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.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Couples Therapy Gone Awry

Okay. It’s a bit unusual, I admit. But as I mentioned, I am in Couples Therapy with a Client. A Client I consider a deep and loving friend.

After our last session, he booked an appointment with me.
Instead of heading straight to the bedroom as per usual, a conversation, probably better left for the Therapist’s Office, ensues:

My Client is furious with me. He has told me he loves me. I answer that I love him too.
We’ve known each other 5 years.

He says, ‘No. I am in love with you.’

I know what he means but I just smile and feather my fingers down his cheek, watching the goose-bumps arise.

‘You’re not in love with me.’ He says, pulling away, already knowing.

‘I love you.’ I say.
I want to say, ‘why can’t that be enough’, but I know why.
His eyes are hard, defensive.
My eyes are pitying and I wish they weren’t.
He is saying things. I don’t hear. I watch his marble eyes blaze in the candlelight.

"…and probably, by this point in your ‘career’, (a word he says with bile), you don’t even know what Love is."

That, I hear.

‘…you just use men and discard them…’

I not only hear but I feel a blue hot rage simmering, a fire fed by his words. I clench my teeth, allowing my tongue no freedom.

‘…just like you played me…’

Hard sigh escapes my mouth. I hate being misunderstood. And even more, I hate the rigidity of thought that imprisons him.

‘…you wouldn’t even know what Love was…couldn’t even recognize it if it…’

Inner blaze engulfs me and I am no longer in control. My words exit my mouth meaner, colder than I intend.

"How dare you. What do you know of me?"

‘A lot. A lot I think.’

"You’re wrong. Wrong. You know very little."

‘I’ve known you for years.’

"Yes. 5. And still, you know very little. You couldn’t even read my Blog without taking it personally. You read one entry, and that entry had to do with a sexual experience with another client and you condemn me for that. What do you know? Why do you think you’re in love with me?"

‘You’re everything I’ve ever wanted in a woman. You’re loving. You’re beautiful. You’re sexy. You have the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met."

"So, okay. Thank you. That’s wonderful. So what’s so terrible if I’m not in love. I love you. And that’s pretty f*ckin’ rare on this planet."

‘I’m just saying, what would be so bad about getting married?’

"Why do we need to get married? I’ve been on my own for my whole life. I’m comfortable this way. There are only two reasons I could see for getting married. One would be if I met another Soul Mate—"

‘And that’s not me.’

"I love you, but no, I don’t think we are Soul Mates. Come on. Do you really think we are?"

"I do."

"Huh. Okay."

‘What’s the other reason?"

"For practical reasons. I like my life the way it is. The only thing I struggle with is finances. If you were able to alleviate that worry, I would consider marriage."

"There it is. You’re out for money."

"No. You have to agree to nothing. You have to give me nothing. But I don’t see any reason to get married otherwise. So let’s leave it at that. We have a wonderful time together and we take good care of one another. Why does it have to be all or nothing? There is no ending in life that is guaranteed to be a happy one. All life is, is the journey. In my experience that’s all we have."

‘You have never been in love.’

"Au Contraire Mon Frere.’

"F*ck the foreign language shit.’

"I hate when you talk sophomoric."

‘And f*ck that high-falutin RFDS shit.’

"First off, cut the anger, okay? Just for a minute and try to take in who I am and what I’m saying even if it’s not what you were hoping to hear."

We stare. I break the silence of his rebellious acquiescence.

"I have been in Love and I have had Soul Mates. In fact, whether you want to hear it or not, I have been very blessed in my life in that regard. I have had FOUR Soul Mates, which I consider rare and blessed. And aside from them, I have been IN LOVE, four other times and then BESIDES THAT, had several important Infatuations. So don’t tell me about Love. Okay?"

Disturbed by the fierce certainty of my words, he sits on the end of the sofa, head in hands, ready for War but without a Battle Plan.

I do love him. I care for him. I can’t imagine my life without him in it. He has been kind to me over the years. I have never led him on.
At least from my perspective.
I hate being the ‘bad guy’.
Because I’m not.
The ‘bad guy’ is his rigid outlook.
I remind myself I have done nothing untoward.

‘My Love’, I say taking his hand in mine, ‘There is a woman out there who is Perfect for you. It’s just not Me.’

He is about to protest but I interrupt.

‘Love is an amazing thing. Whether it’s created or falls upon you. Love as a Verb, or Love as an Adjective. To love, to be in love, to feel the Torture of Love, that’s the best part of Life. That’s all that makes Life worth living. No one can guarantee the outcome. Sorry. But that’s Life. Sometimes, your heart is broken and sometimes you break a heart. That doesn’t discount the entire experience.’

"For me, it does. It’s bullshit and a waste of time and energy spent."

‘Well then, I’m sad for you.’ I twiddle a cigarette even though he hates when I smoke.

