I actually thought
I might someday write something
To get a book deal
To get a sitcom deal
To get a movie deal
I actually thought
That since there were very few people in my “Business”
Experiencing ‘It’ the way I did
And of those that did
So very few writing about it
That my take on things might be of interest
“What a fool believes…”
I wanted the ‘deal’ because I thought it might be a way to reach minds and hearts.
I wanted the ‘deal’ because I thought (at my most grandiose) that it might be a nugget that brought about change in our paradigm of thought about the relationships between Men and Women.
I wanted the ‘deal’ because I thought it might be a way to transition out of my business.
(Not that I want ‘out’ immediately—but I’m no ‘spring chicken’ and One has to keep the future in mind…doesn’t One?)
Today I hear that ‘Natasha’ not only has a book coming out
But has been on CNN, The New York Magazine, oh and etc.
Along with this piece of gossip
I’m informed (in detail) of the things she’s saying.
I know ‘Natasha’
And I know most of what she’s speaking of is
I also know that the reason she has the ‘book deal’
Is because of the recent arrests and scandals
Surrounding her story.
And that’s the part that irks me
Makes me sad
Sends me spiraling down to that place of:
“What’s the point?”
Here I was, fool that I am,
Trying to tell a story about the challenge to Love
On a daily basis
On an hourly basis
Trying to express the grappling with the meaning of Love
The ability of sex and love to transform and Heal
Again and again it is rejected
By those who ‘Can’
Because it is of no Interest.
But it has never been.
To ‘Money Makers’
In the Time in which it exists.
In the Paradigm in which we Exist.
There are so few Memoirs of Courtesans recorded in Literary History
I used to wonder why.
I assumed it was because it was dangerous to speak out.
It still is.
But now I imagine it may be because nobody wanted to know about the experiences unless they were
Want to hear the juicy ‘who shot John?’ re: ‘Natasha’?
Sure you do.
It begins with Jason.
Jason, the young rich son of a famous New York Lawyer
Starts a business involving phone sex and the like
He requires investors and somehow gets his father or
His father’s name involved.
Instead of reimbursing the investors
He embezzles the money.
As a result, not only gets his hardworking father dis-barred
But goes to Jail for a time.
(This is not precise. Much is what I heard through the grapevine and News Stories long after I met Jason.)
Fast forward to 2003.
I get a call on my work line from a ‘Jason’ who runs an outcall Escort Service called:
“New York Confidential”.
His ‘rap’ on my work line goes as follows:
‘Hey Geisha! So I read you’re Number One on the Review Boards! Not for long Babe! I got a girl named Samantha and right now—right now—I’m making her Number One! Writing her reviews. Putting her at the top of the Boards. Get on board Geisha. Listen. I made 45 thousand last week alone. My girls are seeing Sports Figures, Politicians, Everyone. You NEED to be with ME! Call me.”
I do call Jason back.
Although I’m not sure why.
Invite him to my place
Give him the opportunity to pitch me
You never know
He arrives on my break time in between appointments
Short, skinny Jewish boy
Clever and ambitious
Don’t know anything of his past yet
Tells me of the money he’s making
Asks why I don’t become a Madam?
Maybe go into Partnership with him?
Mumble a reply
something that includes the word ‘Felony’ and ‘Jail Time’
Offers to put me on his Website
Express to him I can’t imagine how this would work as, by now,
Most Trollers already know me by my website, photos, reputation
And would find it odd that I’m suddenly connected with a Service,
as it were.
He’ll just tell them that I’m busy now and have no time to manage my own affairs.
“But they’re not going to want to pay double the price to see me so you can get your comish.”
He’ll figure it out.
He’ got a girl now making 20 thou a week.
With an Agency? Where you have to give 50% away?
“I ask one thousand for two hours.” I say. “If you can get two thousand and manage the calls, I’ll be happy to split with you 50/50.”
How is this possible?
I charge a lot.
Not more than some
But more than others
At a rate that excludes yet a rate fair for what I offer
How is it possible?
“Jason,” I say, “I can’t muck around. I have a life. I have others that depend on my income. Everything I make goes somewhere real. Not to Prada Bags and Drugs and Easy Living. I can’t lose even one week of income trying out a new thing.”
“Geisha. Do this.”
“Give me one week. Two.”
“In what sense?”
“I’ll put your picture on my site. I’ll have a separate phone line let up for just your calls.
Come into the office. Meet the phone girl/guy. Tell’em what you want them to say.”
“Jason. I get booked a week, sometimes two, in advance. I’d have to call in every day for revisions in my schedule.”
“So? Do that.”
