Horizontal Lives

True Tales of the Infamous Courtesan: Persephone N. Hades and her Horizontal Life underground. How she got there, her mis-adventures and her struggle to re-surface.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Flying Yarmulkes

Women in ‘real life’, ‘civilians’ (non-working girls) can be so funny. I tried not to laugh. At least not during the ordeal, but the more absurd the situation became, the less I could control myself.

Concluding a long working day that began with me rising at 7 a.m., seeing my first client at noon, my last of three clients leaving at 11p.m. I, finally at 11:30 blowing out the candles, getting ready to close up and head home, when the phone rings.

It’s Nia. Kia’s sister. (The other partying nurse I mentioned in an earlier blog.) Her voice is frantic. Needs me to come to her apartment NOW. Won’t give any other info over the phone. I am exhausted. I want to go home. But I head over. She lives only a few blocks from my working apartment in a studio facing Broadway.
(And my doctor wonders why I am sleep deprived?)

She opens the door. Her face is bloated and red from prolonged crying. Immediately I embrace her and a flood of tears soaks my shoulder.

Me: What’s wrong love?

I smooth the hair out of her eyes, off her brow.

Nia: I can’t go the emergency room. I can’t go to the hospitals. Everyone knows me. It might cost me my job.

The hospital? This alarms me.

Me: What? What’s going on? Did you call Kia? She’s a nurse. She can help.
Nia: No! You’re the only one who can help.
Me: Why? What’s going on? Are you ill?
Nia: Just help me. Okay.
Me: Why me? I don’t know anything about medicine. What is it?
Nia: It’s stuck. I tried all day to get it out and it won’t come out. It’s stuck.

She sinks in a lump on the sofa, burying her face in her hands on her knees.

Me: What’s stuck?
Me: What thing? And where is it stuck?

I sit down next to her putting my arm around her shoulders. We remain that way until the next crying jag subsides.

Me: Nia. You have to be more specific. I’m not sure what’s going on.
Nia: (Softly, looking at the floor) The diaphragm.
Me: Oh. (pause) It’s stuck inside?
Nia: For three days now. I don’t even know where it is. It could have worked its way up to my lungs by now. (She gives a little laugh and finally looks me in the eye.)
Me: So maybe Kia could get it out?
Nia: No! She wouldn’t put her hands up there. She’s a nurse not a puta.

I hate the word. It has no meaning but what weight we give to it. I want to voice objection, and even bring up their lifestyles, but decide this is not the time. Amazing what they think of me and what I do, but have no problem calling on me when ‘my expertise’ might come in handy.

Nia: Can you find it and get it out? Sorry to ask.
Me: (Now that I’m here, might as well be efficient.) Okeedokee. Nia, my love, get in the bathtub.

Together we squeeze into her bathroom so New York tiny that the bathroom door hits the toilet, the toilet scraps the sink. The tub, next to a large open window, is so precariously placed that if you leaned too far, you would be in danger of actually plummeting out the window.

I empty my purse, always stocked with ‘work supplies’ on the bit of floor next to the tub.

She climbs in the bathtub fully clothed.

Me: Nia my love, you have to take off your pants.

She blushes, but complies.

Me: It’s not that bad. You’ve done it before, obviously.
Nia: Not with a woman, though.
Me: Think of me as a professional. (I grin.)

Her panties are still on.

Me: Now how am I going to go in if you still have those on?

She modestly removes them and sits in the empty tub with her knees pressed together.

I put a condom on my finger and KY on the condom. Holding my finger in the air, like a surgeon about to operate, I give her a leering evil smile to lighten the mood.

Me: Okay. Open your legs. I’m going in.
Nia: Stop it.
Me: What?
Nia: Making fun.
Me: I’m sorry.
Nia: It may be funny to you. To you, sex and bodies mean nothing.

I sit back on my knees.

Me: Not true. I take nothing for granted. I am the Princess and the Pea. Remember that story?

She nods.