"No. I’m sad for you because your Business had made you so practical, you wouldn’t know Love if it hit you in the face.’

"Do you want to hit me in the face?"

"F*ck you.’

"Nice. This is what I think. Take it or leave it. Relationships never die. They just change form."

"Intellectual Bullshit."



"What can I say? You think how you think, how you need to think, how you want to think, how you choose to think. I can’t alter that."

"I gotta go."

"Okay." (Pause) "Will I see you again?"

"Do you give a f*ck?"

"Is that fair?"

"Yeah. I think it is."

"I would be very sad. I would miss you terribly. I would wonder constantly how you are. I love you and I care about you and just because I can’t give you what you want doesn’t mean that Love isn’t Real."


(I laugh. I don’t mean to laugh but I do. And he stares at me, hating me for it. I laugh because of the history behind that word. ‘Whatever’. This is a man who has spent five years with me and knows me only as a Statue. This is a man who has spent five years with me and knows nothing about me. This is a man who has played ‘tit-for-tat’ with me for five years: he pays me and I am the perfect fantasy. This is a man who knows and asks nothing. This is a man who dreams of Ideals and hates Reality. He doesn’t know me. Doesn’t want to know me; just wants me to slip into the mold within the Ideal World he has created in his mind. This is a man, who at 45 still wears black jeans and black gym shoes and T-shirts that say: ‘Spank the Monkey’. A Man whose humor goes no farther than ‘Beavis and Butthead’, or anything by Mike Myers. ‘Whatever’. His answer to anything ‘heavy’.

The first gift I ever purchased for him was a black T-shirt with white letters across the chest that read: ‘Whatever’. He’s 45 and it was the only perfect gift I could think to get for him. I pay attention.)

"Okay. Whatever. So you’re leaving?"

"See ya." He pops a bubble in the peach-aroma gum he’s constantly chewing and chomps it defensively like a boy from Queens.

My arms imprison him. He pulls back but I hold tight.
"I love you. That’s a lot. That’s a lot. What you want? You want a simple life, quiet and uncomplicated, like the ones they show on TV."

"I don’t."

"You do. You said so. You said you want to marry me because you want to have a family and be head of a household and just be married and happy. That’s wonderful. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s all good. In your mind, in your fantasy, in your heart, you already have the entire movie written. All you need is the leading actress—the wife. All that is so so nice. The only part that doesn’t fit, is me. I’m not simple. I’m complicated, unconventional and I come with baggage. So all is well, except the woman you chose to fit the part. Don’t you see that? I just don’t fit into the scenario you created. Simply put: bad casting. That’s all. Don’t kill yourself. Don’t diminish what we have. I’m just the wrong girl for the part. That’s all. This is nothing serious. There is a lot of Love. Just not for the specific play you want to live out."

Silence. Starring. Breathing.

"You use men."


"You kiss them. You kiss them with your full velvet lips and that’s it. They fall in love with you and then they have to give you money."

"Ha! I wish. I hate to disappoint you but that’s not true. Some men love me and some men could care less. I have deceived no one. Not you. Not any one."

"You tell them you love them."

"Maybe I do. Sometimes I do. If I do. If we develop that together. And if I say it, I do."

"And they give you money."

"That’s my job! (Sigh.) My job is to create Love. To create Intimacy. To create Romance. How is that a deception?"

"And then they fall in love with you. I fell in love with you the moment I walked in the door and you kissed me."

"That was you. Believe me. Not everyone falls in love. And if they do. Great. Bonus. How is that deceptive?"

"You take them for money."

"How? I ask no more than my price on my website."

"I gave you gifts—a diamond necklace, money for your birthday…"

"You chose to. I didn’t ask. I didn’t Gold Dig. And I thanked you. I was surprised. I thought it was amazingly generous of you. I almost didn’t accept it. I didn’t give you some sob story about my grandmother in the hospital dying--for the seventh time. How was I Gold-Digging?"

"They believe you love them."

Ugh. Huuu. My hand is on my mouth. How do I explain what to me is obvious?

"People find me through my website. My website says I am an Escort. A Courtesan. They want to see me in this way. It is convenient. Some basics are guaranteed. And the main thing is, there has to be NO EMOTIONAL TIES. If they didn’t want this, they would be at some bar trying to pick someone up. Or f*cking their Secretary. Anyone who calls me knows there is a fee and the fee is for the time. If we happen to connect—well, yippee! They like what I offer because I am not ‘Gold-Digging’. I offer a price for a period of time. And what they hope for is that, that period of time will be lifted from the ordinary. And I do that. I know I do that because not only do I have repeat Clientele, but also I was rated quite highly in the Review Boards at one time. My job is Love. My job is Intimacy. And now that you think you want to marry me, you want me to quit. Okay, I’d like to move on to something else. But what? And what if you leave me? Where is my safety net? You think if I quit, it will just become part of my past that you won’t ever have to hear about again. But my love, I have news for you. I Am what I Do. I am not ashamed of what I do. All I do all day is give and receive love. And that’s more than I have to say for most professions in this world. This job is an enormous part of who I am and it will not dissolve when I am no longer in my business. And the fact that you hate it, or hate that part of me is a big reason why we don’t talk, joke, laugh, communicate. I know you hate to hear about it so I don’t tell you. You are like my parents. And I can’t marry them. I love them. But we have no real relationship other than just loving one another. We have no communication. No friendship."