“I’ll change my number on my website to yours. For one week.”
“Two weeks. Give me two weeks.”
“I can’t lose more than one week of income.”
“Geisha. Give me two weeks. Come see my Office in Tri-Beca.”
I agree because
If it works
If it works
I’ll not only make the same or more money
I won’t have to be available at any time
I won’t have to be around to man the phones
I won’t have to do all that I do
That isn’t just Horizontal
I arrive on time.
We are to go to dinner
He and his current girlfriend sit at separate computer volleying phone calls.
He’s smoking a big fat joint.
Offers some to me but I don’t smoke. Pot.
Dinner never happens.
A girl arrives,
“Oh my god! You’re Geisha! You’re infamous! I’ve seen you forever on the Internet! Wow! This is amazing! You’re like, a Legend! What are you doing here? Are you going to work for Jason?”
I feel a hundred thousand years old.
I feel like Meryl Streep who has suddenly gone back to doing Community Theatre.
I remember what it was like when I was with an Agency:
Pro’s and Con’s:
You went out when they sent you
You went out when you were in favor with the phone staff
You went out to whomever and whenever and they had no idea what you’d be like or look like or if it would be a match.
You gave 50% of your income to the Service
You had your life to yourself—your only obligation was to be ready to work at your stated starting time, thus the rest of your life was completely your own.
Week One passes.
I go out for ‘New York Confidential’ Zero times.
By the middle of Week Two,
I place a call to Jason’s home phone
He begs for another week.
I cannot afford to lose another week.
We part ways.
No matter how much I beg and plead
Remains firmly on his site
And every week,
I receive a strange message on my work line from Jason:
“Hey Geish! Jason. Just wanted to let you know I made a hundred 22 this week. Oh and by the way, my girl Natasha is now Number One on the Review Boards.”
Message. Message. Message.
Finally I call back:
“Hi Jason. It’s Geisha. Listen love. Can you please stop leaving me messages about how much you make each week? Please? I’m asking you. I’m begging you. It just hurts me. It hurts my feelings. Jason. I work really hard. I’m a Workhorse—literally. I work as hard as one person can work. I do the best I can. I don’t write or forge my own reviews. I’m just one person trying to make a living. I’m sure you do well. Better than me. I would love to sit at a computer and a phone line all night having others earn money for me but that’s not my work and not what I do. I will never make what you make. So please. Make your money and let me make mine and please don’t flaunt yours in my face. Please?”
The calls lessen but continue in random sporadic-ness.
Then three incidences:
#1. Get a call from a prospective client who tells me he’s been trying to find me for the better part of the year. He thought I was with ‘New York Confidential’. Saw my pic there and asked to see me. They say I’m not ‘on’. Over and over again. (never called me, by the way) and sent another girl instead. Finally, while trolling the Internet, he found my Website and called.
#2. Get a call from a Playwright who has written an Off-Broadway play about my ‘Business’. Says he really wants to meet me for although he never interviewed me personally to write the script, it was my site, my image, my thoughts about the ‘Business’ that inspired him. I meet with him and he tells me he met with ‘Natasha’ and ‘Jason’.
I ask him what he thought of ‘Natasha.’
He says, “Average. Mercenary. She and Jason are involved in some sort of money-making thing together.”
“I felt I was in the presence of the actual Devil—if there were such a thing. In the vortex of Evil”
But he is a writer, after all.
I say, “Well, Mercenary in It’s purest form often feels that way.”
#3. My Client, the one who was nearly a virgin when we first met;
the one who is now 23 and exploring the borders of the Universe
has an appointment with me for several hours on a Saturday night.
A few minutes before his due arrival, my phone rings.
It’s my client.
“Uh, Geisha hey its Val.”
“Hi love. Are you on your way?”
“Uh sort of but I just wanted to know if it’s okay if I bring a female friend of mine to your place?’
“What do you mean? Who is she? A girlfriend?”
(I don’t want him to cancel but I don’t like people I don’t know coming to my home.)
“Who is she?”
“She’s like this really cool girl who works for like this agency and I think it would be really cool if we could all be together.”
“Val. Are you going to see her or me if I say ‘no’?”
“I mean, we had an appointment and I was really looking forward to seeing you and I blocked the time aside and I turned down other people for the time—“
“Ah man…please don’t be mad at me Geisha. But I gotta see her.”
(Tight voiced) “Why?”
“I mean, cause, she’s got like, you know. ‘Party-Favors’ and I need some.”
“So she’s bringing you a bag of MJ and that’s it. Right? And she’s really good horizontally.”
