To say that Chester Cheater, M.D. left a bad taste in my mouth would be an understatement. By the end of the week, I hated him, and I’m not the type of person whose personality is predisposed towards anger or hatred. I’m usually pretty calm and forgiving with people…but Chester really, really pissed me off.
The humiliation of having been so easily cheated made it worse. I was mad at myself for giving up too easily and not handling him better. I kept thinking of things I could have done in order to make him go to the ATM (or, probably the wall safe or the envelope of $100s in his wife’s jewelry box) and get my fee in cash.
And I was very angry that he’d cheated me after I’d offered him a discount.
And his wife’s lingerie?! What the fuck!
This narcissistic jerk was so vain that he didn’t think he’d done anything offensive. He started contact me again right away in order to schedule another session..he actually assumed that I’d want to see him again.
I entertained various revenge fantasies for a week. In one such fantasy, I mailed his wife’s lingerie back to her along with a condolences Hallmark card and my prodomme business card. In another, I printed out a hundred flyers with Dr. Chester’s photo on them, along with a description of his apartment and gimp outfit and our session, and posted them around his neighborhood and the lobby of his apartment building.
But in the end, I did something different.
I responded to his email and said that I would session with him again. I told him that I wanted to speak with him beforehand, in person, so that I could get feedback from last time. We agreed to meet in the same restaurant we’d met in before.
I was so nervous in the cab that my hands were shaking. I wasn’t in Franz Adler mode, like when I went to see the Mathematician in that hotel room. I was just Margo, and while I was determined to go through with it, I was also scared.
I’d never robbed someone before.
Never! The last time I’d stolen something was some eye shadow from the drug store when I was 12!
What if he calls the police? What if you get arrested? What if he chases you down and beats you up?
I kept assuring myself, over and over again, that he wouldn’t do any of those things. I kept considering it from Chester’s point of view. Chester was a total douchebag…but he was not a stupid person and he was not impulsive. Chester wouldn’t want to explain how we met to the police. Chester wouldn’t want me spilling his secrets. He might be livid about being robbed…but he wouldn’t endanger his career or reputation to punish me for it.
I was still nervous as hell.
The cab pulled up outside the restaurant and I paid the fare with one of Chester’s stupid gift cards and then went to meet him inside.
I found him sitting at a table and sat down across from him.
He smiled at me, as if nothing was the matter, and we were on good terms.
“I’m unclear about why you wanted to discuss this here, and not in the apartment,” he said.
I smiled, leaned forward, and tried to sound as natural and good-natured as possible. I tried to put a feminine, appeasing ring to my voice and delivery. You know, that tone of voice? Where the voice goes up an octave and it sounds like you’re asking a question…?
“Weeelllll Chester….I just wanted to say that I had a lot of fun with you last time and I’m looking forward to our session today. The lingerie was very beautiful, thanks. Buuuutttt…..this time I need my donation in cash before we go up…?”
(BTW, I NEVER call it a “donation” or “tribute,” but I used it then because it’s a euphemism. I don’t ask for donations, I’m not the Salvation Army or Goodwill or the ASPCA. I charge a fee. Not even a “rate.” A fee.)
Chester knew the drill. He didn’t look surprised–he’d been around the block. Every sex worker in the world gets the money up front. Because of assholes like him. Only rookies like me don’t do this…but we learn fast, because there are jerks like Chester to disabuse us of our trust.
He took an envelope out of the inside of his jacket pocket and passed it to me underneath the table. I opened it and sneaked a peek.
Five $100 bills.
Could I do it…? It was time. Could I really do it?
I shoved the envelope into my purse and stood up quickly. My heart was pounding.
I’d rehearsed telling him that in the future he should never rip off honest sex workers or anyone else, and by the way, what would he say if his patients tried to pay him in leftover Christmas gift cards with ribbons on them…?
My anxiety caused my brain to blank (this happened to me the first few times I taught a class). I stood there for half a second, intending to retrieve and administer my snappy two-sentence rebuke, but I couldn’t remember it.
I went with the first thing that came to mind:
“You suck!” I hissed.
I picked up my bag o’ swag and beat it! I didn’t run, and I was self-conscious of my posture and expression (DON’T look guilty! DON’T look guilty! I told myself), but I walked quickly. When I opened the door I looked over my shoulder to see if he was chasing after me…”Stop that woman!”
Chester was still sitting in his seat. His mouth was open slightly, but I couldn’t read his expression. I didn’t have enough time to access his reaction or body language. I think he looked as if he was thinking “What the heck? Is she actually leaving?”
I emerged from the restaurant and immediately turned a right at the street corner, in the opposite direction of his apartment. I started to run and then, towards the end of the block, forced myself to walk. I didn’t want to look guilty or draw attention to myself.
I looked over my shoulder, searching for Dr. Chester and/or the athletic male Latino waitstaff dispatched to tackle and detain me till the police car squealed up to the curb to arrest me. Oh God, I just robbed a rich physician of $500 and I am carrying a bag of fetish gear…I am sure my public defender will love this…
I didn’t see anyone coming after me.
I started searching for a taxicab and saw one at the intersection three seconds away. I started gesturing my arms like I was one of those workers guiding planes at the airport.
Guardian Angel Taxi Man from Indonesia saw me and gave me the “go-ahead” nod.
I ran into the back seat so fast that I didn’t get my bags off my arm in time. I sat on top of my Bag o Swag (my gear bag).
I gave him an address two blocks away from my apartment, so that if Chester followed me in a car, he wouldn’t know exactly where I lived. In my mind, it made sense at the time. I kept looking around for Chester or the cops…but I never saw him, or them.
I arrived home safe and sound. I didn’t deposit the cash in the bank right away because that would leave a paper trail in the event I was prosecuted for theft. I folded the $500 up into a small square and taped it to the bottom of a container of fish food (and then put the fish food flakes back on top of it).
I got away with it. No cops, no arrest…not even a nasty email from Dr. Chester.
Two days later, I told Mistress C. what I’d done. We were in the Superstudio locker room. She knew that he’d put me through and while she was sympathetic, she’d also scorned me for not getting the money up front.
“YES! YES! $500! YES!” She started fist pumping the air and dancing around. “AWESOME! FUCK HIM! YES!”
Then: “Did you tell him what a piece of shit he was for scamming you? Did you explain why you did it?”
“No. I intended to, but I was too stressed out, and all I could say was, ‘You suck!'”
“How did you say it? Did you deliver it with a flat voice and a sneer?” She did an impression.
“Not sure, but I was so tense that I probably squeaked it out like Beaker of Muppets fame.”
She laughed and did a squeaky Beaker-voice impression of me carrying money…cause I’m afraid to carry more than $60 cash. I mean, someone could take it from you.
Then she said: “That asshole won’t come after you. You’re safe. It would destroy his life.
“Always get the money up front. And say it matter-of-factly, no hesitation, no confusion, no apology. You want to keep me in this room with you? He will cough it up for you if he wants your attention. “
And that, Gentle Reader, is the tale of Chester and what he taught me…what I learned from him.
The end. Sorry this dramatic story isn’t more dramatic….