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 23, 2004

Today, My Version...(albiet long-winded).


Another day not in jail.

(For the crime of making love.)

Luckily, both my clients’ today, were not only not cops, but both came bearing gifts and open hearts. So it was a joyous romp all the day long.

Okay. I re-read my client’s review. Now I’m going to try my version.

I apologize in advance. My version is A LOT longer!

I realize, as I begin to formulate my thoughts, that my take on the experience is a lot more complicated than my client’s. (Perhaps because I am aware of what goes on ‘backstage’.)?
Read on if you have the time. Read on if you dare. Read on at your own risk.

In order to help you understand my perspective; I have to include this little Preamble:

If you think about your favorite actors, what is it that makes them so satisfying?
What is acting?
I was once taught that ‘Acting is Living Truthfully in an Imaginary Circumstance’.

When I began to study the art of acting, it was that statement as a ‘diving board’, that all my studies were based on.

I learned there are several essential elements to becoming a skilled Actress, (or Courtesan, for that matter?)

(or maybe even Human Being?)

The ability to listen with your entire being.
The ability to be completely aware of one’s self in all It’s flaws and favors.
The ability to be completely vulnerable and open to all that enters.
Essentially, the ability to listen, receive and respond.

Not as easy as it sounds, I discovered. Lots of other elements, internal and external, tend to interfere.

The ‘ego’ must be banished, re-discovered, and re-invented.

I began acting when I was fifteen and finally at the age of twenty-three was accepted into a Really Famous Drama School (which I will call the RFDS from now on)—one of six women chosen. It was a torturous four years but the most memorable and valuable in my life experience.

Fortunately or unfortunately, for varied reasons, I didn’t stay in that line of work (obviously) but I know, without doubt, all I learned in those fifteen years or more as an actress, became invaluable to me as a Courtesan.
And as a Human Being.
(I hope.)

For, what is it I do now but create a truthful, heightened experience in a time frame of usually only two hours (the length of the average play or movie—also an ‘imaginary experience’,) with mostly strangers?

When one is on stage, acting, one lives within dual perspectives:
One is living unselfconsciously entirely in the moment.
But this is only part of it. There is another eye that is constantly open. And must be constantly open. The achievement of ‘unselfconsciousness’ is not attainable without a technical, rehearsed, practiced text, base, or road map. So the other eye is the technical one, watching, aware, controlling the flow of the play.

In simple terms, what I am saying is, (although you may at first flinch when reading my perception of the events, because my sense of things may seem technical or contrived on first reading), understand, because of that structure and awareness, I am able to then release myself into the moment and become swept away into the sensual play.

With that knowledge under your belt as a base to refer to, I will endeavor to re-create the encounter I had with my client who wrote the review yesterday.

This is my version:

A busy New York City Intersection. Cars racing. Taxis honking. People swarming.
A man who looks like Everyman – forties, gray suit and darker gray overcoat, middle weight, middle height, cuts out from the fray and ducks into a phone stand on the south-east corner. He tucks into the phone box but doesn’t lift the receiver. Instead, his hand grabs efficiently at his belt as if for a revolver, and produces a tiny, state of the art cellphone.

He has gotten good at flipping it open and with a quick snap, making it spread itself like a willing woman’s thighs. (A skill that he has stored in his mental ‘things I am good at file’ - along with French inhaling, back in the days he used to smoke.) His hand runs into his overcoat pocket, pulls out a scrap of torn paper. Notice that his hand (whether there is a wedding band on that hand or not we cannot tell) shakes and twitches a little as he opens it. A number has been hurriedly written there.

Cradling the phone in his left hand, he dials the number with the thumb of the same hand (he’s a Zorro of the mobile phone - his Nokia is his sword.) We don’t hear the conversation but we see him look around seeking a direction. He squeezes the two legs of the phone back together, leaves the temporary shelter of the phone booth and rejoins the crowd, which still moves at a fluid, steady speed.

He weaves his way to a Stoplight, waits until it switches to ‘Walk’, and crosses over. Once on the other side, he leaves the crowd once more, turning into a residential street of tall, elegant Victorian Brownstones, the kind that have been converted into over-priced one-and two-bedrooms for yuppies. The chaotic bustle, the car noise, dies away. But the atmosphere, to the man, is somehow charged. He notes the addresses as he walks. In a mere matter of minutes he will meet her. They will be face to face.

His hands may be perspiring in anticipation. His heart may be pounding. His throat may be strangely tight, constricted. A thick, pulsing hard-on may be pushing against the front of his trousers. If we were to ask her, the woman he is about to see, she would say she hoped those things were so.

He reaches the address. It’s a house just like the others, narrow, Victorian, steps down to the front door, which is half wood, half frosted glass. Only a pot of begonias out front distinguishes it from the others.

The first door swings easily, opens into a tiny front foyer littered with take-out Chinese menus. But the door beyond that is locked. He finds the buzzer button on the mailbox with the number that she has told him, presses it and – BZZZZ-- the locked door clicks open. A short hallway and a staircase winding upward. Before he has a chance to set foot on it he hears her voice, a white animated wind, encircling and enveloping him, drawing him upward to her. She calls his name as if they’re old friends.

It makes his heart quicken. She knows this. It is a voice she has cultivated for just this moment. But the real reason she does this is so the neighbors won’t suspect. They must believe she is just being visited by a friend. As he reaches the top of the first flight he sees her.
Or one-half of her, actually - snaking sinuously around the open apartment door. She has positioned herself with her forehead resting on the edge of the open door, one hand in front of the door and one hand hidden behind it, her head turned sideways and tilted down -showing her best (she knows, left) profile – long-lashed eyes looking up at him from under heavy lids. She smiles the smile that she knows, from experience, is full of warmth and heat and latent mischief. Then she steps back and spreads the door wide, inviting him inside.

She intuits his nervousness.

How could he not be nervous? In the few seconds that it takes for him to enter, his worries tick rapidly through his mind. Ok, so she looks like the fantasy woman in the picture. But what if she’s a cop setting him up? And even if she’s not, if all is well, will she live up to the fantasy? Does he even quite know what the fantasy is? What if there’s a man hiding in the closet somewhere? Will she be worth the money and the time? Will she be discreet, or will she ring him on his cell, or office phone and embarrass him? What if his wife/girlfriend/boss finds out? Will he feel guilty or dirty or strange after this encounter? Plenty of reasons to be a little apprehensive.

She knows this so she hugs him like a son, then kisses him a quick - and very un-motherly - soft, ripe melting kiss on the mouth, and closes the door behind them.

"Hello love. I’m so glad you could make it."

He is smiling, holding on to his briefcase, unsure where to move.

"I’m glad I could too." He says, waiting.

"Come in. Please." Her face is a bright white light of non-judgement. Just joy at finally meeting him. He cannot discern whether she disapproves of him, but sense all is well.

There is one more barrier to cross –a dark, rich, navy-colored, velvet curtain. At her bidding, he steps through it into a modern Arabian Nights, an Aladdin’s Cave; Sherazade; the inside of I Dream of Jeannie’s bottle only better: A sensual immersion.

She spreads the curtain back allowing him to cross the threshold.

He stops, enchanted. Outside it was a bright 2pm, but here, inside, the room, the cave, all is chenille-rich colors, illuminated here, then there, by clusters of flickering candles. On the darkened walls: paintings by Waterhouse. Lush Pre-Raphaelite romantic scenes: Longhaired maidens and knights kneeling before them – la belle dame sans merci. On another wall, a wooden ship’s figurehead in the form of a life-size, naked woman, almost hitting her head on the high ceiling, (how did she get it up there?).

She interrupts his viewing. "You can take your coat off if you like and put it on the ottoman there."

He takes off his coat but holds on to it, still looking around, allowing the atmosphere to encompass him.

The two low tables have, for their bases, immodest mermaid statues with full lips and begging nipples. Atop a Tiger-striped dresser, whose handles are silver snakes and lizards, another mermaid, in red neon, adds her Siren’s light to the room. Tiny blue Christmas lights run around the border of the ceiling. Figurines of bare-breasted Aphrodite’s, strange marionettes, half-beautiful half-grotesque; candle sconces in the form of winged women, dragons, unicorns, mythical birds – like a witch’s familiar spirits they peek out from all the corners of the room, leaving no space empty.

