He rang this morning to say that he would be
half an hour late. Now, thats the first. He is always early or on the dot
He will make it up to me, he said. For the lost wages.
I have lost count how many times he has been in
the past two years. On average, we meet once every two months. So, it must be
around a dozen visits he has made.
I like a regular. He is one of a few I have.
You could say that there is not much excitement in that, but I am not in this
business for excitement. The arrangement works for both of us: we know what to
expect and the sort of routine we like.
Usually, he rings a week before the
appointment. It is always Thursdays he wants, Thursday afternoon; it has to be
after two oclock. His wife has an aerobics class in the evening and comes
back late. That is what he has told me once before. I never ask about their
lives or circumstances. If a punter wants Thursday afternoon, as long as I am
not booked, Thursday afternoon he shall have. I imagine if the wife is late on
Thursdays, and must be tired after aerobics, she makes no demands on him.
With him it is in calls only. Most married ones
ask for that, unless they have checked into a hotel. And he always wants two
hours. I dont even ask. When he rings, all I say is the
usual? and he replies, yes, thank you, Marcella. Him saying
my name, that sounds friendly. I know he likes that. Nice, you could say. It
shows we have known each other for some time. Although, to tell you the truth,
in the end, I dont care. I dont do this work for friendship. When
he talks to me on the phone, I can almost see him nodding with his
serious face. That is how well I know him.
Most of them are serious, to start with, at
least. It is only after a drink or two that I can make them laugh. They are
anxious, I suppose. They worry about their performance. I see through a punter
like that straightaway. And it always works: just tell them how much you are
going to enjoy being with them, show them that you like what they are doing to
you. I moan, I scream, I fake orgasms. And what do they do? Lap it all up. I
know they are not stupid. Perhaps days or weeks later they think back and
wonder whether it was really that good for me. But, never mind. The fact is
that I can relax them and make them feel good. Isnt that what it is all
about? Making them feel good.
He doesnt need relaxing. I dont
think so. Nor do I need to fake it with him. He is unlike the others: he
doesnt expect me to have an orgasm. Just as well. He cares for me in a
different sort of way; sometimes when we talk, I feel almost like one of those
clever people who have views of their own.
I see him like a sort of Peter Pan, a boy who
has not grown up. I remember the words from the poster for the film I went to
see a few years ago, with Myra. We were taking her son. Little Damian became
annoyed when we read the words to him. He wanted to grow up as quickly as
possible he said.
But not this man. Despite his cleverness, his
visits to me are a refusal to grow up. He is somebody who comes to me to make
sure that he stays a little boy.
We do spend the entire two hours together. Some
of them leave, or want me to leave, as soon as they have done it.
When I open the door, he is standing there in
his shabby brown jacket and holding a crumpled carrier bag. I move aside to let
him pass. We briefly smile at each other. He goes straight to my reception room
and lowers himself on the sofa. He places an envelope with the money on the
coffee table on the side. I dont look at it or take it until he has gone.
I offer him a drink. I dont do it with others, but then, he is special.
It is always a beer he wants. I fetch it from the refrigerator in the kitchen
I have it ready for him - and place myself on a chair opposite him. I
wait for him to start.
He takes a sip of the beer, asks how I am, and
then has another sip. Next, he questions me about something thats in the
news. Usually, I have no time to read the papers, but before he comes, if I can
at all manage, I do check the headlines in the Mail. You got to make an
effort. Preparation for the job. I want every punter to feel satisfied, let
alone my regulars. You have to take a special care with them.
What was it the last time? Oh yes, something
about the nurses pay. The first time we met, I didnt know what to
say. People easily take offence at other peoples views. I have learned
that in this job. Best is to let them say whatever they want to say and nod,
agree with them. How was I to know what his views were? I have to deal with all
sorts. I bet some of my clients would fall out with each other. People are so
different. Except when it comes to sex. Most men are the same there.
So, I was both being careful and not quite sure
what I should think. But he took his time with me. He is a patient man. On that
day he looked to me like a teacher. Perhaps he is; I have never asked him.
Anyway, he explained to me what the dispute was about. I did think then that if
only my teachers at school had been so patient with me. If only they were like
him, speaking slowly, without thinking me stupid. If only they had made sure
that I understood.
I dont know why he wants to talk to me
about such serious issues. None of the other guys do. I bet he has lots of
friends he can discuss serious things with. I remember that I used to find him
tedious. I didnt care to know what he was saying. Except that his manner,
that patient and slow way of explaining, did win me over. These days I even
look forward to his questions. Well, a sort of. It makes a difference from the
usual conversations with others.
The topic for the day is often introduced by
something he reads out to me, either from a magazine, or newspaper or sometimes
even from a book. That is what he has in that carrier bag. At some point very
early on, he reads out something to me and once he has finished, he looks at me
and waits for me to say something. I have learned that nothing happens unless I
make a comment, no matter how brief. The word that he often uses is
exploitation. He says, Marcella, the world is full of those who exploit
and those who are exploited. In our system, all relationships are about
So, if my mind wonders a bit or what he reads
is difficult to follow, and I am at a loss what to say, it seems I cannot go
wrong if I mention that word. As soon as I say it, his face lights up.
Thats the teacher in him: his pupils doing well and he is proud. As
for me, I always remember the words the old Miss Joanna said to me when I
started working for her: this business is part of service industry and
therefore you are here to please.
Another time he read our something about men
not helping women with housework. Again, I used the word exploitation, and he
was pleased. But I didnt agree with him. In my opinion, any woman who
shacks up with a man should expect that. That is how men are. You cannot change
them. I remember my mother putting up with the lazy drunken man until she threw
him out eventually. Thats why I am my own woman.