Me: I feel everything. But I just don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of. And what are you doing with a diaphragm anyways, my love? Huh? I don’t care if you have sex with a hundred thousand strangers. I don’t care. But what the heck are you doing having unprotected sex with them all?
Nia: Don’t lecture me.
Me: I’m not. Okay. Yes. I am. I am. Not AIDS, but what about Herpes? That’s a very inconvenient disease. What about Clamidia? Other STD’s?
Nia: Don’t lecture me!
Me: But what about them?

She is quiet a moment.

Nia: He said he loved me.

I am quiet a moment. I hate how jaded I feel when she says that. If, at this point in my life, any man told me he loved me, would I believe him? I hate that I don't know.

Nia: Just get it out.
Me: Okay. Here we go. Just breathe.
Nia: (as my finger rubs the KY around her vagina) This is so humiliating.

I slide my finger inside.

Nia: OW!
Me: That hurt?
Nia: Sort of?
Me: Really?
Nia: No.
Me: Then, c’mon. Close your eyes, if it helps.

She does.

I close my eyes too, allowing the ‘antennae’ in my fingers to open and search. After a few moments of digging and probing, I feel nothing close to the hard edges of a diaphragm. The absurdity of the situation begins to hit my funny bone. How do I find myself in these positions? Why is it my hands are always up someone’s orifice? I’m not even a doctor for goodness sake. Here I am, after a long day of genitals, kneeling on a linoleum floor, bending over a tub with my finger in a friend’s coochie, searching madly for a lost implement. I’m sure this is not part of the routine of other people’s lives.

Maybe it is and I just don’t know it.

Nia: (Opening her eyes.) Are you laughing?
Me: No.
Nia: You are.
Me: (Gulping down the threatening giggle) Sorry. But you have to admit—
Nia: It’s lost. Isn’t it?
Me: No sign yet.

She starts to giggle too. Her laugh pushes my finger out. We both convulse, chortling until we are breathless.

Nia: (In between chuckles) Oh my god! What if it’s really lost? What if it’s on my spleen or something?
Me: Like a yarmulke. Then you’ll have a spleen that converted without your permission.
Nia: I’ll have a Jewish spleen.
Me: You will. A spleen that will demand a Bat Mitzvah.
Nia: A BAR- Mitzvah!
Me: Not unless your spleen is somehow male.
Nia: Maybe I’ll wake up one day mysteriously speaking Hebrew.
Me: Who knows. This could be a good thing.
Nia: Try again. I’m not ready to be owner of a Jewish spleen.
Me: Okay. Breathe, Breathe. Let’s stop laughing first.

Together we take in several deep breaths.

I plunge in. My fingers push deeper until finally I feel it.

Me: I think I got it.
Nia: You got it?!
Me: Don’t move.

I grab the hard circular edge with the tip of my finger, shimmying it loose, pulling it outward. It feels as if it is pressed together like a half moon spring loaded, waiting to explode into the full moon it is. Just as I get it toward the opening of her vagina, ka-pow! I lose my grip on it and it propels itself, not only out of her, but out the open window.

We both stare open mouthed, peering out the window on to the still bustling Avenue of Broadway below.

For a moment, neither of us speak.

Nia & I: (simultaneously) Oh my god.
Nia: Do you think it hit anyone?
Me: Maybe it landed on someone’s head.
Nia: Maybe they’ll think it’s a modern looking yarmulke.
Me: Or a pet sized yarmulke—one for dogs or cats.

She climbs out of the tub. Dresses. I collect my things. Wash my hands. We go to the door.

Nia: Thanks.
Me: No problem.
Nia: Really. Thanks.
Me: (kissing her cheek) Really. No problem. What do we have in life but our memories. Truly, I’ll laugh about this for a long time.
Nia: I’m gonna go downstairs tomorrow and look for it.
Me: That should be fun.
Nia: Sorry about what I said.
Me: What?
Nia: The ‘puta’ thing.
Me: I know what you meant. It’s okay.
Nia: They’re lucky to have you.
Me: Thanks. That’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to me all week.

I left her apartment and had to walk in front of her building to get a cab so of course, my eyes scoured the ground beneath her bathroom window. No ‘yarmulke’.

My god. How aerodynamic are those things?


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