Tag Archives: meth

The Truth: Part 26

“I hope you are well!” I said enthusiastically on the phone. I was talking to Scott.

“Thanks babe. It was my birthday three days ago.” said Scott with a weak voice.

“I meant to call but I got busy,” I lied, I had totally forgotten about it, “I am so sorry. Happy birthday though!” I looked up at the five people I was with and they all looked sheepish. We were walking to a local cafe.

“That’s ok hun. How’s Deniro?” Scott asked.

“He’s doing good. Really good.” I lied again. I looked down at Deniro, who was on a leash, and see blood running down his neck. Fuck, I think to myself, what do I do?

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

Two weeks before I talked to Scott on the phone two new boys started working at KC. Their names were Ben and Chris and they were a couple. Chris was a scene boy. He had blonde hair and an innocent look. He did things to get attention and you could tell he prided himself in being different. He was really odd, at times he was shy, and beneath his outer mannerisms I could tell that he was just a lost boy wanting to be heard. He was the very definition of the saying ‘the eyes are the gateway to the soul’ because his eyes juxtaposed his actions and gave away his true self. I grew to have a soft spot for him because I knew what it was like to want to be noticed.

Ben was confident, but equally as confused. He was articulate and spoke like an aristocrat. He thought he was too smart and was certain he was too good looking. He talked like he knew more than you and unintentionally acted like he was more important than you. He bragged about acting roles he had, acted like nothing bothered him, and pretended to know a lot about drugs and the sex industry.

Once they both started at KC the entire work dynamic changed. Ben and Chris quickly took it upon themselves to rule the entire Boys Room. They would come in with giant bags and throw their stuff all over the room and spend hours doing their hair and makeup. The room would soon be filled with makeup, hair products, clothes, and other assortments. The place quickly became a pig sty and nobody was happy about it.

Jay quickly got acquainted with Ben and Chris. Jay himself was still new, and I had a bit of a crush on him. He was silent but quiet charming. He warmed up to Ben and Chris and before the blink of an eye they were in a three-way relationship. Well, they called it a three-way relationship but it was obvious that Jay and Chris weren’t into each other that much. Jay was in love with Ben and Chris was in love with Ben. Ben was in love with Jay but was too scared to dump Chris to be with Jay because Chris was a safe space… at least that’s the way I interpreted it. Jay and Ben would cuddle and makeout on the couch when Chris wasn’t around. When Chris was around then Ben and Chris would usually get into fights and Chris would end up crying. The environment at KC was getting highly toxic. I was regularly at work coming down off crystal meth, so I was seriously annoyed by the new toxic environment.

Branden soon became friends with the threesome (my nickname for them at the time because it took too long to say all of their names). They would do drugs together and very rarely engage in sexual acts together. Nick soon followed suit and hung out with them for the drugs, and I fell right behind them soon after. Before I knew what hit me we were a group of six friends and we hung out all the time. I never particularly liked Ben, he seemed very fake and rubbed me the wrong way. Jay I was infatuated with, and Chris I felt sorry for, so I tolerated them. Matt had a full time job and wasn’t around as much, and we didn’t want him to hang out with us when we were doing drugs because he would get judgemental and ruin the buzz. Nick’s apartment was too small and Branden’s was too far, so we started hanging out in my Chippendale house. We all learned the game of poker and would have three day binges which more or less actually involved poker and more involved lots of crystal meth and talking about sex.

One night, the night before I talked to Scott on the phone, we were having a poker binge. We had rearranged the furniture so we could all sit comfortably for days on end. We were passing around the pipe often and I was on my second day of no sleep. As the night progressed Chris kept looking at me funny. Jay and Ben sat together and Jay would stare at Ben’s phone as Ben typed something out and then they would both giggle. Branden was telling a story and Nick was spaced out looking at his phone. Jay and Ben’s giggling continued and Chris kept looking at me. I was starting to get paranoid. When Ben stopped laughing and looked at me for a split second I had a feeling that they were laughing at something that had to do with me.

I decided to send Chris a text message: What is going on?

Chris: I don’t know if u want to know.

Me: Just fucking tell me.

