A Client’s Call
There were four calls that afternoon, all asking for appointments for that very day. I had to juggle the schedule around to accommodate them all.
I don’t usually have a problem getting hard two or three hours after my last come, but less time than that and I risk failure, which means disappointment for the client, which means not only no tip, but no repeat business. And two thirds of my clients are regulars. About half of the regulars are married to women.
I also like to shower between clients, which means getting home to Chelsea, which can take some time. I shower because for the client, it’s like I’m only his for the day, maybe even virginal-like, and when we’re done, since there’s many times that things can get wild, I get pretty messy.
Eventually I won’t be doing this. I’m not just covering living expenses now, I’m putting some cash away to finish college. I did two years and couldn’t swing it financially any more, so here I am. When I go back to school, computer programming is what I’ll take up. I don’t have a passion for it but that’s where the world is going, right? Anyway, this sex work is so mechanical anyway, also without passion. Totally meaningless, which is fine and it’s the only way I want it.
So this guy calls like at two in the afternoon — he’s a first-timer, and he sounds young, and like really shy and scared. When I ask him how old he is he says twenty-four, which is a little older than me, and I’m wondering why this young guy is needing my services. I figure he’s maybe married to a woman and he’s trying to sort himself out. We agree we’re going to meet at ten that night, and he wants me to go to his place, so I say okay. I don’t pack heat, and I’ve never gotten in trouble in three years of doing this, but if a place looks dicey I don’t even ring the doorbell. I also stick to good neighborhoods in Manhattan only — no outer boroughs, no tenement buildings. Most of the time, though, I meet the guys in hotels that know me and appreciate the business.
My second job of the day is at seven, with a regular at a hotel. It’s great that this middle-aged gay guy is a quickie always, and because he knows the game we don’t have to waste a lot of time with explanations or other bullshit, like how do you like it, do you want me to do this or that, all that stuff. This guy is also not bad looking, although he’s like twice my age. Believe me, that helps. I hate having to close my eyes when I’m working the goods.
So I’m out of there by eight plus, get home and shower, catch up on Facebook with my sister in Albany and head out to the young guy’s place in the east seventies, a boring but safe, posh neighborhood. I dress in a long sleeve pink Façonnable shirt and black jeans.
When I get to the building the doorman looks at me like, what the fuck do you want, but he calls the guy on the handset and lets me pass, and even tells me where the elevator is and what floor the guy is on.
So when this client, whose name is Joshua, opens the door, I’m like stunned. This guy is beautiful. He has curly brown hair around like a perfect face, with a straight nose, and big brown headlights with lashes out to here. And he has the sweetest kissing lips I’ve seen in a long time. Some of these guys with pretty faces are pudgy down below, but this guy is in shape and he’s a little taller than me.
I follow him into this really nice living room, with green satin upholstery on the furniture that matches the drapes, and all the lights are on. There’s a lot of artwork on the walls, not prints or posters, either, and he asks me to sit down and do I want anything to drink. I say no to the drink but I sit on the sofa so maybe he’ll sit next to me and we can begin the prelims at least, because I’ve got a one o’clock in the Village, and this guy is so mellow and I’m so like punched by his looks that I may actually get a kick out of this one and it means I definitely will have to shower afterwards.
But he sits in a big armchair across from me and starts asking me what the first timers always ask: is Chad my real name, where am I from, how long have I been doing this. So after I dance around the truth for a while I say, would you like to get started, and his eyes open wide and he gets a little pale and swallows hard, and when he speaks I can barely hear him.
That’s when he tells me that he’s never had sex before, and that in fact no one except his doctors have ever seen him naked, because he was born with a problem that needed lots of surgery, and nothing looks normal below his waist. I look at his legs and they seem okay, and I automatically look at his crotch without meaning to, as if I could see through his pants, dumb fuck that I am, and this guy turns red, and he says you know, maybe I’ll just pay you and we’re done, I don’t want to go through with this.
