Tag Archives: dead

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.

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The Truth: Part 22 and 23

Part 22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hesitate before saying, “Thanks.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 23 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You can’t get all crazy, ok?”

“I won’t.”

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

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

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

“I won’t freak out. I don’t care.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan smiles and says, “Of course.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Fine,” I say, “I’ll try it.”

 

The Truth: Part 16

My first two weeks at the brothel were not entirely eventful. Brendan, Matt, Nick and I became good friends. I was officially a part of their group, and together in our naivety we ‘ruled’ Knight Call. The other boys would moan whenever the four of us had shifts together because we would sit there and talk and laugh so loud that I’m sure the clients could hear us all the way from Room 3. I was smoking cigarettes full time again, something that happened gradually from hanging out with all three boys in the smoking area so often. We would sit on the wooden slats outside cross-legged, gossiping about other escorts and telling tales of bad clients, cigarettes swinging around as we flamboyantly used our hands to communicate grandeur. Our friendship took off at break-neck speed, and it was only the second week. It felt like I had been friends with those three boys for a year by that point. I never felt so connected within a group in my entire life. Finally I had a group of friends who I could relate too mentally and sexually. It was amazing.

Blaire and I had met up within those two weeks as well. She had gotten a new job in an office downtown and was still seeing Dean.

“You’re making how much money!?” Blaire asked when I told her how much I had made in the past week.

“Fifteen hundred.” I repeated.

“Holy shit Cody,” Blaire said and then laughed, “Where can you sign me up?”

I met Dean that same day I caught up with Blaire as well. Dean, Blaire and I went for a run along the cliffs near Bondi, the most famous beach in Australia. He ran behind me yelling, ‘Move twinkie move!”, which Blaire thought was funny at first but then told him to stop once it got annoying. Dean and Blaire started getting more intense with their relationship. She would visit him quite often, but she was still wary about him and his odd personality. They weren’t dating, but it was obvious that they were both developing strong feelings for each other. Blaire still hadn’t let Dean know that she knew he was an escort, so he comically kept fabricating some giant lie to her that he worked at a few night clubs doing their paperwork.

I met many boys at Knight Call. I would see Dean there every once in a while, but he only came in if he had a pre booking. He would never hangout in the Boy’s Room. Instead, Dean would seclude himself in the office. One boy (or should I say, man) really perplexed me. His name was Scott. Scott was the older guy who was there on my first day. I hadn’t officially been introduced to him until a few days after the first. I learned that he was in his late 30’s and that he used to work at Knight Call way back in the hay day. He seemed distant, but connected. Loud, yet soft. Scott and I didn’t interact that much, and it was surprising how many clients he would get with his age. I’m not saying he was ugly or anything, he was beautiful and had the most intense eyes you’ve ever seen, but normally clients wanted the young boys. The only way to make money if you weren’t young was to have big muscles, which Scott had neither. Despite this, client after client would come and ask for him. Compared to Nick and I, Scott didn’t do as well. Nick and I alone would pull in a couple clients a day, but Scott would steadily get one a day, maybe one every two days.

Besides a muscular asshole named Jake that I had a huge crush on, Nick and I pulled in the most money at Knight Call. Jake wasn’t actually an asshole, he started about a week after I did, he was just opinionated and stubborn. Once I got comfortable at Knight Call I would start telling Jake, regardless of my crush, that I thought his opinions were stupid. Normally I would never openly insult someone that quickly, but I was heavily influenced by my surroundings and the people I hung out with. I had never hung out with gay people before, or had really ever lived the gay lifestyle before. Those first few weeks (and months after) were years of oppression being released, and it released in the gayest way possible. I finally had an outlet and pedestal to be myself and was using it to my advantage.

I had been paying $180 a week for the hostel I had been living in, which was useless because I spent every night at Nick’s flat. At first I slept on his couch, but I graduated to his bed after a drunken invite. I didn’t like Nick in a sexual way, I moved to his bed because he gave me the invite and it was better than the couch.

