Archive for August 19th, 2010

You and I will meet again,
When we’re least expecting it,
One day in some far off place,
I will recognize your face.
  –  Tom Petty, “You and I Will Meet Again”

Everyone has had the experience of running into somebody one hasn’t seen in a while, often in the most unusual of circumstances, and it’s no different for whores.  The only difference is that, since most of us don’t usually advertise our profession to casual acquaintances, these meetings can be rather awkward or even amusing.  Perhaps in a large city such encounters would be rare, but in a city as small as New Orleans they happen with sufficient frequency to deserve writing about.

Sometimes, one encounters clients in public later, and their reaction generally depends on the circumstances.  If a former customer is alone he may smile or wink, and on rare occasions I’ve even had one ask for my business card again, but if he’s with his wife you can bet he’ll just go right past with no reaction (unless it’s to speed up his pace).  In my July 16th column I related the story of encountering a young couple whom I had recently visited parked right next to me in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and in one particular instance a client recognized me without remembering how he did so. As I’ve mentioned before, all my medical professionals knew what I did for a living because I felt it was only right to tell them; I was particularly friendly with my dentist’s receptionist, a very pretty girl who had admitted to fantasizing about working as a call girl and often had questions for me.  Anyhow, I was coming in for a dental appointment, and a gentleman who was leaving asked me, “Have we met before?”

“It’s possible, but I can’t recall,” I said.

“You just look so very familiar!” he continued.

“People often say that to me; perhaps I just have that kind of face.”

“But I could swear I know you!”

“Well, maybe you saw me in a store or something,” I suggested.

“I guess that must be it,” he said, then bid my receptionist friend goodbye and left.

“That was so strange, the way he kept insisting he knew you,” she said.

“He does,” I replied, “he just doesn’t remember how.”

She was about to ask, then her eyes got big and her mouth dropped open.  I nodded, and she broke into a big smile; normally I would never divulge that information, but because he had made such a big deal of it I figured it was better to admit the truth and ask for her silence than to risk her mentioning it to the other office girls and having someone put two and two together.

But this sort of encounter is inconsequential compared to the awkwardness of being called by a client one knows socially.  It’s not so bad when the acquaintance was casual and/or a long time in the past; for instance, we had a regular for years who had been a schoolmate of my cousin Jeff’s.  I had met him a couple of times and remembered his distinctive French name, but had always avoided seeing him just in case; then one night he asked me to describe myself and when I did he said he wanted to see me.  I decided to risk it, but there was no difficulty; if he ever for a moment associated the glamorous call girl who came to him that night with the skinny 14-year-old he had met in passing two decades before, he gave no sign.

There was another case which could have been really awkward, but worked out for the best in the end.  He was a recently-divorced man only a few years older than I was who had taken me for the whole evening; we went to dinner and the symphony, then back to his room, and were getting along famously.  It turned out we had a great deal in common, and were both science-fiction fans who had attended UNO around the same time.  Then suddenly I stepped on a mine; I mentioned a casual acquaintance of Jeff’s (I’ll call him “Gary”) who orchestrated a regular Friday night role-playing-game session I had attended a few times, and to my surprise he replied, “But I’m Gary!”  I pointed out he had given me a different name, and he explained that since he was a “Junior”, he had gone by his middle name when he was younger but started using his first name in the professional world.  I looked at him closely and realized that he was indeed the overgrown boy I had known, less baby fat and half of his hair, and with contact lenses rather than thick glasses.  I decided to take the plunge and reminded him of exactly who I was, adding, “You see, if you had known then what you know now, you could’ve had me for free!”

