I ask him again about where he wants to live and what he can afford. He rests his head on his hand and sighs. “I told you…”
“Justin, how many bedrooms?”
“Two, three if I can afford it.”
I raise an eyebrow.
“I want a room that’s all mine.”
“The whole apartment will be yours.”
“Clients will be in and out. I want a room that’s off limits, with a big comfortable chair, an easel, good light and a solid lock on the door.”
I physically jerk my hand off the mouse. He’s planning on bringing clients to his home?
~~~106~~~ He’s looking at me like I’m an alien again. I really hate that.
I nod. “Once I get a phone number that I can keep, I can get a regular client list again. Regular appointments…” I sigh and I know I sound kind of wistful but I really do miss having the security of a regular income and a roof over my head. It was so close but without an address or a reference… it’s just not going to happen. I can feel the tears building. I turn away from him. He reaches out, touching my hand.
~~~107~~~ He turns to look at me, the sadness gone. He’s angry. “No? Who the fuck are you to tell me no? You don’t know what it’s like not to know where or even if you’re going to sleep that night or wake up in the morning! Don’t tell me that my pathetic little dreams aren’t good enough for you!”
I try to explain what I meant but he’s too angry to listen. He paces a couple of times and then shakes his head. “I’m sorry you don’t like my chosen profession but I could really use your help. Brian, Please.”
~~~108~~~ I use the voice Isaac and I practiced. It’s smaller, submissive; it makes them think I’m twelve years old. I gamble that it’ll work on him, although not the same way. He sighs and visibly slouches in his chair. “Justin, it’s not safe.”
“It’s safer than me being on the streets. I know what I’m doing. I can be a good boy, and they can treat me well.” The voice is working. I move towards him, my head down, seeming hesitant. I’m good at playing little boy, and if this works … I can make a decent living doing it.
~~~109~~~ He looks so young and scared as he moves towards me and I want to help him. As I turn back to the computer I see his eyes flash and realize I’ve just been played. I turn quickly. “That works?”
He slumps in his chair, hiding a wince. “Usually.”
“And they pay a lot of money to be allowed their illness.”
“Justin, you can’t keep this up.”
“When I have a place it’ll be easier.”
“Why? Are you going to say no to the guys who want to beat you?”
He flinches. “That’s not what happens.”
~~~110~~~ Every time I think we’re getting somewhere he comes back to this. I want to yell but it’s getting us nowhere. I shake my head instead. “Last night was not how it usually goes.”
He stands up and pours himself a scotch. “Why don’t you tell me how it’s supposed to go so that you can stop saying that I don’t understand.
“Fine. Can I have one of those?”
I roll my eyes. He pours me a drink. “How did it start?”
“You said you wanted to know how it goes. Not how it started.”
“I want both.”
~~~111~~~ He looks amused. “Everyone wants something more than they can have. It starts, usually, on the phone. He calls, answers a few questions, says what he likes, and doesn’t, what he wants and doesn’t and then gives us a contact number."
“Yeah, I’ll have to just pretend to be someone else 'til I can afford someone else. I’ve done that before, it’s easy.”
“So then the appointment’s made…”
“He shows up, pays, does no more than we’ve agreed to, and leaves… with less money than he came in with.” His smile is smug. He is actually proud of himself.
~~~112~~~ I give him the edited version and he just stares at me. “I don’t get it.”
“What don’t you get?”
“I get the BDSM thing in general but you’re not into it. Why play like this?”
“This isn’t BDSM.” He really doesn’t get it.
“They’re sadistic pederasts… what am I missing?”
I shake my head again. “They don’t want to play. I provide a very specific service. It’s what men want, even if they won’t admit it. That’s why it pays so well.”
He waits for me to continue.
I don’t. If he doesn’t get it now, he never will.
~~~113~~~ I’m still missing something. What every guy wants but is afraid to admit? Every guy wants to hurt whoever they’re fucking? I’m lost. “Huh?”
“They want to take, not only without concern for giving but without the expectation of providing anything other than pain. BDSM is play. Yes, masochists really get hurt, but they like it. What every guy really wants is for them not to like it.
“You purposely put yourself in the line of fire because you don’t like it and they’ll pay you for your pain?”