Brendan and Nick told me numerous times that no guy would like my mohawk or plugs, so I had my plugs replaced with normal earrings, my mohawk replaced with a crew-cut that made me look like Sigourney Weaver in Alien 3.

1465365_10151769499588045_624594946_nAfter those two weeks I felt like I had to start looking for a place to call my own. I couldn’t stay in Nick’s bed forever, and I was sick of paying for a bed in a 6-person dorm. Across the city I had looked at a room, but it was a $100 taxi to get there from the inner city, and the neighbourhood scared me. Instead of risking that experience again I decided to ask around the brothel.

“I may have a room for you,” Scott said, “Why don’t you come over in two days and check it out?”

“Ok… sure.” I confirmed apprehensively. I hadn’t actually asked Scott, he must have heard I was looking through the grapevine.

Later in the smoking area Nick said, “Don’t do it. He’s weird and he’s crazy.”

I didn’t feel the same way. Scott intrigued me.

The Truth: Part 15

After the collective gasp the room fell silent. Nick looked at me with sympathetic eyes while I gazed at him scared and confused. Suddenly a boy from the back corner broke the silence and started laughing. A few other boys followed suit.

The boy who broke the silence said, “One time Arthur got me to stand behind him in front of the mirror and jiggle his belly fat.”

Another boy chimed in through the laughter, “Yeah, he got me to do that as well. He also stinks like shit!’

The first boy added, “He always wears that ugly leopard shirt!” More boys laugh.

Brendan clears his throat and announces, “I heard he always gives boys chocolate dicks!” The room erupts in roars of laughter and collective eww!‘s. Brendan notices my confusion and explains, “Chocolate dick is when you pull out and its dirty.”

One boy fake gags, another one shouts, “Covered in shit! Smells fucking disgusting!”

Robert clears his throat and speaks up, “Well don’t traumatise him!” He looks directly at me. I could tell he was trying to keep his composure. A smile curls out of the corners of his mouth.

Nick grabs my hand and pulls me down closer to him, “I’ve never had Arthur before, thank fuck! But don’t worry, it shouldn’t be too bad.”

“Does he really do all that stuff?” I asked.

Nick doesn’t say anything for a few seconds, but then says, “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.” Nick then covers his mouth to hide his smile.

Just before I exit the Boys Room someone shouts, “Arthur is a rite of passage!”

I found myself going into the office once again, Robert not saying much as I gathered up the supplies from the cupboards. Robert had put the client in Room 3, and just before I leave up the stairs he reminds me, “Don’t forget he owes you one hundred and sixty.”

Opening the door of Room 3 let out a wave of pungent air that immediately made me want to gag. Arthur, a large white man in a leopard print shirt, sat on the edge of the bed. He eyed me up and down while wetting his lips with his tongue. His triple chin rolled in a wave at the slightest movement from his head. Arthurs jet-black hair was shined with grease, his eyes filled with lust. If I hadn’t known any better I would’ve thought he was an inbred cousin of actor Oliver Platt. I introduced myself and he reciprocated by smacking his lips and grunting his name in return. I slowly sat down next to him, his eyes never leaving my body as I carefully sit. I take a few seconds, but when I build up enough courage I lift my head and look at him with an apologetic smile. His was looking at me from the corner of his eye, either too lazy to turn his head or unable to. I almost look down out of embarrassment, but then he stands up and starts taking off his top.

Arthur was my second client, and I would categorise him in the top 5 worst clients I have ever had. Everything the boys said in the room was true and then some. I jiggled his fat in the mirror, and thats about all I will say. His skin stank of rot, his breath was death. His eyes creepy and focused. His genitalia was minuscule but his stomach was large, so large in fact that he tired to get me to lay on top of him while he was on his back and it was like laying on top of a bean bag chair. It was so awkward and uncomfortable, laying on top of his bean bag fat, that I asked to scale down and lay beside him instead.

By the end of my second night at the brothel I had two clients. One, my first client ever, was nice and made me realise the job wasn’t so bad. The other, my top 5 worst client ever, was horrible and made me realise that this job was going to be roulette: I’ll never know what I’m gonna get.