Chris sends me a screenshot of a series of texts that Ben had sent him, it read:

       Ben: Do you think Cody would want to do a foursome?

       Chris: Idk

       Ben: Yeah, he’s kind of a prude.

       Chris: Yeah.

       Ben: He might not be any good. He’s not really experienced. He’s kind of weird.

I send Chris a text message: I wouldn’t have sex with you guys anyway.

Chris doesn’t message me back. Instead I get a text message from Ben.

Ben: Chris told me he showed you what I sent. So you want to come home with us?

Me: No.

Ben: Why not?

Me: Because I like one on one sex and I don’t want to have sex with any of you.

I could tell Ben was a little offended and it made me happy.

Ben: Jay thinks you’re really hot.

Me: That’s nice.

There was not another text exchange that night. It seemed like the three boys were just horny from all the ice so I didn’t think much of it. The sun was slowly brightening the night sky. Morning had come and we all turned into zombies. We didn’t speak for a few hours, instead we were consumed in our phone screens. Our faces illuminated by the blues and yellows of Facebook and Grindr. Chris suggested we go get coffee at the local cafe. We decided it was a good idea to get out of the house for a few minutes and I thought it would be a good time to take Deniro for his walk. I found a pair of sunglasses to help me hide from the brightness of the outdoors, and so did everyone else. Deniro whined with excitement when he saw me grab the leash. His tail frantically swung back and forth as I placed it on him. Standing up gave me a whole new rush and I started to feel less zoned out. Nick walked past Deniro as he walked out the door and said, “Don’t touch me.”

“Awe, don’t you like his pretty face?” I joked.

“Not when he stinks like something died.” Nick responded.

I followed Nick out the door with Deniro, “I just washed him a couple days ago.”

With sunglasses in place, the group of us walked through a very small park named Peace Park to get to the cafe. There were children laughing on the playground and parents sitting on the benches. I wished they didn’t look at me when they did because I looked in the mirror before we left and noticed my skin and hair was greasy. A little dog was running around off-lease and saw Deniro. The small white ball of fluff came running up to him, pink tongue sticking out with ears flapping behind. Deniro stood still as the small dog apporached. The owners walked up behind their dog and, within a second, the little dog yelped and grabbed Denrio by the neck. Deniro didn’t even flinch as the small dog bit at his neck and barked. The owners grabbed their small dog and apologized. I hardly said anything because Deniro seemed fine and I was tweaking out too hard to say much. The group hardly said anything as we continued walking. For me the walk seemed to take forever even though it took us 3 minutes total. Everything was too intense, I started to feel a panic rising in me. I tried my best to hide it and take deep breaths. We were nearly at the cafe when Nick said, “Cody, I think Denrio is bleeding.”

“Really?” I asked, then bent down to inspect him. Deniro had a line of blood running from his neck down his legs. I grabbed at one of his skin-folds on his neck and spread it. A chunk of skin had been removed by the small dog and it was bleeding profusely.

“Fuck,” I exclaimed, “That fucking little dog took a good chunk out of Deniro’s neck!”

Nick bent down to look, “Eww, that’s fucking gross. He didn’t even yelp when it happened. I didn’t think he was actually hurt.”

“Yeah, me neither. Fuck, I don’t know what to do. I’ll try and fix it once we get our coffees and get back to mine.”

My phone started ringing in my pocket. One Day/Reckoning Song by Asaf Avidan & The Mojos was my ringtone at the time. I had heard the song for the first time in Koh Tao, Thailand. I was with Blaire when I had heard it. I remembered dancing the night away in the beach club. At one point Blaire yelled in my ear, “You’re going to have such a good time in Sydney. It’s such an amazing place! You’ll do so well there.”

I take my phone out and look at the caller id. It’s Scott.

You’ve got to be fucking kidding me, I thought.