"I like your apartment. It’s..."

"Well, you know how New York apartments are... so tiny you just keeping going vertical, stacking. I know. It’s either eclectic…"

"Yeah, that’s the word I was looking for."

"Or it will just give you a headache."

She laughs a full round infectious un-self-conscious laugh that blends with the soft music which, he notices for the first time, is emanating from some hidden source. What is it? Something he recognizes but can’t name.

Brazilian jazz. Bossa Nova - easy and sexy. Tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes walking…music to relax to, to make you think of sitting at a beach-side café, watching girls, lulled by a warm breeze, sipping at a drink with an umbrella in it.

She moves to his side, silent, letting him take in her enchanted cave. She smells of a velvet perfume—she tells him when he asks—‘Paloma Picasso’…but it’s not some brand-name that he smells…No, it’s something he wants to bite and suck; the seductive scent of her, which lies below the perfume.

She takes his coat and lays it on the purple ottoman that sits behind the red velvet sofa – in fact more of a love seat - and gestures for him to sit down. "Please," she says, her voice low and sweet, at the same time using her body to indicate that he should take the sofa’s innermost space.

(This is because she will then be on the perfect side of the sofa to have her best profile facing him. Her soft warm side. The side most comforting, and also most arresting, to look at. She knows this from all the photo shoots she has done for her website. Also she has him sit here because that way she’ll be on the side of the sofa that is easiest for her to get up from and run out the front door should he turn out to be a lunatic.)

Two tall wine glasses held in the pewter grip of winged angel-women (of course!) sit ready on the coffee table in front of his choice of Pelligrino water, a light, white Pinot Grigio and a bottle of Champagne—Vieuve Cliquot orange label. He decides on wine. As she uncorks and pours, he scans her.

She knows he is ‘The Camera’ now - voyeur, audience and unwitting actor all rolled into one; and the one and only take for their two-hour scene together has begun.

Her fingers are fluttering birds and her posture – poised, elegant yet relaxed – seems to hold her upright on invisible strings, as if she was one of her eerie, self-contained, beautiful marionette women. (She knows her gestures appear ‘bird-like’ as she has seen herself on film and has been told so by clients past. She learned posture after four years of The Alexander Technique at the RFDS.)

She talks and giggles and flirts as she pours and he drinks her in. Yes, he muses – gratified - she really does look exactly like the picture on the Internet that led him here, on this hushed, beating-heart-and-mounting-lust mid-afternoon. She is slender and petite, all trim, sinuous curves, topped with a generous bust, unusual for such a slim woman. Her cascade of tangerine hair reflects in the candle flame like a polished orange. Her mouth is a wide cupid’s bow. Almond-shaped eyes (Are they green? Are they brown?), heavily mascara-ed, flirt up at him from time to time. Her nose is classical, straight, with a tiny humorous tip. Her face is delicate and tender. Looking at her gives him a falling-feeling in his chest. It’s a little much, like looking at a very beautiful, ornate flower or butterfly: too much to take in, almost a little painful to look upon so much does it prick at one’s desire.

She knows this because he mentions all of it as they chitchat.

Discomfited, he sends his gaze darting round the room once again. He thinks she may actually live here. ("Which is odd", he thinks. "Isn’t that kind of intimate and even dangerous?")
She has an exotic look and dresses in a long, black velvet glamour gown worn tight to her body, which shows how she is lithe yet, rounded. His throat tightens.

Through the slit that cuts up the center of the gown, he can glimpse the top of her stockings (real stockings, not pantyhose.).

Any doubts about paying her a cancellation fee and leaving if things didn’t seem ‘right’ are now erased. (He has done this once or twice before with other women who did not live up to their claims).

He begins to relax, to enjoy himself. His shoulders come down from up around his ears and he embarks upon the first part of what he suspects will be an intriguing, delightful journey.
But there is a little business to attend to first. Playfully, with a mock-stern expression on her face, she growls, "ID Please!" – Jessica Rabbit as an Immigration official. He laughs, fishes out his wallet and hands her his driver’s license. She reads the date on it:

"Ah, so you’re a Taurus. Charming and visceral? Bit of a workaholic? I love Taurus’s but they are so stubborn? Isn’t it true? And," she adds, "you don’t believe in all this astrology stuff, right?"

He smiles and says: ‘the last part is true’, but when she adds: "But you’re very loyal. And sensual – touch is very important to you."

He must admit that her comments, little cupid’s arrows, have pierced the truth. He laughs, relaxing even more.

"Well, maybe you’re right, but do you really believe in that stuff?"

"Oh, I don’t know. I wouldn’t make any life-changing decisions based on it but I do find it interesting that I can almost guess what sign a person is within a few minutes of knowing them. I find that strange."

"So what sign are you?" he inquires.


"Argh!" he groans.

"What? Have you had bad experiences with Scorpio’s?"


"Then why do you groan?"


She laughs, her head flung back. "See! You do follow a bit! Liar pants on fire." She grabs him, pulling his mouth to hers. It was meant to be a quick kiss but their lips linger softly discovery the other’s.

When they finally break, she keeps her forehead pressed to his, her eyes closed. They breathe each other’s scent.

"Actually," she whispers softly, "Scorpio and Taurus are a fantastic match. You’ll see."

"I hope so."

"No they are. Here’s an odd thing. There are twelve signs, right?"

He nods.

"Okay then, tell me why, out of all the men that have meant a great deal in my life to my heart, why are all but two Taurus’s. Mathematically speaking, it should be spread out a bit amongst the other signs, no?"

"Yes. Probably yes."

"So why not?" she challenges.

"I don’t know." He is indeed perplexed. Never thought of it before.

"Me neither. Just odd. Something to think about." She winks, sipping her wine.

"So how did you find me?" she asks. "No, scratch that. Why did you find me? I know you must have been trolling on the Internet. But why me? And why now at this point in your life?"

He looks flummoxed. Unsure of the correct answer.

"I’m just asking because it tells me a bit about you." She smiles gently.

"I don’t know. I saw your website a while ago. Maybe a year or so ago?"

"And I didn’t tempt you?"

"No. You did. I was a bit intimidated I guess."

"About me? But I’m such a nice normal gal!" She giggles. "So why now, at this point in your life?"

"Not sure. I love my wife. I love my family. But, I don’t know. I just don’t feel like me anymore. Does that make sense?"

"It does." She knows he hasn’t felt sexy, desirable, flirted with, new to himself, in a long time.

Suddenly he is conversing with her easily, laughing even and it is feeling to him like the end of a perfect date. The part after the dinner, the part full of intimate promise—the part where he might get laid. Only here, in this scenario, he will. For certain. The realization causes sweat to prickle out on his chest and back, and a sweet arousal to stir in his groin.

He realizes that she hasn’t asked for the money yet, unlike other women he has seen who demanded it up-front. Hoping he hasn’t offended, that his oversight won’t somehow detract from her investment in him, he reaches into his pocket, pulls out a white envelope and offers it to her. Inside is her fee.

"No," she waves the envelope away. "Later. I want everything to be nice, to be consensual."

Confused but comforted, he replaces the envelope.

(She is quite contrived in this. Although it seems she is placing him in Trust, the refusal of money before sex, and the use of the word ‘consensual’, ensure that she won’t be busted if he turns out to be a cop.)

She has learned this the hard way and would rather take a chance on his not paying and ‘raping’ her than risk another arrest. For her, the enemy is not so much the client and the potential dangers attendant on meeting with any strange male, alone, in a darkened room; the enemy is Society and It’s agents.

They chat about his business, where he was born, how big his family is, if he has children, where he has studied, if he likes his work, where he has traveled to, what he does for fun. In between his stories, she interrupts to share anything similar she has experienced, finding common ground.

They swap jokes based on ethnic background or similar interests. Laughter. Kissing. She reaches forward with her hands and allows them to start grazing along his sleeve, his thigh, and his upper arm.

Finally she knows, from what song is playing on the CD, that it is time to progress to the next scene, the next stage of the immersion. She will rarely look at a clock or a watch. It is too gauche. Everything is scripted yet nothing is scripted. There are markers. Road stops. Ski flags that must be touched upon in this sensual slalom run. She has two hours and knows the points of focus, knows them so well that she can improvise at will. An actress who knows the whole play by heart, and who can therefore make the drama so real that the other actor doesn’t even know he is in a show. That’s part of the fun. For both of them.

