Posts : 2543
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Join date : 2011-05-23
Age : 27
Location : Lubao, Pampanga
|Subject: Full-Time Writer / Part-Time Gigolo Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:37 pm|| |
Don't be misled by the title. I do not make any money writing. However, I consider it my full-time occupation. I am very dedicated to my craft. Unlike all the thousands who bullshit, I know first-hand that it's not easy being gifted and unpublished. A second means of income is not a choice... it's a necessity.
I live in Boulder, Colorado. I graduated with a degree in English literature in 1994. That was six years ago. I haven't left the state since. Why? I have everything I need right here: mountains, sun, snow, girls, and lattes.
Some writers have routines to keep them disciplined. I do not need this. I write every day, whenever I can. I refine and edit countless times. Why? Because every word makes a difference to the shape of the universe.
I send my stories and articles out to magazines, literary journals, and all the popular Internet sites. Sometimes I get published, and this positive reinforcement keeps me going. But I hardly ever get paid. More often then not, my commission does not even cover a single month's rent. I receive a smattering of fan emails along with my daily dose of spam. These letters keep my ego well fed, but they do next to nothing for my stomach.
I am an only child. My parents do not seem to approve of anything I do. I was cut off financially after graduation. I still have nightmares about it. Sometimes I think God is mocking me. I am all by myself in a world of strangers. But God did not leave me completely defenceless. He did give me boyish good looks. I can still pass for an undergrad at age 30. If not I would probably be homeless, gainfully employed, or worse.
I have been a part-time gigolo, for want of a better term, for four years now. The amount of undersexed older women out there is appalling. I do my best to help out. But it's still hard to remember all the lies and routines. Women are so much better at lying than men. Their deceptions are so much more natural and believable.
From freshman year until age 26, I mainly supported myself writing term papers for undergraduates. But as I entered my late 20's, I began to know less and less undergraduates, and they grew steadily more and more self-sufficient. Long gone are the lazy cocaine and Jagermeister glory day of the late 80's and early 90's. The Internet is not helping matters. Nowadays the kids do not even have to able to type to bootleg a passable paper. They can search, copy, and paste.
The worst part is, I actually enjoy spending a day with my nose between the books absorbing new bits of information. I have written papers on everything from Anthropology to Zoology. Studying for pay is noble- at least as noble as teaching. And I quite like the solemn atmosphere of the library. Only once did I receive a bad grade when writing term papers for money. It was a C+ effort on a critique of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. I was sick with the flu and I forgot to include three pages in the middle that rooted my controversial (but brilliant) argument. The girl complained and wanted her money back. But I had already spent it on rent. Tough shit for such a lazy bitch.
I am more proud of that part-time job than my current one, even though it is almost certainly less romantic and more difficult. You see, since I am so literary-minded and appealing to those of the opposite sex, I often get invitations home for drinks from the women at the poetry readings, gallery openings, and artsy cocktail parties I attend. I can't recall exactly how it began at first, but I eventually started sleeping with them for money.
How do I do it? Well, I have a softly featured, artistic body type. My facial features are angelic. My head is fully covered by shoulder-length, blondish locks. More importantly, I have perfected the magic formula for projecting the perfect vulnerability/masculinity ratio which older women find so attractive. For the coup de grace, I use Dolce & Gabana perfume in all the right places. It costs $50 per bottle, but it pays for itself in only a few sprays with the ladies it attracts. The average age of the women I service is around 45. I do this two or three times a week. The average payout is a hundred and fifty dollars. It's enough to pays the bills. It's enough to keep going until I get published for real. Then it will be buying the drinks. Then it will be me paying the girls to go to bed.
Most of the women I provide this service to are actually pretty good looking. Many of them are also married. They seem to appreciate that as a writer, this is the only way I can support myself. Often the skeptical ones don't believe me when I tell them I am literary. They make me read them a passage or two from a poem or play I wrote. And then immediately after I read to them, perhaps to make me feel better about myself, they fuck me all night and hand me a few crisp bills in the morning, telling me the money is for books and beer. As if the rest of the things in life are automatically sorted. A few of the women become regulars and that's how I pay my rent and buy new clothes.
The scenario usually goes like this. This is a dialogue between myself and whatever "middle-aged horny mom" is paying for my dick:
MAHM: It was nice seeing you again, Michael. I really enjoyed the latest chapter of your novel. You are very talented.
Me: Thank you Mrs. Last Name. It was nice seeing you again. Hopefully I can get it published some time soon and support myself.