The Truth: Part 25

Brendan and Nick made me promise not to tell the other boys at the brothel that I did meth with them. I was experiencing my first come down ever, which was like a swift kick to the face. Coming down off crystal meth is the antithesis of being up on it. You feel void of all emotion. Everything has a terrible dream-like quality and your steps feel heavy. Your motivation is non-existent. I would smile or laugh at a joke, but inside be thinking about how I actually couldn’t feel happiness or laughter and how much I just wanted to curl up and die. A quick scientific explanation would be this: Meth temporarily opens the floodgates of dopamine to rush into your brain (dopamine is a pleasure neurotransmitter). When you’re coming down off crystal your brain is in a recovery period where it’s unable to produce dopamine at normal levels. This is why crystal meth is highly addictive. People who overuse crystal meth can permanently rewire their brains and effectively never feel pleasure the same way again.  

I was suffering my first come down while I was working a shift at KC. Everyone was on my nerves but, for an odd reason, my libido was through the roof. I spent most of my time with earphones in blaring the Arctic Monkeys while scrolling endless lists of shirtless men on Grindr. Having a client was excruciating and I was unable to perform at my peak. I was usually good  at giving the ‘boyfriend experience’, but while coming down I was unable to give a peak performance. Every word that came out of the client’s’ mouth irritated me and their touch felt like cheese graters against my skin. I wanted to be left alone in darkness as light seemed too intense for my eyes.

When my excruciating shift was done I managed to convince Jake to drive me home. The thought of taking public transport was agonizing so I told him I wasn’t feeling good. He had noticed my odd behaviour that day and felt obliged to take me. Despite Jake being one of the most annoying guys I’ve ever met, especially while I was coming down, he was also caring. He was big headed because of his muscular body, but underneath his egotistical exterior he had a gentle interior. He was also very self-conscious, I noticed that his cocky attitude was to hide his low self-esteem. Once Nick told him he was starting to look fat and the next day Jake came in and announced he was doing this experimental weight-loss drug. He was super offended once when I asked him if he ever took steroids, which led into a giant fight, which then led to him admitting that he had done them before.

Nick had done a double with Jake (a double is when a client hires two escorts at once) a few days prior and was happy to report to me that Jake had a huge penis. Nick bragged that it was the best double he had and that they both really ‘went at it’. Needless to say, Nick had a crush on Jake and was trying to rub it in only because he knew that I had a crush on Jake as well.

Jake and I walked down the street and hopped into his black SUV.

“Where do you even live?” I asked him once he put the car in gear.

“I live out with my mum.” Jake answered. He did say the name of a suburb that was far out of the inner city but I can’t remember which one.

“You still live with your mom?” I chuckled.

“Yeah, I love my mum. I’m a momma’s boy.” He cheekily smiled.

“I can’t believe you drive all the way in to work from out there! How long does it take you?”

“About forty minutes, depending on traffic.”

“Shit, that sucks. Obviously your mom doesn’t know you do this for work.”

“Naw way.” He replied. He always had a goofy grin across his face. There was a few seconds of silence, and then he said, “So how is hanging out with Brendan and Nick?”

“It’s been good. We’ve been having a lot of fun together.”

“You guys hang out all the time.”

“Yeah, we party a lot. I like hanging out with them all, and Nick and I are best friends.”

“Just be careful.”

“Why?” I asked.

“They seem like trouble to me,” Jake let’s out a goofy laugh.

“Well they’re not.” I replied starkly.

“They could’ve fooled me.” He had that goofy laugh again. It was goofy because it wasn’t a genuine laugh, it was an insecure laugh. Jake didn’t deal well with confrontation, his coping mechanism when he tried to cause drama was to laugh. There was silence in the car, then Jake continued, “Just be careful.”

“I don’t even know what that means.” I replied and slumped into my seat. Jake was trying to cause drama.

“I’m just saying that they might be a bad crowd. I have heard that they are into stuff.”

“Well they aren’t.” I said unconvincingly.

Jake laughs, “That didn’t seem like a confident answer.”

“Well it’s none of your business what they do. Everyone in this city seems to party. I’m sure you have.”

“Yeah, I go out every once in awhile and take a pill,” Jake admitted.

“So you’re no different than them.”

“Have you done anything with them?” Jake asked. I am silent and feel myself turning red. Jake opened his mouth wide and gasped, “Oh my god. You have! What have you done?”