She leans forward, leading with her lips. Lips like ripe, red berries dipped in honey. Lips like soft, seductive antennae gently reading his mouth.

(She literally thinks these images. She knows that if she thinks them, she will feel them and if she feels them, her body parts will act accordingly. She learned this, among other skills, during her training at the RFDS. How to invoke reality out of an image, an idea. How to live truthfully in an imaginary setting. Thank god for that school!)

She begins sweeping her lips against his, light and caressing. Bottom lips graze. Upper lips sip and linger. If he presses too hard or darts a tongue too stiff, too deep or too fast, she pulls back lightly and begins sweeping his lips again with hers in unspoken example.

She is the girl with The Magic Kisses. She knows this. She has watched it happen on dates with men who could not see and appreciate her at first. Until she kissed them.

Her kisses transform her in his eyes. In the next two hours she will go from attractive Stranger to Siren, Lover and Friend via the 'magic fairy dust' pouring from her kisses, from her eyes, which cast a spell, a glamour, over her those of her unsuspecting lover.

This is an odd gift she has always had. One of the few. This is the way it has been in the past in her ‘real life’, and this is how it is in ‘underground life’ too. There is a transformation that takes place in his perception of her the more her mouth and eyes are involved. She knows she must hypnotize him into a relaxation where he puts his mind to sleep, and allows his senses to lead him.

And indeed, when he opens his own eyes during a brief pause, he not only sees in close-up, but now feels her heavy, closed almond eyelids and the soft expressiveness of her swollen lips, and becomes hypnotized by them, tumbling blindly back into the kiss.

By the time they next open their eyes, they realize ‘it is happening’. They have begun to touch each other, inspire one another, not because he is The One or she is The One, but because they have silently agreed, for these brief moments, to live in the Nirvana of a heightened, blissful Now.

When the music tells her it is time, she pulls back from the kiss, and suggests, gently that he go to the bathroom to wash up.

While the water runs, she refills the wine glasses, rises, and slips past the gossamer white curtain that separates this room from the bedroom, holding the refilled wine glasses in her hands. She places them in exact, pre-arranged positions on the little marble nightstand, so that each glass will be reachable from the bed. On either side of the glasses lie two condoms and small bottle of Kama Sutra massage oil. The props are set.

As the bathroom door opens, announcing his imminent re-appearance, the music changes. The melody is now Middle-Eastern, or Indian; tableaus building a slow tension, an ancient, swaying, Dionysian music that the body instinctively understands, by some ancient, ancestral wisdom, to be a prelude to the act of love. This CD will last the exact remaining horizontal time of this call and then there will be a follow up CD for the vertical finale: his shower and the farewell denouement.

But for now the music, like her client, her opposite actor is rising, swelling. He appears fresh from his short shower, partially re-dressed in shirt, pants, shoes and socks. Too shy – she notes - to use the bathrobe she had hung ready for him. She also notes how his brown hair, dampened into little waves and curls, makes him suddenly beautiful. They lock gazes, she holding back the curtain, he waiting for her signal that he may enter the bedroom, the main stage. She beckons. As he sets foot over the threshold of the inner sanctum, he has become the Lover, and she the Beloved.

The bed always inspires a gasp. From him now, and every man. Since she spends eighty percent of her life horizontally, why shouldn’t she spend a great sum on her bed? As ‘Car is to L.A.’ so ‘Bed is to Persephone.’

It is magnificent – a raised dais, a pillowed-altar surmounted by a queen-sized canopy of black wrought iron welded into swirling Art Nouveau patterns of flowers, vines and strange ellipses, climbing nine feet high and meeting in a crown in the center. Its entire outline is hung with tiny white lights, each one shaded by a small waterfall of clear beads, giving it all a ‘Josephine Baker’ feel. The bedding rises in layers from the mattress to a final, crowning meadow of white comforters and pillows - a ‘Princess and the Pea’ bed that requires the adventurer to use a small mahogany step in order to scale its soft but precipitate heights. Anyone who dares the climb, and then lies back upon its fragrant luxury must, at the very least, exhale an ‘ahhh’.

But first, standing next to him before the great bed, she winds her arms around him, feeling his chest expand, hearing his heart plead against her cheek – for he is taller than she. She breathes deep, taking in the scent of his body, noting it. Her face rises to his. She raises her eyebrows slightly, seeking, even begging a bit. Creating drama. Heightening the moment. Raising it from reality into a tableau-vivant of erotic, yearning close-ups and stills. He leans in to kiss her greedy and hard. She will not reward that with a kiss back and instead turns her head and softly nuzzles his cheek. She looks at him again and lets the air settle and then with a smile, holding his arms to his side she says,

"I have to go to the bathroom too…Will you wait for me?"

"Yeah okay." His voice sounds harsh, taut. He’s panting a little.

"Okay…now don’t go anywhere." she says: a little girl warning her daddy not to drink the invisible tea at her tea party.

"I won’t. Believe me!" He is charmed. He’ll do almost anything she says now. He sees that policy is in his best interest. She is a snake charmer, he thinks – and he the snake. He rewards his mental pun with an internal snicker.

"And…" she pauses as if these thoughts and ideas are all coming to her fresh, "maybe, while I’m gone, you can…" she looks him up and down, ‘maybe you can take your shoes and socks off?"


"And, maybe…your shirt too?" She gives a cartoon wink: "But don’t take your pants off, okay? I want to do that myself! And don’t get in the bed yet. And don’t leave! And don’t jump out the window! And anyway, I’m only going to be gone for a minute. I’ll probably be back before you’re done." Another soft kiss. "Will you miss me?"

"You bet!"

"Okay, I’ll be right back…" and she click-clacks off in her high heels to the bathroom, closing the door behind her.

The bathroom. Time out from the drama. Private space. Like being backstage for a minute at intermission. She turns water on to ‘hot’ and pees. While she is peeing, she reaches forward to the sink and grabs a washrag and runs it under the water. The little waterfall from between her legs falters and stops – and with the hot, wet rag she wipes, then wipes again between her legs, from bow to stern. Preparing for boarders. Lastly, she squeezes a small veneer of KY jelly onto a finger and slides it between her lower lips. Wet and ready. As wet and ready as he expects, hopes her to be.

She stands up, flushes and then – with a slow inward breath, invokes an image, a purpose.
It can be any one of a number of archetypes: maybe Marilyn in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’, maybe Audrey Hepburn in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, Melina Melcouri in ‘Never on Sunday’. Depends on the man in the bedroom and what she ascertains his needs are. She can access any number of goddesses in her mind, her heart. It is a skill, a devotion that has taken years to learn.

This time, however, it is just a simple thought of Venus, goddess of love, born of the sea, "I’m here to love him," she intones silently. "Move through my hands and body to give this broken-winged man the healing, the love that he needs."

Sounds sappy. And is.

But she knows, from watching his spirit, listening to the way he says what he says, why he has come to her…and why now, at this point in his life. He wants to be loved. To be sexy again. To be desired, more than he has been for the past few years.

Back she trips to the bedroom, to find him standing awkwardly next to her great delight of a bed, shoes, socks and shirt off as instructed, arms folded across his chest as he pretends to study the mermaid and courtesan prints on the wall. A half-hard-on makes a small tent of his gray suit pants, still belted, still buckled to him – a most ineffective armor.

She slinks toward him and places her hands on his shoulders from behind. Instinctually, he moves to turn around to face her. But her hands, gently stern, prevent him, keep him facing away from her. She tilts her mouth upward, to just below the curve of his ear, the slightly jowl-y line of his jaw, and whispers;

"Let’s play a game. Would you like to?"

Still he tries to turn.

"No wait! Stay right there. I want to feel your skin."

She is tracing his torso and arms, running her fingernails slowly and deliberately from the small of his back, up between his shoulder blades, tickling and raising the small hairs on his neck. He reaches backward to touch her but she takes his wrists and gently but insistently holds them at his sides.

"Don’t move." She breathes the words lazily into his ear, causing a shudder. Slowly, word by word she spells out the game.