The boys howled when I told them in detail what had happened in the room. Many responded with ‘the worst is now over’ and ‘it’s only uphill from here’. Even Robert, when I first came down the stairs and led Arthur out the front door when the service was over, turned to me and said, “See, it wasn’t that bad.” I didn’t say anything, instead I gave him the stink eye.

Once work closed late that night Nick and Brendan invited me to go out with them for drinks. Nick said that Matt was out and that he’d introduce me to him.

“Just a warning though,” Nick said, “Matt can sometimes be full on,” Nick grabs me and starts shaking me, “SO DON’T BE FRIGHTENED IF HE GRABS YOU!” He lets go and Brendan starts laughing. I start laughing too and they tell me funny stories and facts about Matt as we walk to a club named Palms.

According to lore, Matt was pretty successful in his real job. Matt had a tendency to throw drinks at unsuspecting strangers and sleep with anything with a pulse when he was drunk. I also learned there might be a chance he’d try and go home with me, and like a man to a dog I should just say a firm NO!  Nick and Brendan tell me they would look out for me and protect me from him if needed.

Palms was an underground club, literally not figuratively. You had to walk down a set of stairs and through a hall into a giant dance floor with one bar. It was a very small club, full of old men, and they were playing 90s music. Three things I hated.

Nick spots Matt at the back of the club. We slide our way through the tightly packed crowd, and once we get to Matt it was obvious he was stark drunk. His eyes were unfocussed and halfway open. He had a big smile and swayed as Nick and Brendan hugged him hello. Nick introduces Matt to me, and Matt leans in and licks my face. Not a playful lick (is there such a thing?) but a full, sloppy chin-to-forehead lick.

And that was the beginning of everything. That was the first time Matt, Nick, Brendan and I all hung out. That was the start of the small incline before everything crashed around us.

The Truth: Part 14 

Standing in the hallway of the brothel, I had a decision to make. Before me were two doors: one that led into the office where a client was waiting to interview me, and one that led outside. The former door was filled with amazing uncertainty, fear, and possible regret. That door represented everything in the my life that was fucked up; all that was wrong with me, my insecurities and my selfishness. That door was the bad side of me, the side that not many people get to see.

Then there was door two. Door two was the door that led outside to freedom. It led to a place where the birds were chirping and where good life choices were made. That door represented my mothers love, the touch and purity of snow, working in restaurants, cheese factories and retail stores. That door was safe, comforting, normal, and filled with endless possibilities.

Before me were two doors. One was beauty and the other was pain.

When I was a kid I tried to cut myself multiple times. I held rusty knives to my wrists, applied a small amount of pressure and tried to jerk the knife down. I would always apply the pressure but could never bring myself to jerk the knife down.  This angered me as some of my friends tried cutting themselves to mild results, and I thought to myself, ‘Hey, my life is as shitty as theirs. If they can do it then I should do it as well.’ But no matter how much I wanted to rip the knife across my skin, I was never able to do it.

I did, however, take up poking for a while in my teen years. I would get a sewing needle from my mother’s sewing kit and start jabbing my legs with it. Soon I realised that if I dipped the needle in ink I could start giving myself prison tattoos. I spent hours creating two small tattoos on my inner legs. On one leg I tattooed a small cross, on the other was an outline of a tiny lizard. After I finished my tattoos I put down the sewing needle for good, I was happy with my results and didn’t feel the need for pain release anymore.

Two weeks after the tattoos were finished they got horribly infected. My skin around the area started turning purple and green puss started oozing out of both wounds. I spent two days watching my skin get progressively worse. My legs started getting sharp pains that would shoot up my thighs. I was afraid to tell my parents about it, knowing they would have a major freak out. So one day I took a large knife from the kitchen, went down to my room, rolled up my pant legs and sat on the floor. With the knife in one hand and my other hand stabilising my leg, I started sawing off the infected tattoo. I nearly screamed as pain overtook my entire body. Blood and green puss ran down my leg as the non-serated blade of the knife sliced through my skin. I didn’t have to use much force as the skin was already softened from the infection. I had forgotten to bring any sort of material to soak up the blood with, so I shuffled across the floor and gathered up all the blank paper I could find and put it around my wound. Then I shifted legs and continued the same routine with the other tattoo.

