Tag Archives: cody oak

Pigeons

The old lady came to the park every day to feed the pigeons. She would bring whatever leftover bread she had in her possession, she’d sit on the same bench, and she would slowly reach into the bread bag and toss small crumbs onto the ground. She’d move through the tossing motions methodically while facing the morning sun, the rays of sunlight illuminating her weathered face. The whirlwind of pigeons that surround her swirled and ran and flew as if they were one organism. She was a conductor under the spotlight leading her own orchestra.

Park services were unhappy. There were signs in the park that specifically said Do Not Feed The Birds. They warned her many times before that her actions were frowned upon. They complained to her that – by feeding the pigeons – it made their work harder as they had to spend extra time scrubbing pigeon shit off the bench and surrounding sidewalk. Despite the warnings, the lady came every day. The park service employees and volunteers felt that they could not take any action against the old lady because of her frailty and age, so they begrudgingly spent extra time scrubbing the sidewalk and bench at the end of almost every day.

One day a female park worker was near the bench in late morning when the old lady came in her purple overcoat and ugly floral dress. The lady sat on the bench and slowly opened her bread bag and within seconds she was surrounded by many pigeons. The worker had been picking up garbage in the grass but decided to take it upon herself to confront the old woman.

The worker said, “You know you can’t do that.”

The old lady slowly looked up at her with a frail voice and said, “I know damn well I can’t.”

The attendant crossed her arms, “Then why are you doing it?”

The old lady replied, “Because the pigeons are reliable.”

Confused, the attendant asked, “What do you mean?”

The lady slowly responded with, “It means that these damn pigeons are the only thing I can be sure of. They are here every day. They always show up.”

“Well, can’t you rely on the pigeons somewhere else?”

The old lady suddenly became cross, “Only if you carry me there, dumb ass. You think this old body of mine could walk far enough to go somewhere else? I live just over there.” The old lady pointed indistinctly to the left of her.

“It’s been very annoying having to clean up all the bird…” the worker caught herself from cussing, “… poop.”

“I’m sorry you have to put in the extra time,” the old lady was frustrated, having had this argument with many other park workers in the past, “but this is the highlight of my whole day, so if you don’t mind leaving me alone that would be great.”

“Well I hope you understand that you just waste our valuable time when we have to clean up the mess you make here.” The attendant snapped back, unable to control herself.

“As sure as I am that the pigeons will return here every day, you can be sure to clean up after them.” The old lady hissed.

The park employee retorted, “As sure as I am that the pigeons will come when you’re here, they won’t return when you’re gone.”

The old woman looked up at the attendant with a pained expression. The expression slowly turned to anger, and then it softened, and with great purpose she said, “I am sure that you are wrong.” Then she turned away from the attendant and continued her slow, repeating rhythm of tossing the bread onto the ground.

Weeks passed before the female park worker and the old lady saw each other again.

The female worker was passing by the old lady on the bench when the old lady hissed, “You missed a spot.” She motioned towards all the pieces of shit on the ground.

The attendant stopped and looked at her with great malice and said, “One day soon there will be no spots to miss.”

The old lady pondered carefully what to say next, and with great conviction she said, “Only the selfish say that the value of life is ease.”

The worker retorted, “Only the selfish make things harder for others.”

The old lady laughed, “Well then, honey, you’ve never been in love.” She looked back towards the pigeons and tossed them more bread.

The park worker turned and walked away, silently mumbling a curse under her breath.

It was over six months later before they spoke to each other again. The female worker tried to pass the old lady without her noticing, but the old lady looked up at her with surprise and said, “You’re pregnant.”

The worker stopped, straightened up and rubbed her protruding stomach, “I am pregnant, yes.” She said with no tone of friendliness towards the old lady.

“Not that I care too much,” the old lady stated, “but congratulations. Obviously I was mistaken when I said you’ve never been in love.”

The female worker looked down, “No, this wasn’t from love.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” The old lady bowed her head.

The two women were silent while the pigeons stirred at their feet and flew around their heads. The worker watched the pigeons look at the old lady in anticipation as the old lady tossed another handful of crumbs onto the ground. The pigeons went wild, scrambling to be the first to gobble up the broken bread. In that moment the pigeons seemed ferocious.

The worker looked back up at the old lady and asked, “Do you have kids?”

The old lady tossed another handful of bread on the ground before answering, “Yes. I had two.”

The worker leaned closer to the lady, “Is it easy?” She asked, “Raising children, I mean.”