So, we have a little talk. But as soon as I
have answered the question, he launches into an explanation of what the problem
is about. So, with the nurses, he said that their union was not as powerful as
the doctors and that because they were mostly women, while doctors were
mostly men, the nurses were bound to be paid less. Again, I wasnt sure I
agreed: doctors are cleverer as well, they know and can do things nurses cannot
do. I keep quiet while he talks and nod from time to time. He doesnt mind
that I dont ask questions at that point; he said the last time that he
was pleased how well I listened. Well, sometimes I am almost interested in what
he says, or, if I am not, then I remember that I am part of the service
industry. As long as I nod and look at him, I can think my own
Last week he read an article about women
working in textile factories in India and how little they were paid.
Marcella, he said, coming here on the bus, I looked at
peoples feet. Half of them were wearing trainers. I wondered how many of
them were made in places like the Philippines, where the wages are very low and
the factory owners and their western masters are making huge profits.
I was thinking of Lia, the Philippino girl who
lives in the flat below mine. She does a bit of work for Miss Joannas
massage parlour and she says that the oldest men and the dirtiest men who come
in are always given to her. I knew thats the pecking order at the
establishment. She has no work permit, she has to keep quiet. No good arguing
with Miss Joanna. So I got interested when he talked of the Philippino women
and the trainers. But he had to go and we never finished the conversation. I
remembered this last week when he rang for the appointment. I thought I could
tell him that it is not just the trainers. I am going to mention
The conversation takes approximately half of
the time. Once he has finished his talk, he asks me a questions or two, usually
to check how much I have understood and then, very gently, he stands up, puts
his hands together, looks at me and says.
I am ready
Good. I say. At this point, my
voice sounds rough and determined.
I walk to the bedroom and he follows. Now, I am
fully in charge. I sit in the armchair and I ask him to kneel down in front of
me. He obeys immediately.
Kiss my shoes, I shout. He covers
them with urgent kisses.
The soles as well, I shout and he
carries until I order him to stop.
Then I ask him whether he has been a naughty
Yes, miss. Very naughty. He
whispers, his eyes on the floor.
Then you deserve to be punished. He
starts shaking. I order him to kneel against the bed and pull his trousers
down. He does.
Thats no good, I shout.
You naughty boy, you must present your naked bottom for me to deal
with. With no hesitation, his hands pull down the underpants and he
assumes the kneeling position.
Lift the bottom, I order.
Higher, higher, now, thats better.
I take a cane and swing it in the air. I can
see his buttocks stiffening with anticipation. Then I swing it again and make
it land on his bottom. He utters a sigh. I go on, increasing the force of the
hit with each hit. Red streaks appear on the skin. His breathing is deep and
loud, mouth wide open. In between my hits, he screams more, more, I have
been very naughty and I oblige. The skin is breaking and drops of blood
dot his buttocks. My cane smears them around; a red treacle makes its way down
a buttock and the back of the thigh.
Now he is panting loudly, his body
stiffens, his back convulses back and forth and there he is: ejaculating. I
stand by and watch him. He collapses on the bed, his breathing still loud.
Marcella, you are an angel. This was
I do what I can, I say.
Oh, Marcella, you surpassed yourself this
time. It gets better and better. I thank him.
Could you pass me a mirror? I have
He turns so that his back is reflected in the
wardrobe mirror and then holds the one I have just given him in front of him so
that he can catch the reflection. His cock begins to stiffen again and he
sighs. I always make sure that one of the lines is particularly deep and
prominent. I hit on the same place again and again. He runs the tip of his
finger along the deepest cut and the breathing intensifies. The second coming.
Then it is a few minutes of absolute stillness,
with him lying on his side, eyes closed. At this point, he likes me to lie next
to him, my arm around his back. I remain fully dressed. When he opens his eyes,
he smiles at me, and he always says something about our initial discussion.
Remember Marcella, those factory workers
in the far east, we got to help them. It is a small world; we all depend on one
another. I agree with that. I depend on him making these
He arrives exactly half an hour late, as he
said, he would. Immediately, I notice that he has no carrier bag. Perhaps a
book, or a journal, is stuffed inside his jacket pockets. I watch as he makes
his way to the front room, places an envelope on the coffee table and sits
down. I remind myself to tell him about Lia.
He doesnt want a drink. Something is
wrong. I wait.
Marcella, we need to talk, he says.
His face is gloomy.
What have you got today? What are you
going to read? I try to show interest.
I am not going to read. It must be
because he is late and has to leave that part out.
Shall we go to the bedroom
straightaway? He takes a deep breath, looks down and then back at
I have thought a great deal about my
visits. As you know, I have always enjoyed them. And I have developed certain
feelings, well, how shall I put it, I have developed a caring attitude towards
you. I have also realized that what I am doing is not right. I have been
exploiting you. The business you are in is about men using their economic power
and exploiting women like you. I have been hypocritical. I have been showing
you how people exploit others, while at the same time, I have been exploiting
you. I have been exploiting you and that has to stop. That is the bottom line.
I feel terrible about it. I have come to apologize. I am really ashamed of
myself. Please forgive me, Marcella. He stands up to go. I dont
know what to say.
So you dont want to, you dont
want me to spank you? He looks at me:
Ive left some money, a bit more
than usual. To make it up for future lost wages. He walks out.
Good luck, Marcella. Remember our
conversations. You must not allow anyone to exploit you.
I am left alone. I dont know what to
think, except that he has always been a bit strange. Well, as old Joanna says,
you lose some, you gain some. Perhaps it was the routine that he
was getting bored with. In this business, they always want something new. If
only he had asked.
My next appointment is not until this
afternoon. I have some time for myself until then. Perhaps I will pop down and
see Lia, have a cup of coffee with her.