We both laughed, and he pointed out that at the time he was much more interested in older women, and would have thought of me as nothing but jail bait.  I remembered the specific woman he had been interested in; she was the wife of a young professor and they had an “open marriage”, which even back then I recognized as an invitation to disaster.  As in the other two such marriages I had encountered, the wife had become involved with an easily-dominated boy in his late teens and eventually left her husband for the boyfriend (in this case, my client).  The results of this ill-conceived alliance would have been predictable to anyone who had been on Earth for a few decades, but not to a naïve university student such as he was at the time; his ten-year-older wife completely dominated him, and though the poor man eventually escaped her he was badly damaged by the experience.  The castrating bitch had apparently expected a green lad to perform like her more experienced ex in bed, and became abusive when he failed to satisfy her (which had been often).  As a result, he was badly inhibited, and though he had no trouble achieving erection he had immense difficulty reaching orgasm; it took well over an hour of constant stimulation, gentle coaxing and repeated reassurances that I was there for his pleasure rather than vice-versa to finally enable him to achieve the release he hadn’t had with a woman in literally years.  So in this case, my prior acquaintance with a client served as a tool rather than an obstacle; because I remembered his ex-wife and the considerable gossip about their relationship I was able to achieve the kind of rapport with him which might otherwise have taken several sessions.  Our previous connection, however tenuous, served to decrease his nervousness about seeing a professional and thus relaxed him enough that he could trust me and allow me to guide him to a much-needed release.

It’s definitely not usually that way.  On another occasion Gilda gave me a name I recognized well, since he was the (now-retired) chief deputy sheriff of the rural parish (county) in which I had grown up; I especially remembered him from the time he had tried to shift the blame to me for a traffic accident in which a local politician had run a stop sign and totaled my car.  But I am nothing if not a consummate professional, so I called him anyhow, and the conversation went something like this:

“Hi, Mr. D_____, this is Maggie; the agency said you were looking for a girl who would go out to {Ourtown}, but there’s a slight problem.”

“What’s that?”

“I know who you are, and you may remember me as well.”  My family had some minor political connections and I knew for a fact he knew my mother on sight.

“I’m retired now,” he said defensively, “I guess I shouldn’t have called, but I’m recently divorced, so I’m very lonely.”

“I understand; you don’t need to explain yourself to me.  I’m not the one in the business of persecuting people for consensual behaviors.”  He then broke into a flurry of excuses, which I interrupted with “Relax, your secret is safe with me.  I’m not going to tell anyone you called; that would be highly unethical.  I just don’t think it’s particularly wise for us to see each other.”  And he did indeed relax; in fact, he thanked me for my kindness, said he knew I was right about the inadvisability of going through with the call, and bid me good night.

The most awkward case of all, however, involved Karla.  As I mentioned before she was quite young, about 21, and lived in the suburbs north of Lake Pontchartrain; because it was a bit of a drive many girls from that area preferred to stay home on weekdays and take whatever calls came in from there, rather than drive into town to await calls which might not come if the night were slow as they sometimes were.  So one afternoon I described her to a gentleman who sounded quite interested, only I could never have predicted Karla’s reaction to his name.  She asked me to repeat it, then checked the phone number and squeaked,  “Oh my God, I can’t see him!  He’s my friend’s dad!”

Clearly, there was nothing to do but call him back; since there was no other girl working there that day I just had to tell him Karla was temporarily unavailable.  Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be put off; he had liked her description and asked when she would be available.  I then had little choice but to be honest with him: “Sir, the young lady can’t come to see you because she already knows you and feels it would be too awkward.”  If I had hoped for him to accept that I was sorely disappointed; he reacted like a kid caught stealing the milk money by a strict nun.  Despite my reassurances that she could not ever reveal him without also revealing herself, he refused to be placated and demanded I tell him who she was.  “Please, sir, don’t be absurd!  Surely you understand that I can’t give you that kind of information!” He responded that it wasn’t “fair” that she know him and not vice-versa, and I let him know politely but firmly what I thought of his kindergarten notions of “fairness” where my girls were concerned.  Needless to say, he never called us again.

In all of these cases, the acquaintance was a personal one; things go a bit differently when the client is known not only to the girl, but to the general public, as we will discuss tomorrow.

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