The old lady smiled, “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

The park employee was stuck in thought before asking, “Do they visit you often?”

The old lady stiffened and tossed another handful of bread. Her voice was strained, “Just leave me be, please. I like being undisturbed when I feed the birds. Good luck with your child. Bye now.”

A couple months passed and the female worker’s stomach grew larger. She worked in the park until the final days of her pregnancy, and then she gave birth to a little baby girl. She couldn’t afford to take much time off work so two short weeks after giving birth she returned to the park, leaving the baby in her sister’s care during the day.

“Good news,” a male coworker said on her first day back, “The old lady hasn’t been in the park for two days. The first time in years!”

“Oh really?” The female questioned, “That’s very strange.”

“Maybe the old crone finally croaked.” The male laughed.

There was palpable silence.

The female asked, “Do the pigeons still come around?”

The male replied —

The End.

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The Truth: Part 20

I didn’t sign up for this, I thought to myself as I throw food into Deniro’s food dish and quickly run away. I didn’t sign up to take care of that house or that dog. It was just my luck for such large responsibility to be thrown at me out of no where. I debated going home, abandoning the house and the dog and leaving it for Scott to take care of. For selfish reasons I was upset. I went to Australia to have a good time and travel, not be stuck wondering when my housemate was going to be out of hospital. Scott woke out of his coma and, through the large amounts of painkillers he was on, managed to tell me to remember to walk Deniro every day. I didn’t. I couldn’t. It affected my work and party schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I tried to do it every day. But here and there I would miss a day or two. I didn’t care for the demon dog, even though Deniro seemed to be warming up to me. To be honest, after the growling incident, Deniro scared me. Despite all this, I powered on. My good side got the best of me and I decided to help out this man I hardly knew.

Everyone at the brothel found out about Scott’s hospitalisation and they were all buzzing about it. Wild rumours were floating around, and all the talk was making me uncomfortable. Jake, the muscular guy I had a crush on, was in the boy’s room parading around being a cocky asshole. Sometimes he remained invisible in the corner and sometimes he demanded the room’s attention. For a good looking guy he had low self-esteem, a common pattern with the boys. Below his plastic shell there was a good guy, which is why I liked him. But on this particular night he really pissed me off. He was parading around, being nosy and loud, and he turns to me with a cocked smile and says, “So how’s Scott doing?”

“He’s doing ok, I guess.” I am hungover from the night before and laying on the couch.

He responds cheekily, “Now how the fuck did he get himself hit by a truck? It makes no sense!”

“I don’t know! Scott said it was nighttime and that the driver purposefully drove off the road to hit him and then drove away.”

“How fucking stupid is that? He should’ve jumped out of the way. If you are stupid enough to get hit by a truck then you deserve to be hit by a truck,” Jake laughs. The blood in my body starts to boil and I can feel my cheeks going red with anger.

“Just shut the fuck up, Jake,” I yell, sitting up.

“Look, you don’t have to get all bent out of shape. I am just saying it sounds pretty stupid to me.” Jake tries to hold back a devilish smile, obviously happy with my reaction. He now had the room’s attention and it was obvious he was enjoying it.

I angrily stand up and huff to the back of the room, slide open the sliding glass door and slam it behind me. I sit on the wooden slats in the smoking area and light a cigarette. I was shaking with anger, my cigarette trembling in my hands. For some reason I found myself searching the Internet on my phone for hit and run news stories in Cairns. My search results come up with nothing. I didn’t think much of it, I thought maybe the news outlets just didn’t cover the story.

That night I had an outcall way out in the suburbs. It was a $45 taxi ride out there, but Brendan promised to pick me up personally when I was done in exchange for the other $40 taxi-fare. Sometimes the boys with cars would drive you to your outcall in exchange for the amount you would’ve paid for a taxi. It was a good way for the boys to make extra cash, car permitting.

The man’s house was awkwardly bare. Nothing hung on the walls, the room was sparsely decorated. He was a nice client, but he made me uncomfortable with how much he talked about his kids. I gave him an hour long massage and my hands were really sore when it was done.

I waited outside for Brendan for 30 mins. He was supposed to meet me outside my clients’ apartment at 2 am when I was done, but after I called him to ask him where he was he said he was gonna be late and that Nick was with him. I could hear Nick cackling in the background as Brendan tried to hold his composure and tell me that he was gonna be 10 minutes late.

Half an hour later when Brendan finally arrived Nick unrolled the window and screamed, “Get in bitch!”