MAHM: Please Michael, call me First Name.
Me: Okay First Name.
MAHM: Here's some money for books and beer. What are you studying again?
Me: The Psychology of Literature in the 18th Century.
MAHM: Wow, sounds interesting.
Me: Its not, really. It's all a bunch of mindless BS like every comparative literature class.
MAHM: Oh, well, you kids have to do something to keep you off the street. Ha ha.
Me: Yeah. One day I will be a famous writer and you can say you knew me back when. Oh, should I come over next Monday?
MAHM: No, I will be out of town. Make it a week from Wednesday.
Me: Okay. I best be off now. I got an 11 o'clock class you know. I don't want to be late.
Of course I graduated six years ago and have been taking good advantage of the Boulder location ever since: mountain biking, skiing, and writing. But mainly writing, as you probably could have figured out by now. After I service a customer, I normally go home to work on a story or else hang out at the Cafe Roma trying to meet interesting people. Boulder gets a lot of interesting types and it's normally sufficient to concoct a character sketch or two. I don't want to sound self-satisfied, but the life I lead is one I'd mostly hate to give up.
* * *
Today I am returning home from my best client, Katherine Anderson. She has a penchant for cheesy bondage routines, but she fed me dinner, got me drunk on fine Bordeaux wine, and paid me $200 for the effort. This is a week's wage at Subway.
Just because I get paid for my play, doesn't mean I don't have a steady girlfriend. Her name is Alexi. She's a German girl with dark hair, of Greek ethnicity. She is like the goddess Isis from Mount Olympus. She adores me.
As I head home from the job, I intend to bypass the campus entirely and go straight home to sleep. But I see Alexi in the cafe Roma. She is sitting and flirting with another boy. I enter and walk completely casually up to the table. Let it be known I do not suspect any infidelity from her. Alexi considers me as both a brother and a lover. She is my biggest supporter.
"Hi Alexi. I saw you through in the window. You look absolutely beautiful today in that white dress."
"Oh Michael. You are so kind. How are you today?"
"I am not well."
"Well you know I had to sleep with Mrs. Anderson last night, right?"
"And you know sometimes she doesn't pay me right away because she needs to go to the bank?"
"Well she kept me tied up all night, and now I am tired. Plus I must finish a screenplay for my agent in Los Angeles. To make a long story short, I don't even have enough money for a triple grande hazelnut."
"Don't worry. I'll get you one baby."
"Oh Alex, you are really too kind to me."
Alex gets up to stand in the long line. I sit down next to the new boy vying for her affections. I expect him realize Alexi is taken and excuse himself towards the door, or at least another table. He doesn't. He smiles at me and sips his latte. I smile back and pretend to be as naive as I look.
This suitor is young, perhaps early 20's like my Alexi, with a dark mass of curly hair. His slim face cradles perfectly round eyes and a small pointy nose. Along the perimeter of his mouth grows a well-groomed bohemian goatee. He is definitely not American. He looks of Slavic origin to me. Call me prejudiced, but I don't like the Slavs. They are very stubborn and think they are the world's smartest race. Plus they expect everybody in the West to feel sorry for them because the Soviets killed their great-grandparents, burned their cities, and generally fucked up their economy. At best, I find them suitable backgammon foes. At their worst, I find them to be a bunch of lowlifes- always on the take.
"Hi. I'm Michael, nice to meet you."
"I am Igor. From Bulgaria."
"Igor? Nice name. Tell me, Igor, is your father in the government?"
"Yes! How did you know?"
"Well Igor, I can tell by the way you seem really proud of yourself, even though you are from a shitty country like Bulgaria."
"My father, he was Secretary to the Prime Minister."
"Oh. My mom was a secretary once. But she quit when she married my dad. She didn't like typing anymore because it messed up her nails. How fast can your father type? Maybe he can get a job in a real country."
"My father is not a typist. He is an important man."
"Wow, he must be really important if he is a secretary who can't type. Say Igor, why don't you leave my girlfriend Alexi alone, go get your friends Dracula and Frankenstein, and take them all back to Romania with you."
"I am from Bulgaria."
Igor does not get angry. He just looks at me and says, "You are a funny American, Michael. I wish was so funny. Maybe then I could date Alexi instead of you."
"I doubt it. Alexi and Igor. Doesn't really have that romantic ring to it."
"Igor is a popular name in Bulgaria, like John."
"Yes, but we are not in Bulgaria. We are in Colorado, where Igor is only a popular name in horror flicks."