“Please don’t tell anyone… promise.” I begged.

“Babe, everything you say here stays here.” Jake tried to reassure me.

I hesitated, then said, “I’ve done crack with them.”

“I knew it!” Jake yelled wide-eyed.

“It was only once!” I tried to defend myself.

“It’s ok, I do it every once in awhile too. Just be careful and don’t do it all the time. I knew you weren’t sick today!”

I made Jake promise multiple times he wouldn’t tell anyone. I knew Nick and Brendan would kill me if they found out I told someone; they both kept it a secret for so long.

The next day I was at work when Dave came into the room. It was a quiet morning, only a few boys were working a shift that day, including Jake. With sad eyes, Dave called for me to join him in the office.

I really liked Dave. Over the weeks he had turned into a good friend. At the beginning he seemed cartoonish to me; he seemed like a stereotypical sassy older gay man. Overtime that opinion changed, and I felt like he was dear to me. I would sit in the office on boring days and listen to him tell stories of his past life. He had been working at the brothel since it opened 20 years previous. He was spunky and energetic on good days, sensitive and quiet on poor ones. Bad experiences seemed to get him down mentally. He had seen many boys, full of potential, throw their lives away at KC. Boys once filled with life had it drained if they stayed for long periods of time, and there wasn’t anything Dave could do but watch these boys shrink into oblivion. The hardships of the job weighed upon him. To some boys he was viewed as a bitch, to most others he was a source of laughter. Dave was funny. Very funny. He had a quick wit and wicked style. It hurt us almost as much as it hurt him on days when he seemed upset.

I sat in the office on a chair opposite him. He turned to me and said, “I know you have been out smoking crystal meth with those boys.” I immediately looked down and didn’t say anything. Dave’s voice quaked when he continued, “To be honest I was very upset when I heard. When you first came here I thought to myself Here is a good country kid with a good head on his shoulders. So I was very surprised when I heard that you would do something so stupid. So very, very stupid. I don’t want to sit back and watch you throw your life away.” Dave continues, and in respect for the story he told me I will not repeat it here. But Dave continues and tells me the dangers of being addicted to crystal meth. He tells me that he has seen many boys go down the path of addiction and ruin their lives. He was nearly crying and so was l. It was upsetting to see him so distraught. He really cared about what would happen to me, and his fear for me was the greatest gratitude I have ever received at the brothel.

I knew Jake had told Dave about the drugs, it was pretty obvious even though Jake denied it till the end. At first I was furious at Jake for telling Dave, but now I see how it was necessary. Although Jake told Dave to cause drama, I am glad he did or else I wouldn’t have had that talk with Dave.

When Dave and I were done the conversation he made me promise him that I would never do meth again. I promised I wouldn’t. That’s why, out of the bottom of my heart, I am really sorry that I didn’t listen to him. If I had listened to his heartfelt plea that day I would’ve saved myself a lot of trouble. I truly believed when I had come out of that discussion that I would never do it again. He had scared me straight, but the feeling didn’t last. It didn’t last for a week, nor even a full day. The night after the discussion I hung out with Nick and Brendan and we smoked more crystal meth.

I was addicted right out of the gate. It was already too late.

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 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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

The Truth: Part 12

Nick talks fast and his excitement builds as he begins explaining to me the ins and outs of the brothel, “There are three main groups here at KC- KC is what we call the brothel,” He starts listing them off on his fingers, being frantically and stereotypical gay in his enthusiasm, “First there is the group of people who keep to themselves: they don’t want to make friends here, and its best just to leave them alone. Then there is the group of foreigners: they mostly stick together and probably won’t talk to you unless you speak Spanish or something. And last there is the cool group, which is the group I’m in, and we own this place,” Nick is clearly over-excited about announcing the cool group; if there even can be such a thing in such a place.

Nick continues, “There are three people in the cool group: First there is me, who started working here before the other two. There is Brendan, who arrived here second and not long after I started. Brendan is really cool, and we get along really well. Then there is Matt, who has a full time job and only works here a couple of nights a week, and he arrived here third. We are the ones you want to stick with. You’ll meet them soon… are you going to be here tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I put myself on the schedule here almost every day.” I respond, taking another drag of my cigarette.