"I want to pretend that…(she pauses, thinking); "that maybe you are a soldier and you have been captured and they have taken you as a prisoner and they have brought you up to this strange room and you’re a bit scared because you don’t know what’s going to happen to you and you’re thinking they might send in some mean enemy with a gun or worse who will torture you to get information out of you, and you are determined, Soldier, to give only your name, rank and number. But instead, they send in this-- Woman… this Mata Hari and now you are really trembling because you don’t want to give in to her. Do you want to play that one?" she looks up and around at his face.

He is half lost already under her feathering fingers; eyes closed with the pleasure of it.

"I mean, after all, how may times in your life do you have a woman capture you?"

"Not many. Not at all, actually."

"Then don’t move. You have to be my prisoner. I’m going to memorize your skin. I’m going to make your skin come alive. First I’m going to relax you…(she pauses again, knowing that this isn’t quite what he wants to hear): "then, I’m going to UN-relax you!"

She giggles with promise, hears him swallow. His muscles soften and his chin drops to his chest; he begins to melt under her fingertips.

She closes her eyes and becomes his skin. Her fingers follow her intuition and his skin becomes water. She can sense where it will shudder and wave and she glides her nails there.

He peeks to the left where the two of them are reflected in the mirror that hangs on the wall facing the bed. He sees that her eyes are closed, sees her body brushing his with the tips of her velvet-covered breasts. Sees how she sways, inhaling him. Her fingers never leave his body, trailing tingles as they go like the luminescent tail of a star, talking in code to his skin that answers by becoming animate, alive with goose-bumps, shivers and chills.

She whispers at his earlobe so that her words have a dual purpose, to arouse and to instruct, "Don’t move."

Still touching him lightly, she slides herself around his body to his front, moving close and whispering into his mouth, "Don’t kiss me. I’m going to kiss you but don’t kiss me back."

His lips react before he can stop them. She laughs and scolds, pulling her head back just an inch.

"This is why it’s called Torture. The torture is not being able to move, or touch me right away. Right?!" She laughs, lets that moment land, then slows her energy, tilts her head down and slowly looks up at him again with her silent- film-star eyes.

"Don’t kiss me back." She moves in to his still lips and softly, gently, steals a kiss from him, moaning in a desire that is half artifice, half real. She is as much a victim of the spell, the glamour, the sensual immersion, as he.

A moan escapes him, the sound of first surrender.

She pulls back a fraction holds his gaze and says, in a sweet Southern drawl, to break the mood, to change it up: "See? I plucked a kiss off of y’all…"

He grins, happy to meet her different characters, to be teased.

Her mouth, all soft, lightly wet lips, (never a hard angle or a pointy tongue), closes in on him again, blindly finds its way down to the vulnerable hollow of his throat and moving like the sticky underside of a crawling snail, engulfs the Adam’s apple: Eve and virgin apple and serpent all rolled into one, eager to initiate the Fall. He exhales sharply.

She opens one eye just enough to see the little clock on the bedside table (behind the wineglasses, condoms and oil). She has not exceeded her time limit for this section, which she thinks of as the ‘close-up’. Keeping her hands on him, she lowers herself to sit on the low, mahogany step next to the bed. Her hands slip down his chest but her head looks up at him—her camera, seeing his eyes now open again, drinking her in.

She works her white sparkling lids and long lashes like Marilyn in the song "Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend." This is all he discerns: the seductive animation of her face, how becomingly she blinks those coal-black eyelashes, all girlish flutter; how sensuously curved and generous is her mouth.

She leans in and gently bites his stomach, emitting a soft sigh, a moan. It is part of the soundtrack. From now on there will be no silent air. In harmony with the music there will be a sigh, a moan, a purr.

(Years ago at the RFDS she had six months or so of acting classes devoted to what her teacher called ‘substitutions’. One week she would have to imagine, and enact different animals. Another time, she would need to pretend to taste different foods, their texture, smell and taste until she would leave the class feeling as if she had actually eaten them. Now the skill is ingrained. No more practice necessary. No scales to play. This is the concert. The moment-by-moment symphony. She has become a virtuoso. Fifteen years later. On a private stage. Doing three shows a day.)

She’s grasps his belt buckle now, looking up at him, smiling a crooked smile.
"Mmmm, it’s like opening a Christmas present!" she laughs and purrs.

She pulls hard to jar him, switching the energy to something more savage, releasing the leather belt hole from the pin. Strong and hard, she flicks open the top button. Her eyes flash up and check back in with his. He has not moved.

(Good boy.)

She has the rhythm of belt hook and pant buttons memorized, the movement, the sound they generate; everything registers, everything must be sexy, no dead space, no dead air.
She holds his gaze, hypnotizing him, the snake swaying closer to its prey; the snake charmer closing in on the snake. The entanglement between them is palpable. There will be a play. Permission granted to ‘Free-Fall’—(if you dare). ‘I will transport you and I will be your net.’

Nothing is faked; this is a higher kind of theatre. There is an awareness of the stage, yes, but more immediate is the glorious freedom of living in the ‘only now’, especially if the ‘only now’ is bone melting romance, sweet desire, and spine-exploding passion.

She takes his zipper down one tooth at a time. His cock stiffens. He is harder now, and more aware of the pleasure of simply being hard than he normally is. By now, with his wife, with other working girls, he would be ‘all urgent need to penetrate’, to ‘fire himself up to the ecstatic rage of male orgasm’. It surprises him, this deeper, sweeter pleasure caused by no touch at all; caused by simply being aroused, arising from the mere fact of being hard, by the engorgement of the tissue which sends out a delicious yet fragile throb of pleasure with each pulse in his cock vein.

Her wing-like hand lights upon the hard bulge that stands out now at a curved right angle from his zipper. She squeezes a little, tight and firm, allowing only her hand to speak. She slides the trousers down to just below his hips, and further down again, to his ankles.
Fingernails alive and cognizant of the sparks they inspire from his now listening skin, she rakes them tenderly, but firmly up and down his thighs, up again to his buttocks as her mouth cups his underwear imprisoned cock. Breathing hot onto the bulge, birthing it, she looks up to see his head tilted back, eyes squeezed shut.

She cups his heels one at a time in the palm of her hand, slipping his pant legs off over his feet. She dallies at his underwear just a moment, breathing gently on its bulge, then – abruptly – she yanks the front down to reveal his cock.

"You look beautiful." She says, her doe eyes deer-in-the-headlights-awestruck.

But she means it.

No matter who he is. He is Man. Beautiful to her: Opposite; there is so much beauty in that. Snake charmer and snake combined, she hypnotizes and is hypnotized.

It lolls and wags, his cock; free from the confining fabric, stiff, hard, the great, domed head seeking blindly to burrow, to bury itself somewhere warm, somewhere dark, somewhere wet.

"Do you think he likes me? She asks coyly.

"Oh I think so!"

"Should I ask him personally? I speak fluent ‘Penis’, doncha-know." Big smile.

"I’m sure he’d love to talk to you."

With incredible gentleness and care, as if lifting a wild bird’s egg out of its nest, she takes his cock in her hands from the underside. He gasps. She purrs. She runs the hard length of its right side against the softness of her cheek, then runs the length of the left side against her other cheek, and again from the right, just missing the tip each time as she roams from side to side. He wants her to take the tip between those lips. How he wants her to. He motions to touch her crimson fall of hair. But gently, firmly, she takes his wrists and moves them back to his side without stopping the sway of her face around his penis.

"You’re being tortured remember?" She giggles.

Her tongue dives underneath his balls and she lays her tongue there flat - like a soft table, feeling the drop of his balls, their roundness, their almost electric energy, their weight, their animal scent and taste, the rough-smooth texture of the hair there. She is memorizing him with her tongue.

For a moment, a wave of sadness rolls through her. Has any man thought to memorize her body like this? (Not for a very long time.) Or even to use the flat softness of his tongue without a mission? Yes, a tongue without a mission. She gives that. A tongue that just enjoys the journey.

It took years of study in acting to learn that the best actors were simply the best listeners and to be a good listener, you have to be alive and ready to experience, but you must stay in the moment, listening as it were. Stay in touch with the journey. The true pleasure, the true fulfillment, is all in the ‘getting there’. She banishes the feeling. (It’s not their job. They are here for her to transport them—not the other way around.) She re-focuses her energy on the moment, the feeling of his skin on her mouth.

