“He had muffins,” I said as the train swerved right unexpectedly, and everyone else standing in the carriage lurched like drunks. “I sold myself for carbohydrate.”
It did feel like selling myself. Selling sex was different, that was only a small part of me, and a redundant one at that. My lover is dead, after a reasonable period of mourning why not rent out his spare room? What I was holding out to Danny in exchange for food and shelter was altogether bigger, more worrying.
“You can buy your own bread, Maedhros.”
I could have bought my own bread when I had my own source of income, which is the same as existence in this first city of capitalism. But now I have given that up and am nothing more than a mirror of Daniel’s being, the tacked on tinsel to what he buys, uses and leaves behind.
Really, there are worse positions I could be in than mirror-muse.
Deedee doesn’t understand the fascination for anything we, us whores, can fleece of our tricks. We take not only their money but also whatever else is going, we never say no. We’re out for all we can get, every scrap they’ll hand over because the more we get, the smarter we feel. So it wasn’t so much the baked goods I craved but that little bit extra free. Perhaps it’s our equivalent of their desire to turn us on; our orgasms for their free meals.
Except it’s not we whores, not us anymore. Something is changing; I’ve crossed some invisible line. I wouldn’t be welcome in Xyro anymore, or in the Hell Hole if it were not now the foundations of Plaza 38. It’s a direct trade off with Daniel, the roll in the sheets then the call on room service. But I don’t need that anymore, what he does to my body feels like payment enough. It’s been two weeks and already I’m softening out, becoming mentally flabby. He’s still a stranger to me, even though he has offered me everything from a psychiatrist to a platinum amex card. He’s guilty he fucked a whore and I wish I could tell him not to be so foolish, give him one of Desdemona’s platitudes about choice and job satisfaction. But really I think good.
He asked me to come home and I said no. He offered me breakfast and I changed my mind. That was all there was to it. Even then, I knew if I walked out of Xyro that morning I wouldn’t be coming back. Although, I think this says more for my disaffection for the place than my affection for my companion.
“I was hungry.” I was ravenous. Sex work is hard physical graft, you need as much to eat as a coal miner.
“Was it worth it?”
“Yes,” I said. “He has a chef who makes marvellous hollandaise.”
Deedee clucks again.
He groped me discreetly in the back of the car as we drove back to his place. The charm still worked in the daylight, his flesh was no trick of the dark. I felt the blood rush down between my legs as I idly watched the shoppers on 7th Avenue, knowing there was no way I could pretend whatever it was was happening could be safely locked in a tiny room slightly closer to Hades than to heaven. Of course, the windows were tinted, but I could see them, the women with newly bared legs and bright dresses, the yellow cabs and men in shirtsleeves. They were going to work and I was going to bed, they were clean and I was filthy, they knew where they walked to and I was being driven to a destination unknown. I felt like I was the antithesis of life. I was rushing into the future, leaving my past to rot behind me. It was a wild, extravagant feeling coming silently in the middle of a crowded New York street. He wiped me down with napkins from the mini bar. He found them a little to easily. Not such an innocent when on your own territory, I thought. I was mildly shocked to find myself rather excited by this.
There might be another 3am update. Depends if Mae wakes me up. I'm going for a nap now.</strike>