“Cool, well then you’ll probably see them tomorrow,” Nick also takes another drag then continues, “A lot of people come and go in this place, so groups and dynamics change all the time. Right now its a good dynamic. Brendan, Matt, and I are all your direct competition,” Nick stops speaking and looks at me as if he’s eliciting a response; I take the bait.

“What do you mean by direct competition?” I ask.

He’s obviously excited that I asked, “We are in the young and twink category, so we mostly get all the pedophiles. We wouldn’t really be competing with the muscly guys, or the older ones.”

“Yay, pedophiles!” I say sarcastically.

Nick laughs, “Yeah I’ll admit they aren’t too bad but at the same time they are disgusting.”

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

The rest of the night flies by. Pete comes in at 1am and tells us all that he is closing down for the night. I spent my whole shift nervous to experience my first client, but nobody showed.

When I asked Nick if it was normal to have no clients he replied, “Yeah, sometimes. But I got two clients on MY first night.”

Nick invited me for drinks at Stonewall and, with nothing else to do, I obliged.

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

“Cheers!” Nick screams over the loud music. I lift my glass and he does the same. We clink our glasses and take a sip. We spot an empty table across the room and race to sit there before anyone else does.

“So are you nervous about having sex with the clients?” Nick asks, sitting cross legged and leaning in close.

I was taken aback that Nick would speak so publicly about our work environment, but then realised the music was too loud and everyone else was too drunk to care.

I reply, “Yeah I am very nervous! I’ve only had sex twice in my entire life.”

Nick almost spits out his drink, “OH MY GOD! You’re kidding, right?”

“No, I wish I wasn’t.”

“HOLY-SHIT!” Nick laughs, “How the fuck are you going to do this job?”

I respond, “I have no idea.”

Nick and I spend the night getting drunk and laughing about our current life predicament. I was happy I didn’t get a client that night at Knight Call, as it was nice to get comfortable in those new surroundings before I jumped in head first. Nick was great at putting my mind at ease and making me laugh. He made me feel comfortable.

Back in Canada I didn’t have any gay friends. Yes, I worked with some gay people, and had some gay lovers, but none of them were anywhere close to being good friends. The fact was that I never had a gay friend to just hang out with. My whole Canadian life was built around a structure that was inherently straight, and I was ready to break down that structure. Even though I had my guard up that first night with Nick, I still felt comfortable around him like I’ve never felt before. My entourage of girlfriends back in Canada never seemed to fill me with the comfort that one man here in Sydney seemed to do. It was different, it was freeing, and that night I knew Nick and I would become great friends.

The night grows long, and it’s almost 4am before we decide to call it in. The hostel I was staying in had a 1am curfew, so Nick insisted I stay on his couch. He lived close to Stonewall.

I drunkenly crash on his couch and pass out.

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

After Scott’s memorial I meet up with Matt (the aforementioned member of the cool group). We are sitting at a pizza restaurant in Darlinghurst and it’s the first time I’ve seen him in a while.

Matt says, “I still can’t believe Scott died.”

“Yeah, me neither. I knew it was coming, but it’s still a shock. In a weird and fucked up way I’m kind of glad it happened.” I instantly regret saying. I knew Matt wouldn’t understand my reasons behind saying it. No one really would. I was upset he was dead, but also glad. Scott had suffered for so long, and now he was at peace. It was macabre; it was beautiful.

Matt and I sit in silence for a few seconds, letting what I said sink in.

Matt speaks up, “I saw Nick the other day.”

“Fuck, really?” I say, happy at the change of conversation.

“Yeah, he looked really bad.”

“Is he still… Into it?” I ask.

“Oh yeah, big time. He looks like a skeleton.”

“Shit, that sucks. But to be honest I have no sympathy for him. He has the choice to get out, and he chooses to stay in.” I chose my words carefully, knowing full-well the people around us could overhear.

“I talked to him as well.”

“What did he say?” I ask, suddenly intrigued.

“He said that if he ever sees you again he’s going to punch you in the face.”