Again she opens an ear to the music to check her timing – still time to stay in the ‘close up’ scene. Not time to move on yet.

She moves her face backward a little, still using it to support his cock from the under-side. Again, slowly, she moves his cock back just a little further; so that it falls laggardly, juicily, in between her slightly parted lips. In her mind she conjures the image of a thick, whittled branch dipped in raw honey, thus licking it in soft reverence. Her tongue rolls around it long, soft and tender.

Next, she conjures in her mind’s eye the image of a burlap-tongued kitten lapping milk off his coated member. Her mouth can taste the white liquid her imagination has created as truth.

Soon, her tongue lolls next to it, his stiff cock, panting a little, coating it with saliva, like a dog welcoming its master home.

Another image enters: his cock becomes an ice-cream bar, a melting one, the sweet, vanilla ice cream escaping through the cracks in the chocolate coating. Eyes closed, her mind lets these visions whirl, her tongue playing out the scene.

His hand touches her cheek. Without comprehending why, he sees a radiant, erotic glowing, that he didn’t notice before. This is the moment where – for him - she alchemizes from Woman to Goddess.

She can sense the change in his perception of her, senses the change herself that these phantasms, combined with the close proximity of her face to his penis, bring about in her. Perhaps it is the genuine passion with which she eats it, drinks it, consumes it?

Of all the moments in her oft-repeated play, this is the one that is always consistent: the moment he looks down and sees her transformed into a carnal Princess with his cock resting softly on the pillow of her fairy tale lips. So affecting is this snapshot that he will not be able to help but comment on it.

"You really are so lovely, you know that?"

She smiles to herself. Almost laughs, thinking it ironic that the closer her face is to a man’s cock the more beautiful she becomes to him. They all say that at this moment. There have been none that have not said it; or some version of it: ‘You are so lovely. You are so beautiful’. As her face rests on his dick.

This is the perfect call. A harmony of illusion and truth, play-acting and passion. She can now let go, lose herself; like a driver who knows the way home so well that some days the car seems to turn up the driveway by itself, the driver having no recollection of navigating the streets, the intersections, the stop-lights. Like a horse taking its drunken rider home in the dark. Or a bird homing to its roost.

She frees his cock and speaks:
"I’m going to give him some wine to drink." (‘Him’ of course is his penis.)

She stretches her right hand over to the table, picks up the wine glass from where she had (so accurately) placed it earlier, takes a cold sip in her mouth and turns back to his cock. Without letting any wine spill she slips the head back in between her lips, letting it dive into the cold cavern pool. Hot and cold, a swirling, rushing liquid pattern sloshes and rolls around his engulfed and swollen cock-head. The sensation causes his balls to churn, his ribs to push out and his hands to compress into tight fists. His mouth opens and a belly-deep grunt of raw pleasure escapes. Slowly, she keeps up the snail dance, undulating her tongue until it hits the back of her throat and then even deeper.

(Her time as a failed bulimic, able to binge but not purge, suddenly has value.)

She is so fully conscious now, so completely in this play, that she appears to have alchemized not just into a love deity, a sexual archetype, but into all that surrounds them—she is the music, she is the Female to his Male. She is her tongue. She is her eyes. She is his pleasure. He is hers. An actress lost in a love scene, a poet drunk on the creation of verse.

She savors all the unique textures of him; smells, tastes his body, as a gourmet would, like a connoisseur, acute and specific - enjoying the moment all the more because it is her creation.
When else in life can such passion, such intimacy come so fast and so ‘true’?

Because there will be no losses here.
Because Nirvana is in the Now and here they are agreed upon staying in this Now together.
And because (she thinks as well),

this is so much better than waitressing’.
The music is still playing, throbbing, building – sitars and tableaus, music to make love to. A soundtrack of desire.

"Your knees are starting to wobble." She smiles her Audrey Hepburn smile. Cute endearing eyes widening in what looks like surprise. She rises from her knees, taps a place on the bed, coaxing him forward.
Not that he requires any coaxing.

"I need to get you in the bed. If your knees give out, I don’t think I have insurance to cover it. I’m not bonded you know. Use the stairs, okay?"

He does not joke back: "I want to touch you…"

"You will, but right now I want you to be the King of the Bed; to lay back and let me pamper you and torture you some more."

He climbs onto the bed, allows himself to sink back into the comforters.
"Mmmmm. I feel like I’ve fallen into heaven. Or a cloud."

She remains standing by the bed, her mouth still full of the taste of him and the wine:
"Isn’t it comfy?’

"How do you get out of bed in the morning."

"I know. It’s hard. Sometimes I don’t. I just stay horizontal as long as I can. I think better that way. The minute I sit up" – she motions to her brain – " it all falls down."

He laughs despite himself.

She moves now in conscious snapshots, playing to his innate sense of the visual, his male capacity to witness and record every detail like a camera. She turns to highlight the hollow aside her clavicle. Lets the straps of her dress fall off her slender shoulders. Slides her arms inside the dress and under her breasts, pinching her nipples so as the dress slips down, they stand erect, into her palms.

Still she does not fully reveal her full breasts. Her hands cup them, hiding them from view like a tiny bathing suit top would, keeping up the tease. She curves back and forth with the sensual music, fluidly, gracefully moving between positions that she knows flatter her body, rolling her hips from side to side like a pendulum, which causes the dress to slide down to the floor by itself. Until, she’s standing there before him in nothing but black thigh-high stockings, a colorful lacy thong and heels.
Then, slowly, she releases her breasts.

They are round and high, a sculptor’s fantasy. The effect so natural-looking that you’d never know they’d been under the knife. Little-girl-like, she drops her chin and asks shyly,

"Is it okay? Do you want me to stay or shall we call it a day?"

The answer is not a mystery.

"Better than your photos." he says, getting antsy.

"I’m going to come up and torture you some more…okay?"

He groans, watches – cock mightily erect, lying there like a club on his pale, hairy stomach - as she lifts her leg that is closest to him, placing that knee on the bed.

Doing it this way shows off the roundness of her bottom and tightens any lingering dimples or cellulite that might be loitering about. Her second knee comes aboard and now she is crawling like a Leopardess scratching her elegant belly on a jungle floor. She pounces, grabs his wrists and stretches his hands above his head like a prisoner.

"Don’t move. I want to touch you without my hands", she lets her breasts graze over his chest. Slides her smooth tummy against his cock, stroking it. He is so hard (she notes this with pleasure. Not everyone gets hard so easily, nor stay this hard…), knocking persistently against her.

His hand strokes her back, her butt. She allows it because he is still in the moment. He hasn’t broken pace. But she gives him a stern eye and he ceases touching her, sighing but submitting.

She gets vertical, climbing above him, pulling her panties to one side and straddles, allowing the horizontal length of his cock to rest along her warm, wet, delicate crease, neither inside of her nor out. Merely ‘kissed’ by her lower lips. His cock twitches impulsively with desire.
She leans forward, her breasts falling, skimming his mouth, and kisses, with her lips, the gentle space between his eyebrows.

Moving lower, her mouth finds his nipples, tenderly sucking, testing to see if they are alive. Her tongue, (she uses the ‘pointy end’ for this project) presses down below the nipple and she scrapes at it lightly with her bottom row of teeth.

He sighs and closes his eyes, head rolling to the side, trying so hard to keep from touching her, to be a ‘good boy’. Her mouth pulls harder to see how much pressure he prefers. When she hits on the perfect ‘nipple scrape’ she notes it mentally and then locks it into the memory of her mouth.

(Later she will write it on his 5x7-index card - she keeps one on all her clients and she will refresh herself with that information the next time he comes to see her. ‘If’ he calls a second time. Many do. At least one more time.)

She times her mouth to the music, finds a pulse that is compatible and lets her tongue and teeth waltz giddily around his nipple.

(Ah! To be made love to as though every bit of you was a delicious, inspiring, complicated, interesting morsel. Rather than a machine operated by an on/off switch.)

She rises up from his chest, kneeling upright between his legs. This is a good position for her: resting tall on her knees. She has a good torso, slender and curvy with a flat tummy still. She can see in the mirror in front of the bed and in back of the bed the dimples above her butt, like the twin ‘f’s of a violin, or cello.