I had always wanted to cut myself but could never do it without necessity.

I started opening the door that led to the client.

I tried peering around the door as I was opening it, as if seeing the client before the door was fully open would help with the shock of it all.

Sitting on the couch was someone… normal. He was a white man in a suit. He wasn’t pretty but he wasn’t ugly. Older, probably in his late 40’s. He sat with a resounding peace in his posture and smiled at me as I entered the room.

“Hello,” the man said, extending his hand.

“Hi,” I replied, we shake.

“Please,” the man gestured to the space beside him on the couch, “Sit down and tell me about yourself.”

I sit down next to him and he placed his hand on my thigh. The client’s touch soothed me in a weird way and I felt my shoulders relax. He had a beautiful innocence in his eyes, almost childlike as he gazed at my face. I suddenly realised that these clients weren’t scary monsters, just human beings searching for connection. I smile back.

“Sorry, I’m new so I don’t really know what to do,” I say.

“Awe, that’s ok.” He says and squeezes my thigh.

“Thanks,” I say again and smile, “So, my name is, um, Carl. I am a top. I do, um, massage. And I think that’s it.” I realised I forgot something so I quickly add in, “Oh and I’m 20 years old and do you have any questions?”

The man lets out a small giggle, “No I don’t have any questions. You’re cute.”

I blush, “Thanks,” I stand up, “Well maybe I’ll see you later.”

“Yeah.”

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

Back in the Boy’s Room, Nick asked how the interview went. I told him it was fine, and let him know what I said.

“That’s perfect. It’s good you remembered to say that you’re new, they love the newbies.” Nick applauds, “Did I tell you that I made six thousand dollars in my first two weeks?”

Robert comes into the room, “CARL!” He yells while scanning faces. His eyes lock into mine and he smiles, “He wants you.”

In the office Robert helps me collect all the materials I would need: one bed sheet, two towels and a glass of water.

“Relax,” he reminds me before I start making my way up the stairs. Robert had put the client in Room 2, “And remember you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. And get the money first. He owes you one hundred and sixty.”

“Right.” I replied. With my hands full of towels and a glass of water, I made my way up the flight of stairs. I was eerily calm, my brain wouldn’t let itself go into a panic. I knew that if I started freaking out it would quickly escalate into a full-blown panic attack in the middle of the stairwell. I didn’t even pause when I got to the door of Room 2, I just burst my way through it, giving the client a fright.

“Sorry about that.” I said calmly.

“It’s ok,” replied the client, who was in the middle of taking off his pants, “I haven’t done this much… hiring escorts, I mean.”

“That’s ok, if you want me to be completely honest, you’re my first client ever.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, so I’m probably more nervous than you are.” I lied, I was completely calm.

“Well don’t worry about it,” The client ensured, “We can start off easy with just a massage.”

“Ok, cool.”

In the end my time with my first client was, for lack of a better word, pleasurable. We had a good laugh and a nice chat. I told him about my old life on the ranch and he told me about how he wishes to come out as a gay man to everyone in his life. It was decent and it was honest. I went back into the Boy’s Room feeling confident, like this job wasn’t going to be as bad as I thought it would. Before I even get a chance to sit down, Nick eagerly awaiting to ask me how it was, Robert burst into the room and says, “Carl, another one for you right now.”

“But I didn’t do the interview.” I question.

“He doesn’t need you to, he only likes to see new boys.”

Nick’s smile turns into a frown, “No,” he says, “It isn’t leopard-print guy, is it?”

Robert replies, “You mean Arthur? Yes it is.”

Everyone in the room gasps.

The Truth: Part 1

I woke up in the comfort of my parents house. The sun was beaming through the thin curtains, lighting up the room in a cream coloured glow. I lay atop a queen sized bed, blankets and pillows scattered around. A big yawn escapes my mouth as I stretch my arms out above me and lengthen my spine. It felt good to be away from Sydney, to not have to wake up and wonder what was gonna happen that day. It was so peaceful.