“Oh lord Jesus girl get in the car we going shopping!” Brendan yells.

I hop in the backseat and immediately feel the energy pouring off Nick and Brendan. Nick whips around in his seat with crazy enthusiasm and yells, “Security! This bitch has got to go!”

Brendan echoes, “He has got to go! Oh lord baby Jesus have mercy!” They both throw their heads back and howl in laughter. Once Brendan composes himself he starts driving and asks, “How was it?”

“It was good. Really easy, just mainly wanted a massage.”

“I’ve had him before. Isn’t his house so creepy? There is nothing in it. Bitch needs a painting or statue or something.”

“Really?” Nick asks with saucer eyes. Both of their enthusiasm seemed weird to me, it was something I hadn’t seen before.

“Yeah. And when I try to stick my dick in him he moves his hips around too much. It’s like, hello bitch just stand still, ok!?”

We all laugh, and I jokingly ask, “Oh my god what are you guys on?”

Nick quickly responds, “We aren’t on anything.”

Brendan adds, “You’re crazy babe.”

“Have you ever done drugs?” I ask, wondering why I had never asked before.

Nick and Brendan exchange glances. Nick says in response, “Umm yeah like every once in a while I will take a pill.”

“Oh lord Jesus!” Brendan yells out of no where.

Nick repeats louder, “OH LORD JESUS!” They both start laughing.

“Just don’t freak out about it,” Brendan tells me.

“Why would I freak out about you doing pills every now and then?”

Brendan is hesitant, but then says with a guilty smirk, “Because you’re a goody goody.”

“Oh lord Jesus!” Nick screams.

“Oh lord baby Jesus!” Brendan screams back.

And that’s how the rest of the drive goes until we get back to Nicks apartment and start drinking.

Partying became a full time endeavour. Every night after work Nick, Brendan, Matt and I would meet at someones apartment, pre-drink until 2 or 3 am, and then go out clubbing until the sun rose. It was now a ritual. One particular night we were pre-drinking at Nick’s apartment and I noticed something odd. I’d seen it before but not at this frequency. About every half an hour Nick and Brendan would go into Nick’s room for 15 minutes. I never normally paid attention to it because I thought they were going in there to fix their hair or to apply more makeup. Matt, who was sitting beside me, was obviously bothered by it. Matt yelled at them from the living room, “We all know what you are doing in there! We aren’t that stupid!”

I pondered what he meant, and I thought that maybe they were going in there to make out. I didn’t think that Nick and Brendan liked each other before, but it would explain why they would spend so long in there. It seemed desperate to me and foolish that they would try and hide it like that. They knew that Matt and I wouldn’t care. I would be happy for them to be together.

Matt broke my deep thought, “You do know what they are doing in there, right?”

“I… I think so.” I say, starting to feel foolish.

Matt says bluntly, “They are smoking crack.”

“Really?”

“Why else do you think they go in there alone so often?”

“I thought maybe they were doing their hair.”

Matt laughed mockingly at my hilarious innocence, “Oh my god! I know they do their hair a lot but that’s just dumb.”

“Well how was I supposed to know?”

“Yeah, you are pretty innocent.”

“How do you do crack?” I asked.

“You smoke it. Don’t tell me you want to try it.” Matt gazes at me with a dumbfounded expression.

“No I don’t, but I would like to watch Nick and Brendan do it. I’ve never seen how it’s done before.”

“That’s just weird. I would never do something as stupid as crack.”

Later that night Matt spends $400 on the pokies (slot machines). In one way or another everyone had their vices. Matt craved risk. Brendan craved adventure. Nick craved numbness. I craved the unknown. These mental cravings were manifesting themselves into physical ones. I thought mine had manifested in the form of becoming an escort, but little did I know I had a lot more coming.

 

The Truth: Part 18 

It took me a few days to make a decision, but I would decided to move in with Scott. The boys thought it was a bad idea, and even the managers told me to be careful. I didn’t tell them that I had a feeling I was doing something I was meant to do.  It was an easy move as everything I owned fit into my backpack. The room came fully furnished, and Scott even went out of his way to buy me new pillows and blankets. On my first night we stayed up late getting drunk. 

“It’s tradition for a new housemate to take a shot of Sambuca.” Scott insisted. We both did two shots and then he then passed me a beer and got on the electric piano set up in the kitchen and started playing me songs. I didn’t know at the time that Scott could sing or play piano, so it was a pleasant shock. 

So that was it; My first night I sat, beer in my hand, listening to Scott as he played for me. His voice was soulful and his energy was mesmerizing. 