"I better take off my shoes, she laughs, lightening the mood once more. "I don’t want to accidentally kill you. That wouldn’t be so good, right? Death by stiletto? Can you see the Headlines?"

He laughs and she laughs at her own joke as she reaches behind herself and undoes the buckles on the ankle straps of her shoes, popping them off, laying them quietly on the little bed-side step.

"I think, hmmm" she pretends to be thinking of what she wants to do with him next. She already knows. She has been performing this play for years and now knows it so well she can improvise variations on it depending on the moods and needs of the other ‘actor’, but for now, for this man, she is with the perfect client. He and his body both follow the script and enjoy it.
"I think I’m going to give him" (she signals to his cock) a little more wine. He looks thirsty to me."

She stretches over him and reaches out to the table, scoops the wine into her mouth and instead of going back to his cock, she comes straight up to his face and puts her lips to his. His mouth instinctively draws the wine from her lips into his, a sweet, loving trickle. A Bacchanalian Fountain.

(One time a client wanted to try being ‘the giver’, with red wine no less. He would not be dissuaded no matter how much she told him it took practice and wasn’t as easy as it looked. He paid her extra that day for all the dry-cleaning required by his attempt.)

When she has emptied her Hedonistic Fountain, she leans back over and takes in more from the glass and heads straight for his cock, drowning it delightfully in a cold waterfall from her hot mouth.

She won’t let him cum this way. She can sense that he is close so she slows, easy and gentle. It is imperative that she round out the two hours, otherwise he’ll come too soon and want her to start all over again to make him cum twice. This becomes a chore, losses passion as the second time is always more difficult, especially without a good amount of recovery time.

But it is not just about making sure he follows the script. She also, genuinely, wants to bring his whole body into an erotic awareness. She wants him to have a whole body orgasm. She wants to take him to a place within himself he hasn’t been to before. She wants to, because it’s fun. She wants to, for her own ego. She wants to, because it feels good for her too. She wants to, because this moment is her moment to love and she wants to see how deep and flexible her ability to love is.

On her knees once more between his legs, she looks down at him, cupping her breasts, holding the moment of connection, building anticipation. Aware of her various parts as he sees them: slim waist, the fulsome curve of her breasts, her neck, her eyes like upward-slanted mirrors of his own desire; she knows that every tiny movement, breath and sound is being recorded.
The music has now become a rolling, hedonistic belly dance. She knows what it will build to. She licks her middle finger, running it down her tongue like a small penis, her eyes never leaving his. She slides the finger under her sheer panties, then lower – lewdly elegant, sluttish and demure, making him gasp a little to see her masturbate herself, moving her finger in a soft circle so he can watch its movement through the fabric, swiveling her hips out of her panties as he watches transfixed.

"Oh! I just thought of something I want to try! I’m going to torture you from this way! If you don’t mind oh-prisoner-o-mine!"

Turning her back to him, as he lays still horizontal, she is on her knees, facing the mirror. Her ripe buttocks move back toward his cock. Her knees close in on his thighs, forcing him to close his legs.

On all fours now, anatomy fully open and displayed, she straddles her legs across him in a V, so that there is only a small space between his cock and her dripping pussy lips. She can see herself in the mirror – and at the same time she watches him staring transfixed at the close-up delight of her rounded bottom and the little petal-like lips that hang delicately down just above his hardness. She licks her fingers, her palm, and spreads the saliva between her legs, masturbating herself again right in front of his face, knowing what this does to him.

Lowering herself down onto the shaft of his cock near his balls, his pulsing vein now separating her pussy lips again, she begins to move in sliding, undulating movements down the length of his fattened shaft, down and then back up again just avoiding the head and any accidental entries.

She continues moving in this miniature belly dance, this pussy-dance, as the music heats up. He can no longer ‘not touch’. His hands go to her waist, her bottom, around to her breasts.
She tries to scold his hands away, but he begs:

"You have a perfect teeny waist. So small. So slight. Let me touch it."

Silently consenting, she leans forward pushing her butt high in the air and resting her weight on her elbows in front of her and presenting him with a view right into both holes of her.


She can feel his relief. Though she has been here before so many times, though she is certain that he will adhere to the script he does not know he is following, for a moment she is almost afraid of the desire about to be unleashed.

His fingers tentatively touch the lips of her now engorged pussy lips; stroking, then shyly dipping the tip of his middle finger inside, feeling the warm folds; the sticky, sucking wetness.
She squeezes him with her inner muscles and he laughs in surprise.

She reaches down through her legs and takes a firm hold of his cock, holding it upright and rubbing her pussy up and down the tallness of it, again avoiding the head, allowing herself to feel the pleasure, yet keeping her mind on the play.

She sits back up, turns to face him once more, seeing his face light up at the re-appearance of her breasts. Still sliding and gliding on his cock, but not letting it penetrate her, she arches back, her hair draping over his head, making a tent to shelter him in. His hands find her breasts. Her butt cheeks close around the shaft and clench together and apart massaging him still. The music enters their blood. She purrs, he groans, both of them punctuating the rhythm of the song whose tempo is growing steadily faster.

She notes this: time to move on. On, on, on. She senses that his extreme time is close upon him She leans herself over him, turning front-wards, breasts crushed delightfully against his chest.

Reaching over to the bedside table, her hand snatches up the little bottle of oil, holding it up dramatically so he can see. Everything must have ceremony. No unconscious movements. Everything has been conceived, rehearsed, performed and mastered so it is now just part of the heartfelt dance, come full circle back to instinct and shared desire. Director is also leading actress.

"This is Kama Sutra oil. It’s very silky."

Disappointment clouds his eyes. He thinks she means to make him cum with her hand. He doesn’t want to cum like that. He wants to cum inside her; crush her close to him. Possess her. Claim his reward.

And so he shall.

She clicks open the top, pulling it close, much to his surprise, to her own chest, turning the bottle upside down and dribbling it, drop by drop onto her breasts, her belly. His eyes brighten, understanding now as he watches the drops hit the twin curves of her cleavage and run down into her navel; her hands rubbing it into her skin to make her breasts come shiningly alive.

Holding the bottle over him, she waggishly squeezes one bead and then another, one at a time, onto his cock.

"No cumming." she warns playfully. "This is just for fun. For massage."

Her breasts close around his cock; her hands pressing them hard together as they move tightly in mutual massage. The vein in his cock is pulsing. His balls are lifting. It’s time.

She reaches for a condom. Taking the wrapper between her teeth, shakes her head back and forth like a dog with a chew-toy, giving a romping little growl. His smile grows wider. She tears the paper with her teeth and tosses the wrapper dramatically off the end of the bed, letting it flutter to the floor.

"Pull pin; throw grenade." She jokes. Her face, an Army Sargent.

He can’t help but laugh.

She places the rubber tip on her tongue, bends to his hardness and transfers it to his cock, rolling it down to the base with a light scraping of her teeth. More oil is applied.

"That makes it feel not so much like a condom, doesn’t it? Is it any better?"

He nods. They both know condoms are necessary. But this way makes the wearing more palatable.

Once again, she straddles him from on top, facing him, and once again warns, "Don’t move…I want to just grab your head with my pussy, okay? And then I want to massage you with my pussy muscles, okay?"

"Umm-hmm." His eyes are closed. Nothing to do but obey. Why not?

She pops just his head inside and tightens, watching for his reaction. He gasps. His pleasure transfers itself to her. She tightens and grasps again, and again, and then – closing her eyes and letting the pleasure take her for a moment - lets herself sink slowly down, taking the full ride down his cock.

Yin and yang. Masculine and Feminine. This ‘Ahhh Moment’ with its own, independent power. Universal. Undefinable. Indescribable. Infinite, Innate and Necessary.

Both opened mouthed, they are for a second, silent.

Unmoving, she leans forward and whispers:
"I now release you to your own recognizance."

He takes her breast in his mouth. His arms grabs her, turning her onto her back. She rolls away, laughing, climbs onto her hands and knees in front of the mirror and backs onto him. He holds tight to her waist watching himself, watching her curves, watching the entrance and exit of their bodies, the split ‘v’ of her open legs. He moves in the timeless pattern of the mating male, spellbound back and forth, in trance. She feels him grow larger inside her, his head swelling, bracing herself for the huge, final thrusts. His hands knead hard on her hips, his breathing quickens, whimpering slightly. She too is all her vagina, feeling the honey sweating inside, the folds yearning for touch. He grows bigger still, stretching her from the inside and then, quite suddenly, she feels his balls lift, his cock strengthen, and quick pulsing shots dart deep inside her. The satisfaction of his final, forceful explosion breaks a barrier of heat within her and she cries out with delight at his pleasure.