I roll over to check my phone, a ritual I’m sure every twenty-something does. You can’t start your day unless you first bombard yourself with Facebook and text messages and weird emails from companies that specialise in erectile-dysfunction. A message from a friend of mine who lived in Syndey was in the Facebook notifications, I tapped on it.  The message contained only one sentence. I mouthed the words as I mentally read the message; Hey man can you please contact me ASAP! 0405**********

Something was terribly wrong.

I message back: I can’t text in Canada. 

He writes back: I was visited by the police this morning. It was about Scott… 

SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT, I repeatedly said in my mind. I told my friend that I can call him over Facebook (technology is so crazy now) and he says that would work for him.

So I call my friend.

RING RING RING…. RING RING RING…. RING… 

“Hello, Cody,” my friend says on the phone. The connection isn’t the best quality so his voice crackles a bit.

“Hi,” I try and make polite conversation like I didn’t already know what he was going to say, “How are you?”

“Well to be honest Cody, not that good. I got visited by the police yesterday.”

“…And what did they want?” I said, stupidly, because I already knew the answer. I’d always known. I knew months before the phone call was made. I even told a friend months before the phone call that I knew what was going to happen at this very moment. It was inevitable.

“They came to tell me that Scott is dead.”

I almost drop my phone.

*      *      *     *      *      *

The truth is always around you, but you can never quite grasp it. It’s because there is no such thing as truth. Everything is what you make it, which means that nothing means anything. Even the memory of you reading that last sentence isn’t truth, because we can never actually recall the full extent of a past event. We can’t remember details and, as time goes on, our brain will put in details that were never there.

Why am I telling you this? Because this story happened, but isn’t the truth. What I am about to tell you, and continually tell you throughout this blog series, is that this is my recollection of events that lead to a death of a friend and my personal descent into one of Australia’s greatest underbellies. So everything I say is the truth, but it also isn’t because its my truth. If that even makes any sense.

So take everything with a grain of salt. I will try and recall to the best of my unbiased ability, but we all know I could never put into your mind’s eye what really went on. But I’ll try my best.

Everything started a lot longer ago than expected. I am not going to start at the very beginning, even though I already began this story close to the end. But I’m using part of the end to hook people in, so don’t be angry: It will all become clear after a while.

Sometimes I write well, and sometimes its utter shit… so bear with me as I try to get the full truth out.

So it all kind of started (but not really) in Southeast Asia. Koh Tao, Thailand to be exact. I had just been traveling nearly two months through northern Vietnam, Laos, and northern Thailand, but grew bored of the rainforest-lifestyle and skipped from north Thailand to south Thailand to spend a few days on the beach.

It was beautiful. Some of the best snorkelling and swimming is in Koh Tao, so I would spend my days swimming through the reefs looking at all sorts of fish, sea turtles, and sting rays.

I had enough of hostels, having already made my way through $1-a-night rooms shared with 18 other people. I wanted some alone time. So once I got to port from the ferry, I was picked up by this lovely older gentleman from Australia who insisted I stay at his apartment complex that he owned on a secluded beach on the island. He drove a beat-up truck, and had some brown/missing teeth. We agreed on a price and he drove me up and over the small mountain on the island to the other side where his apartment complex lay.

The road to the complex was bumpy, and at one point I thought of bailing out the passenger door when he started climbing up the steepest hill I’ve even seen in my entire life. Like, you could imagine the fear when the vehicle is going up such a steep slope that all you can see is blue sky. Then we come to the top and start heading down. This is where I seriously start to question this guys sanity: going down was even worse than going up. At one point I was so disorientated that I blacked out and saw Jesus. Our vehicle was almost vertical going down and even with my seatbelt on I still had to use my arms to hold my body up from smashing down on the windshield. Despite the horrible driving conditions (that I later grow to love) we make it to the complex alive.

And that’s where I get my first glimpse of HER.

(I’m gay and I just wanted to add to the end of Part 1 that this isn’t the beginning of a love story. Without the knowledge of knowing that I’m gay it sounds like I was saying HER as in I found the one. Let me just tell you: no. Stop that.)