The Truth: Part 11

“Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it.”
― Richard Adams, Watership Down

Pete opens the door to the boy’s room. Flashes go through my mind about what my eyes were about to register. Will I see boys shooting heroine? Will the boys going to be juvenile detention burnouts with those prison-murder-tears tattooed under their eyes? Will these boys eat me alive and spit me out a hard, cold, cynical man with no hope left in humanity? I begin to think that I’m not not up for this anymore. I am what you call an introverted extrovert: I am shy and complacent in certain situations, wild and unpredictable in others. Right at that time I was feeling shy and complacent, like I was being thrown to the dogs. I start to think If I run now will it be less embarrassing than if I have to run later? 

For the sake of keeping an interesting story I would like to be able to say the door swung open and there were twenty boys eating live chickens while cooking crystal meth and having an orgy on the couch. But what happened was: the door swung open and I saw six boys scattered about the room watching tv. There was nothing horribly abnormal about the scene.

“Hello boys,” Pete speaks up, “We have a new boy starting today. His name is-” Pete pauses and turns to me, “What is your name again?”

“Cody- I MEAN CARL!” I nearly shriek, so embarrassed that I just gave away my entire identity. Pete continues introducing me while I go pale white. I had just given away my real name. I think to myself, People will know of my sins. I must move out of this country. Tonight I’ll be on the next plane home. I broke the only rule. Was it a rule? I CANT EVEN REMEMBER THE RULES! What am I doing? They are all staring at me. I should say something. Anything. 

“Hi,” I whimpered, and then sank down onto a couch that was directly and conveniently behind me. Pete finishes talking and heads back into the office. The boys continue to stare for a second before turing their heads back around to watch the tv. I silently pray that no one tries to come over and talk to me. Right when I’m done my farce prayer, a boy whose name I can’t remember came over and introduced himself.

“What’s your name again?” The boy asked.

“Carl.” I try to announce confidently.

“Yeah… right.” The boy said while rolling his eyes. He goes back to his original place in the room.

The boys room was larger than I expected. It was just a single room, but one where the back half and the front half were divided by a step down. The back half was smaller and had just a desk and an L-couch in the corner. The front half widened out and had a couch lining the wall on the left, fully furnished kitchen on the right. In the middle was a small glass coffee table, and by the  back patio doors was a television.

I sit there in silence for nearly three hours while I observe the boys from the corner of the room.  There was a skinny blond guy on the far couch texting on his phone, an older white man watching whatever was on the tv, there was the guy that introduced himself to me, and then three boys who were obviously foreign and were only speaking in Spanish to one another.

***Now there are two things you need to know before I continue this story. One is that during my time at Knight Call I had to learn two names for everyone (their real names and their working names) and be able to decide when it was appropriate to use which name, a feat that isn’t as simple or as easy as you’d think. But for simplicity of the story, I’m only going to give you one name for everyone except for me (rejoice!). The second thing I need you to know is that I am not here to ‘out’ boys that were escorting. Its a private and personal decision. So to protect the identities of certain people in this story, I can only use their pseudo-names and very generic descriptions.***

The older gentleman turns to me, “Have you done escorting before?”

“No. I haven’t.” I reply, controlling the shake in my voice.

“Well it’s not that hard, you just go up there,” He points up towards the ceiling/second floor, “Fuck em’ like you love them, and then leave.”

“Cool,” is the only word in my vocabulary at that point. I realised that I  was sitting like a lady in church; knees together, back straight, hands in my lap. I couldn’t remember if I had been sitting like that for the past few hours but I hoped not, otherwise I would’ve looked like a freak.

The skinny blond boy comes over to me as I try to find a more humane way to sit on the couch. I find an equally-awkward position as he plops down beside me.

“Hi, I’m Nick,” He says as he extends his hand for me to shake.

I shake and reply, “Hi Nick, I’m Carl.

“Where are you from?” He asks.

“Canada.”

“Oh cool! And how long have you been in Australia?”

“Almost two weeks now.” I reply.

I noticed that while I was replying he was doing a scan of my features and clothing (you have to remember that at this point I still had a mohawk and spiral plugs in my ears). He seemed genuinely interested in talking to me, but I could also sense some judgement.