The force of the finishing thrust takes him forward and down, so that he falls on top of her.
Reaching backward, clasping her hands to his ass, grabbing him tight with her arms, her legs, her heels, she lets the space breath, the heart pound then whispers breathily into his ear,
"You came so sexy. You came so strong."
She keeps him inside her, honoring the moment, helping him to honor it too.

This, as so much of the past two hours have been, comes as a surprise to him. When he has seen other ‘working girls’, he has pulled out fast once it was over. But this one, this 'Geisha', won’t let him go.
She maintains the sense of ‘time-standing-still’, letting the tension exhale and leave the room, allowing space to come drifting gently back down to earth.

They turn over and lay on their backs, side by side – like kids who have just come through some breath-taking adventure together.
She rolls the condom carefully off his penis, stretches it out and ties the end in a knot, making playful choking and gagging sounds as she does so.

"Ack! Bluk! Kak!" She holds up the full rubber and shakes it, taking on the voices of the sperm cells: "Hey what’s going on!? Let us out!"

He looks up, smiling, enjoying the joke.

"They’re like, hey who’s the wise guy?" she says. "And bashing their heads into the sides and suffocating! Ack! Watch out!"

She spins the knotted condom like a helicopter blade. "Black Hawk down! Black Hawk down!"
As they collapse in a giggle fit, she tosses the condom over the side of the bed in a high arc like a water balloon, letting it land wherever with a wet ‘spluck’.

Stroking his chest, indicating his penis with a toss of her head, she says:
"You know he’s not going to go home with you, right? Nope. He’s gonna hide out from you and stay right here. You’re gonna have to call me later and you’ll be like,

‘uh, hello? uh, is my cock over there?'

And I’m gonna be like, ‘Hmm, yeah…he’s right here..’"

And you’ll go: "Can I talk to him?’"

and then your cock will get on the phone and he’ll be like,

(she makes a Humphrey Bogart voice and holds her pinky finger to her mouth and her forefinger to her ear, miming a phone) ‘Uh, yeah, whattaya want?’

‘I need you to come home…’

‘Err, yeah, er, sorry buddy I don’t think so…I got it good here see? And besides, you ain’t gonna be using me. Come pick me up tomorrow.’

And you’ll be like:

"But I gotta pee!"
She laughs and winks at him. "That’s what’s gonna happen. He’s gonna start calling me from the corner when you’re not around. He’ll be like:

‘uh, hi this is...Bob."

And I’ll be like,

"It doesn’t sound like Bob…"

"Uh, yeah, I know. It’s uh, Big Bob—Bob’s Big Bob, Bob’s Big Boy…?"

She collapses into a fit of giggles. And after a moment, so does he.

He looks down at himself:
"Bob’s Big Boy, I like that!" and chuckles.

Somewhere unheard in the final passion, the wild belly-dance music ended, replaced by something cooler, smoother: a little John Coltrane perhaps, or the orderly baroque strains of Vivaldi, marking the near-end of the Horizontal Section of her One-Woman Passion Play.
There are still a few minutes left before she knows she has to have him up and showering. So he gets yet another pleasant surprise when she offers him a massage. He is expecting to be told to leave, that his time is up. But laying him diagonally across the bed, she throws a leg across his butt asking, "Is it okay if I sit on you? It doesn’t hurt?" and presses deep and full, eyes closed, into his flesh, her fingers seeking out the last remnants of any stress, kneading them away, letting several blissful minutes slip by.

"Don’t move." She says again, as she finishes the massage. "I’m gonna get a hot towel. Don’t move."

"I don’t think I could if I wanted to." He breathes into the feather bed.

"If you move, I’ll know. I’ve memorized the outline of your body on this bed."

"I’m telling you. I can’t move."

"You’re my hieroglyphic! You’re now a permanent part of my bedspread, aren’t you?"

"I’m afraid so."

"I’ll be right back, my little hieroglyphic." She kisses his cheek, hops off the bed and prances like a pony to the kitchen where she has a towel steamer.

In less than five seconds she returns with a hot smoking towel that she pats on her hands until it cools enough to be applied to his back. Gently she lays it to cover his entire back torso. As it hits his skin, he sighs.

"God! This is better than the Barber."

"Better than the Barber!?" She hits his head teasingly. "I should hope so! Does your Barber sit with his naked pussy on your back as he massages you? No!"

‘Oh God. I’m never gonna be able to get up. You have a crane for situations like this?"

"I do. And a pulley. And a wheelbarrow."

"And two Chinese Man-Servants?"

"Well, not two Chinese Man-Servants. But a Chinese landlord. He might not want to help though. You’re Chinese. Did you bring friends for this purpose?"

"Unfortunately, left them at home."


She lets him lay there for a few breaths, self-contained, contented-happy-dreamy, before asking him quietly if he would like to take a shower. He doesn’t: he’d like to lie there for the rest of the afternoon and evening and then snooze a little and then wake up and make love to her again. But he is a willing actor too and knows that the play must be played correctly. So, smiling but sighing, he heaves himself over and leaves the bliss-cocoon of the bed, stooping to collect his clothes, before padding off barefoot to the bathroom.

After he showers, dries and dresses there, he looks around the gold-painted bathroom walls. Brushing his hair, he studies the wall of photographs opposite the shower. Her parents, her brothers, her ex-boyfriends, her friends from college. There is a tongue scraper neatly placed next to the sink. Her rows of lotions and face lotions on the shelf above the toilet. He could be anywhere: a girlfriend’s house. At his fiancée’s – before he married her.

When he comes out of the bathroom, a relaxed man inside his corporate uniform, he notes that the music is now fun and perky, maybe Burt Bacharach’s ‘The Look of Love’.

She stands near the sofa. A black negligee now covers her once glorious nakedness. Her hair is brushed, her make-up refreshed. She holds up his suit jacket and he slips his arms into its familiar sleeves. Then she hands him his coat.

"How do you feel?" she smiles as she walks him to the door.

"Amazing. Great. How do I get in touch with you again?"

"You can use the same number you called me from on the corner. Then you won’t have to call me through my long message on the work line."

They stare at each other.

"I had a great time." She says sincerely.

"Me too", he pauses, then says with more seriousness: "It was great. Amazing."

She doesn’t open the door. She realizes he forgot: the actor so deeply involved in the play that it clean slipped his mind that he was in a play at all. She affects a tough Bronx-Italian accent:
"Hey mister, you-a-gonna-pay-a-me-now-or-what?"

"Oh God! I am so sorry!" His face reddens. He’s mortified with himself. He hands her the envelope from his suit’s inside pocket. "See," he says, "you should have let me give it to you earlier."

"It happens all the time. But don’t worry, I wouldn’t have let you out the door. I’m a Chihuahua. I would have bitten into your pants leg and hung on!"

They laugh, peck goodbye, she being careful not to leave traces of her make-up or hair or perfume on his suit. She watches for a moment as he makes his way down the staircase.

The door closes.

Eroticism evaporates, transforms into efficiency.
It’s ten minutes after 4pm. They went slightly over their time. Turn around time is exactly 50 minutes before her next ‘guest’ arrives.

She flips on the lights, banishing the sensual mood, removes her earrings, turns off the stereo and clicks on the TV to "Judge Judy".

"Your Honor, I was conned. I was conned into taking her on the bike with me."
"Listen, I don’t want to hear this nonsense about being forced. Did you receive an order from the President of the United States ordering you to get on the bike?"
"No, but..."
"Just answer my questions Mr. Halsted. Did she take out a revolver and hold it to your head and demand you to give her a ride? Just answer my question."
"No Your Honor."

Her pace quickens as she races about the apartment. We can almost hear the accompanying zippy cartoon music in her head: Biddly-bum biddly-bum, bibbly biddly biddly bum… as her ‘to-do’ list is checked off in her brain.

