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.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

It Bears Repeating: I Told You So!


I made mention that I do not see Doctors or Frenchmen as clients. Although it sounds silly, that ban was imposed because of the disturbing quantity of those men who made me miserable.

Unfortunately as Time moves on, my memory fades and I think myself goofy for making such a rule. But if there’s one thing I should know by now, it’s to trust my intuition. I am not a Renaissance Woman—I have few skills, but the several I do possess are formidable. Intuition is a strong suit of mine.


On the other hand, one of my great weaknesses, is my constant self-doubt, and it is this very trait that led me to the disaster that was tonight.


He called and left a message on my voicemail all the way from Paris, France. Let’s call him 'Xavier'.
Why not.


Doing as I request on my outgoing message, he gives his work number and his cell number. I wasn’t able to call him immediately, as it would have been 5 a.m. in France. Wasn’t too concerned as I told myself sternly, ‘I don’t see Frenchmen.’ Early the next morning, I hear his message again. Sounds nice enough. Anyway, it’s been so long since I’ve seen a Frenchman that I can’t quite remember all the troubles. Maybe I was exaggerating them in my own mind. Decide to ring him up.


(Some of our conversation was in French so I will translate the more complicated stuff for those of you who don’t 'parlez' the language)


Me: Bonjour Monsieur Xavier. This is Geisha. Vous me telephonez a New York?
X: Ah oui. Merci. Parlez vous Francais?
Me: Ah non Monsieur (I am rapidly developing, for no reason at all, other than I am a chameleon and affected by osmosis, a pretentious French accent) Je parle un peu mais je veux a parler en Anglais. D’accord? (Basically, let’s speak English.)
X: Ah oui. D’accord. I am coming to New York and would like to see you Thursday night. C’est possible?
Me: Oui. At what time? (Yes. At what time.) (Had to translate for you. Wasn’t sure you’d understand. My accent was so thick.)
X: 8 would be okay?
Me: 8 to 10 then?
X: But you will come to me, non?
Me. Ah non Monsieur. I have people come to me the first time I meet them. Is that okay? (Non.)
X: Yes but I think it will be difficult to get a taxi in New York City. Non?
Me: Non. La meme chose a Paris. Just put up your hand and climb aboard. (Don’t be silly.)
X: ‘Climb aboard?’
Me: Climb inside.
X: There is a board?
Me: No no. No board. Just raise---are you staying at a hotel?
X: Ah oui. Le Mark Hotel.
Me: Okay. The doorman can put you in a taxi.
X: He will put me in?
Me: (Argh! This call is on my cell phone and costing 2 dollars a minute. Now I’m beginning to remember. This same conversation could be taking place in English with a Doctor.) It’s not difficult to get a taxi. Do you still want to come see me? (Come on. Get it together.)
X: Oui. I would like to see you.
Me: Okay. Thursday at 8 then? Call me when you get in and I will give you the address. Okay?
X: D’accord. (Okay)
Me: D’accord and merci. I will talk to you then on Thursday. (I am writing his appointment in my book while simultaneously chastising myself for being so limited about this Frenchman thing. Not so bad. Just a little language problem, that’s all. All will be fine.)
X: Ah Geisha?
Me: Yes Xavier?
X: Just a few things for the evening. It is possible to ask?
Me: Bien sur. (Uh-oh. Here we go.)
X: I would prefer you to wear French lingerie. A corset. Black. I do not prefer American lingerie. Vous comprendez?
Me: No Problem. I usually wear very nice lingerie. And I have a black corset so it would be my pleasure. Thursday then?
X: Also, (meaning, just seeing you the first time and letting us both be who we are and connect as strangers might is not enough…I have a vision of what I want you to be and as I am French, you will never fulfill it.)
I would like if you are to wear, black seamed stockings. French stockings. You know what kind I mean?
Me: Yes. You mean with the seam up the back of the leg and attach to garters. I have those. It’s no problem.
X: You say you have those?
Me: Yes. I have both the corset and the stockings.
X: Also (see translation above) I prefer you to wear European shoes. I do not like platform or shoes with chunky heels. Only slim heels. (Ceiling walkers.)
Me: Yes. No problem. I have shoes like that.
X: Also, (you understand by now, non?) I prefer you to wear black satin gloves.
Me: I don’t actually have ‘satin’ gloves. I have ‘lace’ gloves. Would that be okay?
X: Lace? A quelle colour est ‘lace’? (What color is ‘lace’.)
Me: No. I have ‘lace’. Not ‘satin’. I have gloves but not ‘satin’. The ones I have are ‘lace’. Is ‘lace’ okay?
X: Ah, oui..but what color is ‘lace’?
Me: Lace, ce n’est pas colour. It’s a material. But they’re black. Just not ‘satin’.
X: You do not have gloves.
Me: Oui. I have gloves. If you prefer only ‘satin’ perhaps you can bring some for me since your taste is so specific?
X: No, is not possible. Also, (!) you can wear Coco Chanel perfume, oui?
Me: Um…I don’t have Coco Chanel perfume, but as I said, you can bring some for me and I would be happy to wear it for you. Perhaps you can buy it on your flight?
X: And also I would like you to wear a diamond necklace. Rhinestone is okay but I would like to see the necklace sparking. And diamond earrings. I like to see jewlery.
Me: I have a necklace and earrings.
X: Uhhh…perhaps you can buy the gloves and the perfume then before I arrive, non?
Me: Well Monsieur, I have most of the items you are requesting and I will wear all I have for you and I hope that will please you enough. (How can I cancel NOW!? I have no excuse other than that he is French and exhibiting that right now. It would take too long to explain.)
X: You will be unable to purchase the items? (Allow me to charge up your cell phone bill to half the cost of our upcoming visit.)
Me: I will do my best. Do you still want to see me?
X: Yes of course.
Me: Wonderful. I will talk to you on Thursday.


