Tag Archives: thailand

The Truth: Part 19

One day in Koh Tao, Thailand, I was walking drunk back to my hotel late at night. Blaire and I just had partied and drank copious amount of cheap alcohol that mainly came in literal buckets. Blaire went to back to the Swedish guy’s hotel for what would end up being her missing for almost two days, later found out to be that she had two days of ‘fun’ with Mr. Sweden. It was a nice night, so instead of getting transportation to my hotel I decided to walk. It wasn’t that far of a walk to the other side of the island, the only pain was getting over the monstrous hill. The road was secluded and empty, houses turned to forest as I made my ascent. 

Up ahead I saw a dog, which wasn’t a rare sight on Koh Tao; there were wild dogs everywhere. The dog was sniffing the road, searching for garbage for scraps of food. I paid no attention to it and continued walking up the hill. The dog was joined by two more and they became conscious of my presence. I was only a few meters away when two more dogs ran out of the bushes to my left, stood in front of me and started growling. The three dogs up ahead barrel down the road towards me and stop just behind the two. Five altogether growling and barking. Aggressive and protective. 

One dog in particular, a brown male, stepped forward, teeth glistening in the moonlight. He growled deeply and would then bark while stamping his two front feet, slowly getting closer. I dared not to break eye contact as that has been known to spur on attacks. I had to confront the dogs head on. 

I debated calling for help, but knew that my yelling could initiate the attack and no one could get to me on time if they heard my cries. I took a step back, and the dogs would take three steps forward. It was an intimidation game. 

I started talking to them in a soothing voice. I put my hands out in front of me, I don’t really know why I did but it comforted me knowing my hands were between their mouths and my face. I slowly took a baby step forward. The dogs growled even harder simultaneously, but none of them stepped forward. I waited a few seconds, and then took another step, slowly going forward and veering to the right. My plan was to slowly inch my way around the dogs without breaking eye contact. I would step, they would growl, I would wait ten seconds, and then I would step again. We danced like this for the better part of half an hour before I was around the dogs and far enough away that slowly, one by one, the dogs lost interest and started scavenging around the road again. 

This is the tactic I had to use with Deniro. 

Step by step I managed to get back inside the house and shut the door. Once the door was closed Deniro turned back around and continued eating. There wasn’t anything I could do about it but tell Scott once I was at Knight Call. I gathered up the rest of my things and headed into the city. 

I told Robert the story once I got to the brothel and he chuckles, “That dog is gonna kill you when Scott is away.” 

I made Scott go into the smoking area with me, not wanting to make a scene about his dog with the boys around. 

“He did what?” Scott asked, seemingly surprised. I told him the story again and Scott says, “He’s never done something like that before.”

“I closed the door so Deniro is stuck outside right now.” I said. 

“Good. If he does that to you again when I’m away just keep him outside. He’ll learn his lesson.” 

Later that night when Scott and I got back inside the house Deniro was pacing back and forth outside whimpering. Scott opened the door and caught Deniro by the collar. 

“You be nice to Cody when I am away!” He yelled, “Understood?” He lets go and Deniro runs up the slight set of stairs and down the hallway. 

The next morning Scott left for the airport and I went to work. Nick and I were the only ones there from the friend group who were doing a daytime shift, along with a straight guy named Blake and a Brazilian named Carlos. Blake was an enigma. He said he was straight, yet he worked in a gay brothel. He was good looking, which didn’t seem to give him confidence as he bumbled around the brothel. In a way I felt bad for him. He never seemed to quite fit in with the brothel dynamics, everyone passing him off as some straight imbecile. In truth Blake had a good heart, and regardless of his questionable sexuality he was a nice person. Him and I became friends. Once you got to know him he was intelligent in his own way, and I think the hardships of being a straight man in a gay brothel affected him mentally beyond the point of repair. In reality is affected all of us boys permanently.  

I like to imagine that all of us boys ended up alright. As much as I know some of us have been damaged beyond repair, I have a glimmer of hope that we can all make it. Even the boys I hated, I wish them all the best of luck. I need to know that we can make it out alive. 

That night Scott calls me from Cairns and he is very drunk. He tells me over and over again that he loves me, and I can hear someone laughing in the background. He tells me that he had a sex dream about me.

“Sorry babe I am drunk,” Scott slurred. 

“It’s ok, it sounds like you’re having fun.”

“I am. I hope Deniro hasn’t been too much trouble.” 

“No, he’s been good so far.” 

“That’s good. I’ll talk to you soon. Love you.” 

I was very uncomfortable so all I said was, “Ok talk to you soon.” 

 A few days pass and I didn’t hear from him again until one day I was sitting alone in the smoking area and got a peculiar call from an odd number. 

“Hello,” I say with the phone to my ear. 
The man introduces himself and tells me that he is a friend of Scott. 

“I have some very bad news,” The man says, his voice dropping to express sympathy, “Scott was in a very bad car accident and won’t be going home anytime soon.” 

Stunned, I let out a with a bite, “What?” 

“He was hit by a car and has been in a coma for the past few days. He is in a Cairns hospital and has just woken up. He needed me to tell you that he won’t be able to go home for a few weeks, so you need to take care of Deniro and the house for him.” 

I was silent for a few seconds, “Ok.” 

“Save this number and call me if you need any help. Scott will be in contact with you once he feels better.” 

We ended the phone conversation and I sat by myself in the smoking area and finished my cigarette. 

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.)