"Ha ha. Good one. Tell me my friend... are you a student here?"
"No, I am not. I am finished with all that. I write term papers for money. Do you know anybody that needs to have their papers written?"
"Who would pay someone to write their papers now with the Internet?"
"Lot's of people do. Just let me know if you meet someone, okay? That's what I do for money."
"What about this Mrs. Anderson?"
"That is just an old whore I sleep with to pay off my student loans."
"She is the whore?"
"Yes. She's a dumb literary whore."
Alexi comes back to the table with my triple latte. She hands it to me and sits herself down. I sip the drink, enjoying the bitter taste of the espresso mixing with the frothed milk and the nutty syrup. This is what I call the breakfast of champions.
I tell my girl that Igor and I have hit it off and decided to run away to New Jersey and open a haunted house. Igor laughs again and says that I am a very funny man. But apparently not funny enough though to make him move any closer to the door.
As the three of us talk some more, I warm to Igor a little bit. He enjoys my combative nature and seems tolerant of my moral shortcomings. Moreover, he is full of admiration for my passion with the pen. I warm up to him. I figure Igor has no chance with my Alexi. She loves me. And my tolerance of him proves openly that I have nothing to fear except fear itself. What am I supposed to do? Forbid her from speaking with people in cafes?
Igor is a philosophy student who transferred from UCLA. We talk about how much we hate Los Angeles, and then discuss our various theories of existence. I am a Cartesian and he is an existentialist. We find each other's theories to be quaint. Alex butts in and tells Igor that I am a Sophist- that I say whatever I think people want to hear. Igor agrees that I am too willing to share information that should be kept private.
"No one would admit to be a prostitute in Bulgaria," Igor says.
I tell him if I lived in Bulgaria I might not admit it either.
We laugh and then suddenly, out of nowhere, my best client Mrs. Anderson enters the cafe with another boy. The boy is cherubic, noticeably younger than me. 18 at the oldest. Barely legal forbidden flesh. She is already molesting him, with her hands on his round jean-covered buttocks. She sees me and struts over to the table. This is not the situation I needed right now. I should have just gone straight home.
"Hi Katherine. What brings you here?"
"I met this boy David here at the bookstore. We were both trying to buy the last textbook for the Psychology of Literature class. We got to talking and decided to come over here for coffee. He must be in the same class as you. Do you know each other?"
David proffers me a puzzled glance.
"This guy is not in our class. I would remember him. We only have like 5 students."
"Is this true, Michael?"
Everyone looks at me. I try not to look like a deer caught in headlights. What I need to do is suspend these people's disbelief for only a few seconds to change the subject to something else. Anything. A year ago I could have torn David a new asshole. Spun some story that would have convinced everyone that actually he wasn't the one enrolled in the class and was actually some illiterate high-school junkie drop out from Kansas. But this time I could not lie, so I just blurted out angrily...
"Yes it's true. You think I would sleep with you for pleasure? 'Katherine the cow' is what I call you to my girlfriend."
Katherine's smile turned upside down. It was clear that she didn't like being mistreated by a man she invested so many thousands of dollars in.
"Well Michael, I don't care if you are not really in school, but I will certainly not be insulted. I prefer the tender David here anyway, who is probably more than willing to take over your scholarship duties."
David gives another puzzled glance, almost blushing.
"Fucking whore!" I yell.
"I know you are but what am I?" teases Katherine.
David seems quite unsure what to say or do, so he just stands there looking virginal. He has little idea, I muse, that within a couple hours he will be tied to the wall with a dildo up his ass.
Everyone at the surrounding tables is now looking at me, like I am some kind of jerk. Alexi is fighting off the laughter. Igor sits waiting for visible signs of my humiliating defeat. I cannot laugh or cry and so I close my eyes, hold my breath, and count to ten. When I am finished counting I glance towards Alexi, hoping to find a glimmer of sympathy in her brown eyes. But they are locked in Igor's stoic gaze. It dawns on me I've just been replaced again.
My term paper gigs have all but dried up. Kids like David and Igor will eventually steal all my clients and lovers. Between the rise of the Internet and my first gray hair I am slowly losing the battle for the hearts and minds of Colorado. This part time gigolo needs to grow up fast, get out of Dodge, and get his aging ass published.
Defeated, I swallow the last bit of my latte, get up from the table, and bow in front of my well-entertained audience. I walk outside into the November slush. I am going home to work on my writing.