When I Was Young

20/01/2017 § Leave a comment

It was summer. I lay in the moonlight at the warehouse, sad because the boy I was really interested in had left a few minutes before. The other one whispered in my ear ‘I bet you’ve never had anyone hold you like this before, it must be nice to feel so loved’ and I laughed and laughed at such an obvious attempt at manipulation.

It was autumn. We hung upside down off the fifty foot drop looking at the city lights with his arm around me, and couldn’t stop laughing at all there was to be happy about, and what was happening next to us. I thought ‘this, is a very good moment’ and it seared in my mind as permanent memory, made that way through repeated recalls.

It was winter. I was walking back from a friends thinking about the flash of anger I’d felt earlier, remembering how a man had gently pushed his own flaws onto me like a mirror. I thought about how he did not realise what he’d done and felt my flash melt like an icicle. Realising that the stronger you are as a person, the more generous you can afford to be in your opinions of people.

It was spring, and he didn’t wake me when I slept through his alarm. I showered and we had a full English breakfast, no sex that morning. He was the best of the bunch. Years later he told me he tried to wake me, shook me hard by my shoulders, but literally couldn’t manage without causing pain so left it. I’m still amazed at how deep I used to sleep. My mother says she once had to stick her fingers up my nose to check I was alive.

It was winter. We were arguing. As his hand closed over my jaw and the back of my head went unhappily into the wall, I filled with fear and thought simultaneously ‘that’s not a nice way to shut someone up’ and ‘I wish you did that in bed instead’.

It was spring, and I lost a Felix Gonzalez-Torres print given to me as a gift. It’s my biggest regret of that year. Although I worship Felix, this probably says more about my priorities than it does the print.

It was summer and it was dark. The wind and rain blew insanely and the tent was not enough, a house would barely be enough in that weather. The sex was as good as it could be in the circumstances. He was lonely, I was not, it made it awkward the next day.

It was summer and I lay posed for her art project in the prickly grass with a plastic parrot. From anyone else I would have found the parrot irritating and tacky, but from her it was perfect. Everything, hers, was perfect. I thought about how much I loved her.

It was summer and with every selfless morning cup of tea given to me in sleepy kindness I thought ‘that’s a benchmark’ for how to treat a person.

It was autumn, and tripping up the steps I heard my dad echo in my head ‘be caaareful’ in his way which grinds at me with its patronising undertone, but is just another expression of how much I am loved. I felt an inner warmth that’s always there.


If It Makes You Happy

20/01/2017 § Leave a comment

*Written aged 17*

I remember the weather on our first and last meeting. It was sunny, a sticky heat which allowed me to feel comfortable in the clothes he asked me to wear. I would not have agreed to the meet if it were raining, I would not have travelled to the location, I would not have worn the outfit.

He told me he lived on a riverboat, which sounds romantic but isn’t. The way he said it meant it was the truth. He told me what he used to do before retiring but I can’t remember the words, only it was operator of something and the images conjured in my mind are of metal, smoke, grease, steam, pistons.

‘There are two types of people’ he said. ‘Those who stand on street corners and are looking for the next tenner to spend on crack. And those like yourself-’ he gestured towards me ‘-who enjoy the company of men and for who money is just a bonus’. I heard his voice jolt slightly as he mentally changed the word ‘prostitute’ into ‘people’. It was unclear whose benefit this was for. If mine, his impression of my naivety and denial to myself both amused and angered, how dare he presume such ignorance in me. If for himself, how superior, how mansplain-y.

I nodded false agreement. What a stupid thing to say, how presumptuous of him to comment on such a large group of people as if they are all the same, and as if he knows the slightest thing about young female sex-workers.

People assume you will be upset if they use the word prostitute. They dally around the word looking for an alternative. ‘This line of work’, ‘escort’. Sometimes, they don’t want to think of themselves as hiring a prostitute so try to trick themselves, avoiding the word for their own sake.

I couldn’t figure out the motive behind the things he said and did. Was he a danger to me? Should I feel fear? Pity? Anger? Often I find it much easier to analyse females than males, although males are more likely to underestimate my intelligence and fall for the surface of youth and innocence.

After our meet, himself and his family took their boat further downriver and he asked me if I would visit him in *******, but I refused to travel that far. He messaged me stupid things, as only a man could do.

Things I didn’t foresee. Where can I hide all this money? How can I subtly check my phone during a meet? Why can I never get a dick inside me when I’m on top? Why is it so difficult to find a doctor that will give me the implant? Why is it so difficult to find a clinic that will give me a full sti check? (I take precautions but nothing is foolproof). This is supposed to be traumatising, am I going to have a mental breakdown at some point?

Where Am I?

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