke. The times he would give me a gay-history education, or the times we would get stoned and watch South Park together. That was the Scott everyone loved, that was the Scott I tried to remember as I stood in front of the house.

No matter how hard I tried to focus on those good memories, all I could hear was Scott screaming. My brain was stuck on a loop. I could only remember the countless nights I lay in bed covering my ears hoping that Scott’s wailing would end. How his screams of pain used to pierce through the night and I would pray to countless gods that they would make it stop.

Please god make it stop.

The Truth: Part 13

When I wake from my drunken sleep I wipe some drool from the corner of my mouth and sit up. I almost scream when I realise none of my surroundings look familiar. I was in the living room of a small apartment. Who’s messy house is this? I think. A wave of relief hits me as I remember that I drunkenly got here with Nick… it was his apartment. I didn’t know where anything was so I sat and scrolled through Facebook while I waited for Nick to wake up, craving water to deter my oncoming hangover but being too polite to start rummaging through his kitchen like a raccoon. When Nick finally emerges from the shadows we hug hello and then he grabs us both large glasses of water. We laugh about the night while secretly hating ourselves for our hangovers, and we spent the early afternoon watching Will and Grace, a television show I had only briefly seen before.

Growing up in a Christian family meant that my parents were against homosexuality. Even though we owned two baby calves named Will and Grace (I’m really uncertain if my parents named them coincidentally or on purpose) the tv show was strictly banned. I remember sneaking in an episode or two when I was little, laughing at the rare joke that I understood (The gay world was scary and foreign to me). I vaguely remember my father once being disgusted at the tv show called Modern Family, and he banned us from watching it, saying something about how it ruined the sanctity of family values or something like that. Looking back I also remember my brother once shielding his eyes and shrieking when Chuck kissed Larry on I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. It’s funny how incidences like that were forgotten once I came out. My family conveniently forgot all the times they were disgusted by gay culture. It hurts when people don’t realise the damage they caused. It’s not like I want an apology, but sometimes I think back and those remarks still hurt. They had no idea about the secret I was harbouring, so its just another reminder on why human beings need to be more sensitive with their words and actions.

After watching Will and Grace I went back to my hostel and started getting ready for night two at the brothel. Meandering about the hostel I felt like I was a secret agent. It felt like I was a part of something the people in the hostel would never understand; even if I didn’t understand it myself. It felt like I was a part of something greater than their sums. They were there on vacation and I was there risking my neck in Sydney’s underground. It felt edgy. It felt important. It felt like my life was finally something more than the mundane and it was only the second day.

I changed from my khakis to my baggy green pants and I kept wearing the blue Australia sweater. I took a look in the mirror and wondered how any clients would want me.

*************************

It takes a couple minutes to walk to the brothel from my hostel. I ring the secret ‘boys bell’ and wait for someone to open the door. I’m a little shocked when it was not Pete who opened the door but a very tall older gentleman with dark hair, a long face, and very soft eyes.

“Hello, you must be the new boy,” The man said, he squints his eyes and tilts his head as he says, “Carl, isn’t it?”

“Yes, my name is Carl.” I reply, almost robotically. The man was enormously tall, yet was so soft in his demeanour that I wasn’t intimidated by him.

We started walking towards the office while he said, “Hi, I’m Robert. Have you met Dave yet?”

Before I respond we are in the office and there is a smaller gentleman sitting in one of the office chairs. This man, Dave, was the very opposite of Robert: he was very short, had a rounder face, and looked slightly more intimidating. I am put as ease though when he starts speaking,

“Oh, you must be the new boy, Carl.” Dave said, dragging out my pseudo-name in a way I could only explain as gay.

“Yes I am,” I reply.

Dave asks, “You started last night, didn’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh good, so we don’t have to give you the grande tour!” Dave threw his hand up in the air in relief, and then he lets out a cackle, “I usually work the day shift so you’ll see lots of me if you work during those times.”

“How long have you worked here?” I ask.

“20 years,” He replied with a hint of shame.

After a quick chat with Robert and Dave, Dave decided that before he left he would bring me to the boys room and introduce me because lots of the boys on that night hadn’t met me yet.

The room had about ten boys in it. A surge of anxiety shoots up my body.

“Hey everybody!” Dave blurts out. All ten boys turn around to stare at me, “This is Carl! He just started last night, so try and help him out if you can!” And then Dave turns to me and whispers, “Good luck,” before leaving me standing there like an idiot. I gulp as I scan the room of boys, most of them had turned back around to chat amongst themselves or watch the tv, but a couple stared for longer before continuing what they were doing. I couldn’t find room to sit on the couches so I sat on an old office chair close to another boy who looked like he would be my ‘competition’, probably Brendan or Matt but I was too nervous to ask.

Nick hadn’t arrived yet so I sat for about an hour awkwardly scanning the room. A couple boys came up to me to introduce themselves, and some seemed to be extra loud and boisterous to try and intimidate or impress me, I couldn’t decipher which.

For a bunch of gay boys the room seemed filled with testosterone and it was clear that there was an unspoken struggle to be Queen of the brothel. Some boys kept to themselves, but the ones who didn’t made sure they were the loudest. Boys were yelling and screaming, making dirty jokes and picking on each other. A closer look revealed that they were still in their social structures, the three social structures that Nick had mentioned before; no one seemed brave enough to break through the three main social groups. All the boys remained in the safety of their social group so, as a consequence, their attempts to command the room was weak at best. The boys continued to yell at the wind and laugh loudly and I enjoyed watching their empty dance to become Queen.

Nick finally arrives and hugs the boy next to me, and then hugs me.

“Sorry I’m late,” Nick apologises, “It took me a long time to get ready.”

“It always takes you forever to get ready,” the boy next to me snarked.

“Shut up! You take just as long,” Nick retaliates, and then turns to me, “Have you met Brendan yet?”

I replied, “No I haven’t,” and Nick formally introduces us.

I was about to attempt small talk with Brendan but I am cut from talking when the client bell goes off.

One boy yelled, “FINALLY!”

Another shrieked, “CLIENT!”

 Robert comes into the boys room surprisingly fast and says, “He wants to see everyone.” My stomach turns from anxiety.

Nick quickly turns to me, “You haven’t done an interview yet, have you?”

“No,” I reply, trying to hide the sudden panic that was rushing through my body.

One by one the boys go out of the room and into the office as Nick explains what I should say, “Everyone does interviews differently, but basically how I do it is I go in and say, hi, my name is Nick. I am 22 years old, I am versatile, and I do massage. Do you have any questions? And then answer any questions they may have and then come back here into the boys room. Its really simple.”

“That doesn’t sound too hard,” I say, feeling a bit less anxious.

“Its so easy,” Brendan pitches in.

Nick goes into the office and I am stuck in awkward silence with Brendan. When he returns he sits next to me as Brendan goes in.

“This guy is easy. He wants a top and a massage. He’s white, not bad looking- for a client.” Nick informs me, “And tell him you’re new… they love the newbies.”

Too soon is Brendan back from the office. Robert looks at me when I realise I am the last boy to be interviewed. I take a giant breath of air, stand on my wobbly feet, and walk to the door of the boys room, which Robert is politely holding open for me.

Robert stares me in the eyes and says, “Don’t be nervous.”

I was unable to find the words to say back to him. I turn and realise all the boys were watching me. I take one last giant breath of air before taking my first steps through the hallway towards the interview room.