“Sort of. I mean ‘horizontally’ forget it, but I want the delivery—“
“Okay? You’re mad.”
“I am. I understand but I’m mad.”
“This Agency’s really cool you know? They deliver and shit.”
“Do you know ‘em? You might know her. If you know her, maybe she could come over?”
“Who is it?”
“The girl’s name is Natasha and the service is ‘New York Confidential’.
“Val. You choose what you want. I’ll see you another time.”
Black smoke in the ‘thought bubble’ above my head.
Decide to use the evening to write
Place a call to Jason.
Get his machine:
“Hi Jason. It’s Geisha. I just wanted to let you know that a client of mine let me know that you are delivering drugs. Delivering drugs to clients. Personally, I don’t care. I am not the morality police and I have nothing against party nights, but just as a friend and comrade in the business, I just wanted to warn you that if I know, other people know and it won’t be long before the authorities know and I would hate to see you go down for something like that. Just letting you know so maybe you should tone it down to a whisper. Anyway, I’m just letting you know for your own safety. Okay. Bye. Oh and by the way, could you please take my photo down from your site? I keep calling about that but no one seems t do anything about it. Thanks Love.”
Return Call on my Machine:
Hey Geish! Nice to hear from you. Sounds like sour grapes. Working on taking the pic down. Called my Web guy about it. But hey, by the by, you’re missing out. We’re throwing these amazing parties in Tri-Beca. Clients are paying ten-thou a head just to get in and party with my girls. And the girls are making 5 a night for nothing- just partying and once in a while laying down for a few minutes—easy money Geish! Your loss! (Pause) What was it? Some client of yours over at my camp? Yeah. Jealously? Losing Business? Door’s still open Geish. Call me.”
I never called Jason again.
But I continued hearing stories of the raucous debauchery’s that I did not and could not provide from new and older clients.
I know fair well that part of this ‘Business’
Is based on Fantasy and Escape
Jason provides the non-personal,
The Dangerous Edge
I provide only the two-hour Concert of the divine in which the best of Fantasy becomes safely a Reality.
‘Apples and Oranges’.
“Apples and Oranges” I tell myself and try to let it go amongst new phone messages from Jason re: how much money he made this week and etc.
Amongst calls from clients telling me about amazing Hedonistic parties had at Jason’s place.
Amongst calls from the Playwright telling me of the wild conversations he’s had with the slightly dysfunctional ‘Natasha’.
The Playwright gets his play produced off-Broadway even though the take on my ‘Business’ has nothing to do with the reality I know, understand and have lived.
The play is touted as a truthful exploration of the ‘Underground’.
It is easy to swallow as it portrays the Prostitute as one in constant emotional pain and confusion.
Just what the World wants to hear.
I love him.
I adore him.
I admire his work.
I am happy for his success.
Apples and Oranges
And my busy Life
Let it go.
Six months or so later,
It hit’s the papers.
I am bombarded with emails linking me to the story.
Jason and Natasha have been busted.
Jason, mostly for trying to carry loads of Ecstasy across the Border
Opens the can of worms.
No one is loyal to him
So all spill their guts.
Jason’s horrifying-looking mug shot is publicized
Along with his past dealing and
His father’s downfall years ago.
I wrote a Blog on it a while back when it occurred.
Even provided a link to the online News Stories.
And for all that occurred,
Still, I feel sad for his demise
I hate to see anyone in my ‘Business’ take the fall.
It casts a black shadow,
A confirming shadow
On the rest of us.
His partner in Mercenary ventures…
Gets a new lease on Life
In one sense
I am not Scandalous.
I am an ordinary woman who made different-than-ordinary choices
I am an ordinary woman who believed that by making
An ordinary woman could become an extra-ordinary one.
This is not of interest.
It is the opposite of Scandal.
Or perhaps it is Scandalous in its unbelievable Purity
But it is all I have lived for so very long
To stop the expression of experiences
Is to die
So I must keep writing
Even as I abandon all hope of rescue from my current Life.
I have always sought mentors.
When I was an actress,
I absorbed the writings of Eleanora Duse; Isadora Duncan
There was never enough to satiate my curiosity
As a Courtesan
Any out-of-print Memoir, Autobiography, Biography
Of any woman from whatever part of the Universe
From whatever time period
Who lived within my ‘Business’.
Women who were never famous
Women forgotten in their time
Women forgotten soon after they died
But I am so grateful for the words they managed to put to page
There will be a girl
Or a Society less gossip and trash oriented
Who are curious to know
What went on
Behind closed doors
And the further befuddling relationships between Men and Women
In a puritanical society
Before Women had complete rights over the use of their vaginas