“You’ll love Sydney. I was born here.”

“Oh wow, I haven’t actually met someone who was born in this city yet.”

“Really? Wow.” He pauses, “Do you smoke?” He asks while taking out a pack of cigs.

“I quit two months ago but could really use one now.” I reply, not knowing how much I wanted a smoke until I had seen the packet in his hands.

I follow Nick outside into the backyard, which is small and fenced in with wooden seats around a wooden coffee table. Plants lined the perimeter of the fence, which made it feel peaceful. Nick hands me a cigarette and takes one for himself.

He lights his cigarette and then lights mine. I give him my thanks.

We are silent while we take our first drags, then Nick speaks up, “So I overheard you say that you’ve never been an escort before.”

“Yes, that is correct,” I respond.

“Ok, well here are the things you need to know…”

 

 

 

 

The Truth: Part 10

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I was at Scott’s memorial, which was held at a large venue on Oxford Street and was filled with all sorts of characters. There were people who had starred alongside him in musicals, old friends who were like family, his actual family, neighbours and people he hadn’t seen in years. Everyone was there.

I hadn’t cried in front of people yet, and the only time I cried about his death was the day I got the call and found out: I was in Canada and my friend just told me the police came to his house and told him that Scott was dead. I almost dropped the phone. We finished the conversation and I was completely emotionless when my mom asked me what was wrong. I just nonchalantly replied that Scott was dead. I then proceeded to walk around like a zombie, making breakfast and taking a shower. I had to help my cousin move that morning, so I got into my old truck (that my parents kept) by myself and sat for a second before turning on the ignition. I put the truck in gear and drive down the driveway, up the gravel road and towards the highway. Once I hit the pavement of the highway I pushed the gas-pedal down to the floor and screamed at the top of my lungs, “YOU FUCKING CUNT!” I repeatedly swear while my truck reaches 160kph. After screaming I burst into tears and cry so uncontrollably that I had to pull over in fear of getting into an accident.

At the memorial we drank Sambuca shots and tried our hardest to keep things lighthearted, believing Scott would want it that way. I met one of Scott’s old friends, a father figure to Scott during the times when Scott didn’t have any resemblance of a family of his own. I had never met him before.

He shakes my hand, “I’m happy to finally meet you,” his voice is soft and soothing, “Scott told me so many wonderful things about you. You were very special to him.”

Then, randomly and uncontrollably, tears burst out of my eyes as I grab at him and hug him.

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I agreed to start working at the brothel the following Monday. Blaire told me I should keep shopping around for real jobs and that escorting should only be a temporary fix. I agree and continue my job search.

It was also time for me to move out of Blaire’s apartment, so I headed back to the hostel I was staying in before. My hostel was eerily close to Knight Call.

Over the next couple days I applied to many jobs and landed an interview for just one. It was a job that involved handing out flyers on the street and trying to get people to donate to kids with cancer. I went to the interview, killed it, and the next day was offered a full-time position. I accepted. The cancer kids job wanted me to start Monday.

I had to make a decision: which job should I do? To most people the choice would be easy, but for some reason I couldn’t help but ponder the possibilities of working in a brothel. The prospect terrified me, yet filled me with adventure. I knew it had the potential to destroy me mentally, to ravage my personality, to overbear me with depression. But I also knew that it could  be empowering, sexy even. Guys would want me and even pay for me. I wasn’t a faceless nobody, people would know me and pay for my time and company.

The other escorts I’d have to work with could be drug addicts, rapists, or murderers. This prospect was also terrifying. But even then I thought of adventure, because who would want to work with mundane people when you could have the possibility of working with Sydney’s most crazy and spontaneous? I imagine young guys like me sitting on a couch shooting up heroine, and I am suddenly filled with passion.

Passion is a weird word. By definition is means a strong and barely controllable emotion. The thought of working in a brothel filled me with just that. It evoked a strong and uncontrollable emotion inside of me, the most uncontrollable emotion of all: curiosity. I was filled with passionate curiosity. I had the opportunity to walk down into Sydney’s underbelly and discover a whole new world for myself.