The rest of the week I turn down appointment requests for Thursday night, as I am booked with M.X. This morning, Thursday, I head to work with worms in my tummy. Terrible memories of the past haunting me. The last time I saw a Frenchman, he too had many requests. And that too ended badly.


He arrived for his appointment, crossed my threshold, looked me up and down with a pouty French scowl and declared,


"Ah non non. This will not do."


I asked him his reasons and he replied,


"It is obvious you are not your picture."


I have hundreds of photos of myself on my website dating from five years ago to the present. One of them has to look like me.


"I won’t force you to stay, of course." I say with a smile. (Translation: Please don’t stay but be a gentleman and offer me a cancellation fee for my time.)


"Non. Parce-que, it is a fraud."


"It is a ‘fraud’?" How Monsieur? How do I not look like my picture?"


"Well, perhaps it is because you are breathing."


(True. He really said that. Now, in translation, I have to believe he wasn’t hoping for a corpse, but rather he means that the pictures, which are two-dimensional, created a vision in his head that a living, breathing person disrupts. That or he’s just French.)


(Please understand. I love requests. Just not the first time. The first time is for us to get to know one another. So many specific needs are a vision created, honed and refined in the mind of the beholder and signal a fantasy no human woman can step into. It is too precise.)

Arrive several hours early to my work apartment. Want to make sure everything is perfect. Do 500 sit-ups to insure he can’t complain my tummy isn’t flat. Take a Diurex to get rid of any water weight. Answer phone calls inquiring about my availability tonight. Booked with X.
While I’m on the phone, a call comes in from X. wanting me to call him back. I return his call at mobile phone rates.


X: Oui?
Me: Xavier? It’s Geisha.
X: Who is it?
Me: Geisha. You wanted me to call you?
X: Geisha?
Me: Oui.
X: Ah oui. Can you meet earlier? I have jet lag and would be better I think to meet at 7. Non?
Me: I could try. I’m running on time right now but I could call you back in a few minutes to let you know if I can meet earlier. Would that be okay?
X: You will call me?
Me: Yes. In a few minutes.
X: Yes. Because I have jet lag.
Me: Yes. I understand.
X: Maybe it is better if I just visit for one hour.
Me: No. That’s not possible.


(I don’t see clients for less than two hours for a reason. In two hours I have the time to truly relax and pamper someone. I like the idea of offering an experience that is extraordinary. A matter of pride maybe? I only know, that it’s my time too, and in that time, I want magic to happen. One hour doesn’t allow for the alchemy to take place.)


X: But I think it would be better.
Me: (Sighing. Giving up all hope and care that I can make this work.) Xavier. I booked the time aside for you. Two hours. I turned others away from the time. It is your time. If you would like to stay one hour, two hours, or ten minutes, I will leave that up to you. In any case, my rate remains the same.
X: The same?
Me: Yes.
X: Is that fair?
Me: I have the diamond necklace and earrings you asked for. I have the corset, the shoes, the stockings, the dress, the garters, and even the gloves. I am looking forward to meeting you at 8 and the chance to play with in this lovely ensemble. Will I see you then?
X: Ah oui okay.
Me: But I will call you if I can do it earlier.
X: Oui.


From 5-7, I change the bed linens. Put out fresh towels. Scrub, clean, deodorize and incense the apartment. Wipe the tables. Wash the wineglasses. Open a bottle of wine. Unwrap a bottle of French Champagne. (One thing I love about the French!) Shower. Lotion. Brush my teeth, rinsing twice to get rid of any cigarette breath. I know he’s French but there are a few who don’t smoke. Blow dry my hair. Curl and style my hair. Put on several layers of make-up. Enough to look like I’m not wearing any. Realize I’m almost ready, therefore call X.


Me: Hi. It’s Geisha.
X: Who is it?
Me: Geisha. I just wanted to let you know, if you wanted to come by at 7:30, I would be ready by then.
X: No. It’s not possible. I am not near the hotel and I think it is difficult to get a taxi.
Me: It shouldn’t be hard. Just put your hand up.
X: Anyway, 8 is better.
Me: Okay. See you then.


7:15, encase my body into the boned corset. Button the 56 hooks that finally imprison my torso. Stuff my legs into the immobile, uncomfortable lace stockings, checking to see the seam up the back is even. Squash my feet into the requested ‘ceiling walkers’. Smother my hands up to the biceps of my arms in the scratchy lace gloves. Throttle my neck in gems. Poke hanging diamonds into my earlobes and finally teeter around the apartment lighting some hundred candles.


7:40. My cell rings. 011-33-…etc. It’s X. Maybe he’s early? No. Couldn’t be. He’s…you know.


Me: Hi Xavier. Are you near by?
X: Ah. Non. I am at my office. It is impossible now for tonight.
Me: Oh. (Translation is actually a visual of me hitting myself over my head with a mallet.)
X: Perhaps I can schedule something for tomorrow?
Me: That’s okay. Thank you for calling.


(He should offer a cancellation fee. But I know he won’t.)


X: So tomorrow then.
Me: No. But thank you for calling.


When will I learn to trust myself? Not any day soon, believe me. We’ll have another adventure as soon as enough time goes by for my memory to go into a coma.


I know. Just say it. Go ahead. I already said it to myself.


Here. I’ll help you:


Don’t. I repeat. Don’t. See. FRENCHMEN.


(or doctors.)

I’m warning you right now. You are going to have to repeat yourself.





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