The next day I told the boys about my night and Nick commented, “That sounds like my worst nightmare. If I ever had to sit through that I would kill myself.” 

“I still can’t believe you moved in with him. Isn’t it weird?” Matt asked. 

“Why would it be weird?” I responded. 

“Because he’s old and you’re young. If I were you I would be frightened that he was gonna rape me in my sleep.” 

 Brendan said, “Well if he does then just start charging him two hundred and fifty per round.” 

“He can be your sweet sugar daddy.” Nick joked. 

“Eww, I would barf. Scott is disgusting.” Matt said. Nick and Brendan laughed. 

I hadn’t put too much thought into it. Scott was older and I didn’t really know him. Maybe I should have been more careful before moving in.

That night I had my first outcall ever. An outcall is when you go to the clients house or hotel. I was being sent to his house, which was luckily nearby, and I was very nervous. Besides location, outcalls were different than incalls because you never knew who you were being sent to (unless they were a regular client). You don’t do an interview and you don’t get to see them, they just choose you from a list online and our managers tell us the address, give us taxi money, and send us off alone. They were riskier than incalls too. Although the managers had their credit card details and addresses, if things were to get out of hand you’d be completely alone. In the brothel you could scream loudly and someone would come running, but out in the field you had to rely on your own intuition. 

The man ended up being my first client that was good looking, which is rare in the world of escorting for obvious reasons: good looking people have Grindr, the old, ugly and fat had escorts. My client was tanned, muscular, and has an amazing white smile. His apartment looked like a place Tony Stark would live. Everything was connected through his iPad. He would touch a button on the screen and the blinds would shut, another button and music came on and the lights went down low. He was very well travelled, so the majority of my paid time with him was spent listening to his stories about being overseas. After talking for a long time I felt myself kissing him because I wanted to, not because I was being paid to. 

I had survived my outcall, to much congratulations from the boys and Robert. Scott was among the boys, and together we went to the smoking area. 

“Hey, I have to ask you something.” Scott said.

“Sure,” I replied, lighting my cigarette and taking a drag. 

Scott asks, “So I am going to Cairns in two weeks to visit a good friend. I haven’t been out of Sydney in a long time and I just need some time away. I was wondering, if it’s alright with you, if you could take care of Deniro for me? I’ll only be gone for a few days.” 

“Yeah, I’d love to!” I said maybe a little too enthusiastically. The truth is: I love dogs. Growing up on a ranch, my family would own three dogs at a time. My mother was a professional dog groomer who ran her own business out-of-home, so there was plenty of dogs around. 
“If it’s too much pressure then I can find someone else. I don’t want to put too much pressure on you.” 

“No, I’ll be absolutely fine.” I confirmed. 

“Well good. I’ll have to show you what to do then.” 

Later that week Scott showed me how to take care of Deniro. I was to feed Deniro one giant can of dog food a day, take him on a walk around the neighbourhood, and bathe him once while Scott was away. Because Sharpei’s are very wrinkly dogs they suffer from skin problems, so Deniro had to be bathed with special shampoo and conditioner once a week. Scott also started letting me feed Deniro days before he left so that Deniro would trust me while he was away. The night before Scott left he was at work and I was by myself in the house with Deniro. 

Scott sends me a text that says: Hey Babe, before you come to work tonight can you please feed Deniro.

I reply: Sure 🙂

I grabbed the can of dog food from inside the cupboard and Deniro came barreling down the hallway when he heard me opening it. He was restless at my feet as I tried to walk the food to his bowl outside. Scott always left the back door open so that Deniro could go in and out when he pleased. 

I put the food in the bowl with Scott’s instructions to tell Deniro to wait before he was allowed to eat it. I waited a few seconds after I poured the food in. 

“Ok,” I said in a high-pitched voice reserved for dogs and babies. Deniro basically jumped into the bowl. 

I stood and watched him eat for a second, the flaps under his chin were hilariously swinging with his head movements. I went to step away when Deniro turned and growled at me. It caught me off guard and in reaction I quickly took a step back and Deniro growled even louder, this time his back arching and head bowing low, almost like a cat. His eyes were fixated on me.

I’ve been around dogs my whole life. They have many different levels of growling and displeasure. 

This wasn’t a back off growl, the one dogs use to warn you to stop what you were doing. This was a low and deep growl that seemed to rumble through my chest. The look on Deniro’s face was pure aggression. 

Deniro was about to fuck me up.