She circles the apartment, swooping like a hawk to blow out candles: first, the three around the coffee table, the one on the floor, around to the four by the marionettes, the one in the bathroom. Plug the phone back in, then into the bedroom up onto the chair to blow out the remaining two candles sitting on the wall mounts.

Off the bed the seven pillows are plucked, off comes the sheet that covered the mountain of comforters. She bunches it into a ball, walks swiftly out to the closet by the bathroom and stuffs it into the laundry bag for pick-up service, grabbing from behind the clothes a new white sheet to lay atop the comforters again.

Back to the bedroom.

The comforters are yanked up in the air, fluffed and round and round each side of the bed she moves, re-tucking them in, then the new white sheet is laid over them. Each pillow is snatched up, puffed up and laid back where it lives at the head of the bed. She sprays the pillows with a flower scent, tilting her head so she can hear Judge Judy from the other room.

"Okay so you’re on the bike and what happens when you get to the park with Mr. Halsted, the genius over there?"

She grabs the wine glasses, the tied-up used condom, the empty wrapper, then with her pinky she snatches up her shoes by their straps, her panties and her dress, and races with them into the living room.

Dropping the clothes onto the sofa she continues in a straight line to the kitchen (no wasted movements), tosses the condom and wrapper into the garbage, gently washes the glasses and places them in the rack to dry and heads back to the living room.

"Judge Judy will return in a moment."

She puts the TV on mute and checks her phone messages to make sure no one has cancelled or needs to change times or book an appointment. She takes down eleven messages, groaning when the person on the other line doesn’t get to the point and leave a number. She prioritizes the calls in her head and decides only one needs an immediate call back:

"Hello, may I speak to Bob Reiner please?…This is Dalia Serafim returning his call from Japan Ocean Industries…" (She gives this standard subterfuge to all secretaries.) "Thank you…Hi Bob, this is Geisha…" (‘Geisha’, of course, being ‘Persephone’s’ working name.) "Really good! How are you?…Good…Yep, let me see…" (She flops open her appointment book.) "I can switch it to next Thursday from 2-4? Would that work for you? Okay great. Do you remember where to come to? Okay sweetie, I can’t wait. I look forward to seeing you then. Bye."

Noticing Judge Judy has returned, she clicks the sound back on.

"And what is Prince Charming doing while you’re fighting with Ashley?"

Scooping up the wine bottle and Pellegrino, putting them back into the refrigerator all the while hearing only the show or the Biddly-bum biddly-bum biddly-biddly-biddly-bum in her body, she takes up a can of room freshener spraying the kitchen as she backs out of it and progresses through the apartment leaving a white gust above her head as she travels in a full circle back to the kitchen returning it to it’s home.

"Listen. You should be smarter at seventeen. I don’t expect you to be fully cooked but don’t be stupid. And then what happened?"
She races back to the bedroom for a last check: bed? Done. Reset condoms and oil? She removes a new condom from a secret jar by the bed and places it on the table next to the oil. Done. Okay for now until the candles have to be re-lit. Bedroom done.

Dashes into the kitchen, grabbing the Windex from under the sink, rips off a paper towel, sprays and wipes the glass top to the mermaid coffee table, replaces the Windex, scans the kitchen and turns the light off.

"…Judge Judy will return in a moment."

Perfect timing. She won’t be able to hear the television with the water running. Into the bathroom now to give herself a puta bath; a hot wet washcloth rubbed hard on the chest to get the oil off, under her arms, on her butt, the back of her neck, and over and over in between her legs—‘fore to aft’ as they say. She dries off, applies new deodorant and re-moisturizes her skin. She brushes her teeth twice and uses the tongue scraper, gargles several times and grabs an Altoid.

"So you, genius over here, dropped her off in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere—"
"It wasn’t in the middle of nowhere- It was at a 7-11."
"I don’t give a rat’s behind! It was in the middle of the night. She didn’t know where she was. She had no way to get home. She could have been brutalized. This thought never occurred to you?"
"But she wasn’t."
Judy’s eyes shoot daggers into him.
"Is it my responsibility? She’s not my girlfriend or anything—"

Hearing this brings her out of the bathroom, halted for a moment in her progress, glued to hear the verdict and feel the vindication, the joy of justice, the pure bliss when people are made to take responsibility for their own ‘bull’.

She moves to the tall bureau and mirror at which she applies her makeup. It is in the living room and affords her a good view of the TV so she waits until the ending to re-apply her make-up so she can visually catch the last good moments of the show. She stands in front of the mirror- one eye on her face, the other eye on Judge Judy- re-applying her makeup.

"Listen to me Mr. Halsted-on your best day you’re not as smart as I am on my worst day. Do we understand each other?"
"Well, I’m just saying she didn’t have to get on the bike if she didn’t want to. I didn’t force her to get on either."
"No she didn’t. And believe me, Miss Fairy Princess over here doesn’t get any prize for being a good judge of character, but you Mr. Halsted, you had no right to drop her—or anybody—"
"She was annoying me so what else was I—"
"I’m speaking!"
"She was-"
"I’m speaking! Bird? Is my mouth still moving?"
"Yes Judge."
"I’m speaking. Now Mr. Halsted, I don’t care if she was the Wicked Witch of the West. She is a human being and a female human being and your actions that night could have cost her her life. Because of you, as it is she suffered minor injuries, but it could have been a lot worse. Do we understand each other sir?"
"But your Honor…"
"This guy must’ve been some prize for you to risk your life to be with him."

As the sponge with the sand-colored cream is wiped over her skin neutralizing her features again, she sees the same look she saw in countless dressing room mirrors, countless times before in countless theatre productions. But now, she is not just an actress; she is writer, stage manager, prop master, lighting designer, costumer, director, producer, agent and secretary of her own one-woman show she performs three times a day on her own private stage. Not what she imagined for her future when she graduated The RFDS but still there is a joy in it she never imagined finding.

Glances at the time: fifteen minutes before the clock clicks over the hour, it’s now transformation time. She rummages through the five DVD’s laid out and chooses "Never on Sunday". The disk goes in the TV over-riding Judge Judy.

Lively Greek bouzouki music now fills the room and a sexy, cigarette-smoking Melina Melcouri, playing a Courtesan, seduces her client on the screen:

"The words of this song are very beautiful: ‘With such a moon, how can I sleep? With such a moon, how make away my sorrows, pahrykari? Chase away your sadness pahrykari. ‘Parhykari means ‘strong young man’. And together we go to the moon." (They fall back onto the bed in a kiss.)

She redefines her features with mascara and eyeliner to match Melina’s finishing by filling in a full mouth of soft red lipstick, powdered afterward so it won’t come off when she kisses. (An old trick from her days in the theatre.)

As she watches Melina dancing and singing to herself, rejoicing in her life as a Courtesan in Piraeus, she puts her stockings back on one by one, slips her dress up and on, reaches in and lifts her breasts up, buckles the ankle straps on each shoe, and replaces her dangling earrings.

"No one goes by my door for whom I do not feel love…
And those who come tomorrow, fill my dreams at night…
So, to the jewels around my throat, I add a charm to bring me luck,
And now I’m ready to welcome the stranger come from the port…"

She re-lights all the candles, turns down the lights, re-sets and pauses the stereo at Bossa Nova, and seats herself on the red velvet couch next to the phone. A siren in waiting. The stage has been re-set. The music. The bed. Herself…

On the busy corner of a crowded New York sidewalk, a man who looks like Everyman tucks into a phone booth, pulls out his own mobile and dials a number, written on a scrap of paper, that he pulls out of his suit coat pocket. He speaks into the mouthpiece, then stops and looks around for the right direction to walk, his face, suppressed excitement. He ducks out of the booth, back into the crowd, crosses the road and heads off down a quiet residential street of elegant Victorian brownstones, counting the house numbers as he walks.

(Forgive me for being so long-winded. But it's a Holiday weekend and I imagine I won't be abck writing until Monday anyway. I wish you all a wonderful Holiday.)


At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My gosh, what a nice piece of writing. In an odd way
it reminded me of Molly Bloom's soliloquy, which I
love. But more authentic having been written by a

Congratulations on having not been arrested yet
again. Happy holidays, and a joyous New Year,

Winston Smith

At 1:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THank you Winston...I never read that peice..where can I find it?

At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last chapter of Joyce's "Ulysses." Famously,
it ends this way:

"...I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes. "


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