He claps. Condescendingly, of course.
"Great Monologue. The RFDS would be proud."

I hate him right now.
"And what about you—tit-for-tat? Remember my girlfriend that came over one night—"


"You know who."

"The tall one?"

"Yes. And how did you behave?"


"She’s a Gold-Digger. That’s what she does. She’s good. So good I’m jealous. I left the room for six minutes and when I came back you were ready to hand her thousands of dollars to solve her ‘woes’."

"I was doing it for you. She sounded like she was in distress. I wanted to help."

‘Ha! She’s good. She’s very good. In six minutes she almost had you taking $3000.00 out of your wallet. That’s her thing. That’s her profession. That’s how she gets along and believe me, I admire her in an odd way."

"See. That’s how you are. You think she’s admirable."

"No. I think she’s amazing. I can’t do what she does. She goes to bars, Meets men. Has dinner. Sleeps with them. For free. Then hits them up for 40 to 80 thousand. And she gets it. And it makes me feel stupid. Because what I give is an honest service for an honest price. I take nobody for nothing. I am what I am. They call me because I advertise. No ties. That’s it. So how am I ‘taking’ them."

"But you admired her."

"Yeah. Because I felt stupid. Because I felt like a Work-Horse. She’s good. She does something remarkable and I don’t know what it is or how she does it. I state my rate. Men come to see me. I give them an experience high above their expectations and if they happen to like me enough to ask about my life, they would easily be able to assess that I need a helping hand. I give no lies—no pity stories and yet, no one comes to my rescue. Not that they need to. But they don’t. And yet, even in your case, you spend 6 minutes with her and your ready to open your wallet and let loose thousands of dollars. Her last man gave her $82,000.00. Do you know how long it takes me to earn that in an honest way?"

"I would be okay if you just wouldn’t kiss anyone that you saw. If you could promise me that, we could move forward."

"I can’t lie. I’m not very good at it. Kissing. Not Kissing. It matters not."

"When you kiss someone they fall in love with you."

"No. I have done what I’ve done for fifteen years. And in that time, some have loved me and many have not. Listen love. I love that you love me. But not everyone does. And there is no such thing as competition. We all give what we give and if what we give is right for someone else, they will want to be with us no matter who else comes into the picture. I have to have faith in that. If someone else offers something they want or need more, then that’s where they need to be. I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt. Oh F*ck! It hurts a lot! But everyone has their own journey. And that’s that."

"Ripe philosophy." He grabs his coat.

"You do what you need to do." I say. "I will miss you terribly if I don’t see you again. But I can’t change the way you think or the way you think you need to protect yourself. Just know I love you."

"See ya." He says, as he flips his leather jacket over his shoulder, stalking out the door without looking back.

I keep the door open, watching him descend.

On the middle step, he turns, sees me.
"You wouldn’t know Love or a Soul Mate if he fell in your lap."
He is gone.

I close the door.

Jett. Mick. Philip I. Pip. Gary. Philip II. Dan. Steve. Jon. Even Gerig—a Client. Rhett—also a Client.


Au Contraire Mon Frere.


At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation, I don't think he meant love, he meant possession. If you recall I asked this question a long time ago. Thank you for answering it. I feel sorry for your pain. The problem with the world today is too many people like HIM,and not enough like YOU.
be well and live in grace

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Skarlett said...

While reading your post, I had a flashback to my last relationship.
He too used to accuse that I wouldn't know love if it fell in my lap, when in turn, he was actually unable to understand a love that was not what he envisioned.
I wonder how common this is.
I've always thought that women were the ones who viewed love and relationships in a boxed view, and men were the ones who were better able to separate feeling from fancy.
Now I think it is common that certain men have their minds made up of what they want their life to be. They 'cast' that role according to this plan they have, or script they have written.
If the woman they have cast does not fit the role, (or maybe want the part) it is her failure to see his vision, not his inability to re-write, or cast accordingly.
Perhaps women like you and I should come with our own understudies to step in for us?

At 1:34 AM, Blogger Buddha said...

This sounds like a familiar story. Being with anyone on an intimate basis for 5 years is going to lead to complications.

You certainly are aware of the situation. He hasn't gotten it and may never will.

He doesn't understand the financial risks you take by being faithful only to him.

May be better for him to go to therapy alone for a while.

Love is too short. There are a lot of people you love and love you back. Take the high road. Don't view him as a challenge.


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