But I’m thinking, this is a nice guy, in a nice apartment, and he’s easy on the eyes. Shit, it’d be nice to have him as a regular, so I say, why don’t you pay me now, okay, but let’s not waste it, why don’t we go into the bedroom and just take it slow, and we don’t have to do anything you don’t want.
So now he looks relieved, a little, and he takes cash from his pocket and hands it to me, and I make sure that my fingers caress and linger on his for not even a second, but it’s enough, that touch, and I see his shoulders relax and he takes me to the bedroom by the hand, which is sweet, but no savvy client ever does it. The bedroom is all blonde wood, and the halogen lights are dimmed, but I can see that nothing is out of place.
I take off my shoes and I ask him if he wants me to undress, and he swallows hard again and just nods. He looks like he can’t speak. His eyes are like big shiny buttons. I strip down to my underwear and start rubbing my crotch to get things going, looking at his face, and I ask him doesn’t he want to take something off. So he nods again and takes off his shirt, and his chest looks good, not super built up, but lean and tight, and it’s good enough that I get an easy, extra hardness with the help of my hand.
I walk up to him and bring my face close to his, and even though I don’t go in for kissing on the job, because I only get anything out of a kiss when it’s someone I’m really into, like my boyfriend Raul, I think, what the hay, if he wants to, it’s okay, because he’s so hot.
I start to unbuckle his belt and he gently takes my hands away, so I step back a couple of feet and drop my briefs, and he gasps at what I’ve got. So I ask him, don’t you want to try to go a little further. Because in my head I know I want to come back, but I don’t want to push him.
He doesn’t say anything, this guy, he just looks like he’s going to cry, but he forces himself to undo his pants and drop them, and you can just see the pain in his face, but he looks down at the floor, won’t look at me when he’s down to his briefs.
His skin below the belly-button is like one big up and down scar that looks like a long crater, with fleshy red welts streaking out to the surrounding skin, like thick scars from old stitches, and the hollow in the center is so deep it looks almost like a big open vagina, and now I’m thinking so what, I can deal with this, I’ve seen scars before, though not so huge. So I move up to him slowly and hook my thumbs on the elastic of his underwear but don’t pull them down right away, in case he really doesn’t want me to, but he doesn’t fight it, and I bring them down to his thighs and then look down to see what’s what so I can get to work.
The deep crevice below the waist continues on down into this guy’s small dick, which is almost completely split in two and looks like an index finger fileted open down the middle. There is regular skin on the sides of this thing but that center groove is all pink, like the inside of your piss hole, like this has to be super sensitive, and underneath, his balls are two little sacs that you couldn’t even cup with your hand.
I always try to be professional no matter what a client looks like down there, and although I try this time, he sees the look on my face, and on his I see mostly hurt and shame, but also anger, and I know it’s over.
But I step back, trying to recover, and I say, do you want us to lie down, in as soft a voice as possible, and he closes his eyes and shakes his head no, and now his lids are tight closed but leaking.
I almost get dressed and get going, because it’s getting late now and I’ve got the one o’clock, but I don’t like to leave a client unhappy, and this guy is hurting. By now I’ve way lost my hard-on, but I can see sex is not what this was about, so I take him by the hand and lead him to the bed, put my hands on his shoulders and gently push him down on it, and lift his legs off the floor on to it. Then I lie down next to him and just hold him for a while. And before I leave I do something I’ve never done before, which is I kiss him on both cheeks, and then I lick the wetness that is seeping down his lashes and from the canyoned finger down below.
But I never see him again. In the elevator I block his number on my phone before I call Raul.
About the Author
José Sotolongo is a physician, born in Cuba. He’s been writing since age ten, and got his first rejection from the Reader’s Digest at eleven for his first effort in English, a story about the day he left his homeland. His fiction and poetry have appeared in several publications, including The Peacock Journal anthology, Atticus Review anthology, Bloody Key Society, Opossum, and Love Like Salt poetry anthology. His first novel will be out in 2019. He lives with his husband on a goat farm in the Catskills of New York, where he is completing a short story collection when he’s not battling the woodchucks and rabbits that get into his vegetable garden.