So on that Sunday night I had two choices, and for all selfish and egotistical reasons I decided to adventure into Sydney’s belly.

Once again walking up to Knight Call I had a mini panic attack. It’s almost 8pm. Pete told me that normal shifts start at 7pm but I should come in later so I’m not flooding in with all the other boys. He also got me to email him a picture of my body that he could post online for the website.

I ring the bell at the front door. I could hear someone rustling towards it, and then it swings open and I see that, unsurprisingly, it’s Pete.

“Why hello Carl, how are you?” Pete almost purrs (Pete always reminded me of a cat, mischievous and cunning and will always get what he wants).

“I’m good,” I reply.

“Good,” Pete nods, “Well I guess I’ll start showing you around now. The first thing you need to know is that the bell you are ringing is called the ‘client’ bell.” Pete pushes aside some plants covering the left wall inside the doorway, revealing a hidden grey doorbell, “This is the bell that the boys push when they want to be let in. Each bell makes a different noise so that we know if its a client by the door or an escort.”

Pete ushers me inside. We walk down the hall and past the office and come to a door on the left and stairs going up on the right. Pete pauses at the door, “This is the boy’s room. In there we have a kitchen, couches, a backyard for you guys to sit in the sun or smoke. Kitchen is fully furnished so you can cook if you want, we also have a television to keep you entertained. Sometimes it can get very… dull here.”

Pete doesn’t open the door to the room, instead we start walking up the stairs. We come to a bedroom with the door open.

“This is Room One,” Pete indicates, “Come inside.”

I step into the room after him. The walls were painted the same deep red as the office. The setup is very minimal, just a bed with disgusting red/brown/god-knows-what coloured mattress and pillow covers. On each side of the bed is a bedside table, and opposite the bed is a large dresser with a TV above it. The room also had two windows with white blinds on them.

Pete tells me that after each client we are responsible for making the rooms look tidy for the next one. The managers (there are four of them) are the ones that wash the sheet and towels, and Pete hires a cleaner once a week to clean the whole place at nighttime.

We head up a smaller set of stairs outside of Room One and come to a hallway. There is a toilet and a shower in the room to the right, and straight ahead is Room Two, which is almost identical to Room One except that its a bit smaller. Then we head up another set of stairs to the top floor, which is where Room Three is. Room One and Room Two have to share a bathroom and shower, but Room Three has it’s own bathroom on it’s floor, and it was also the biggest room.

We then head back down the flights of stairs and back into the office.

“This is usually how the whole thing works,” Pete explains, “You boys wait in the boy’s room. When a client rings the bell I let them in and bring them here, to the office. I show them pictures of you boys on the TV screen here,” Pete points to the TV, “The client will then tell me which boys he wants to interview. When that happens, I go into the boys room say which boys he wants, and one by one you’ll go into the office, introduce yourself and what you do, and then go back into the boys room. After all the boys have done the interview part, I go back into the office and the client chooses who he wants. When that happens I bring the client upstairs and put them in a room. Then I come down into the boys room and tell them which boy he wants. So, if you’re chosen, you come into the office,” Pete reaches into a cupboard beneath the TV, “And grab two white towels,” Pete pulls out the towels, “And then grab a bed sheet,” He takes a bed sheet out of the cupboard as well, its the same disgusting colour at the mattress covers in the rooms upstairs, “And a glass of water,” Pete points to a mini fridge beside the cupboard, on top of the fridge were glass cups, and presumably inside the fridge was the water. “And then you take all of this and go up inside the room. I suggest you make each client shower before doing anything. Make sure you lock the rooms as well, we’ve had a few incidences of other boys accidentally walking into the room.” Pete sets the towels and bed sheet down, “And the most important thing is: always get paid upfront. Don’t start anything until you’ve been given the cash. Legally I can’t give you the money, I can only get the money for renting the room, which I take before I bring the client up the stairs. It’s up to you boys to ask for your share of the cash when you’re in the room. You got that?”

“Yeah I think so,” I reply.

“Let’s bring you in to meet the boys,” Pete announces. A shot of nerves spikes through my body.