Scenes from My Dunkalogue: In the Eye of the Beholder

      I rode the bus to the Upper East Side.  I was wearing my best pink and yellow sundressand black leather sandals.  I was freshly scrubbed, shaved, manicured, blow-dried, and made up.  

      My bag of gear rested on my lap. 

     Right before I left my apartment, I’d eaten half of one of the two “End-of-the-World” emergency valium in my jewelry box, letting it dissolve under my tongue as I watered my birds, put on my shoes, and checked my reflection in the mirror.  

     I got off the bus a few blocks away from his apartment.  It was a perfect day.  A bluebird day.  The air was dry, breezy, just slightly cool.  You could stand in the sun without getting hot.  

     I stopped in a bistro.  People were eating brunch.  Chatting.  Normalcy.  Children.  Affluence.  

      I went to the bar and ordered a glass of champagne.  I wanted scotch, but it was only 11 AM, and I didn’t want to look, you know, like some fucking degenerate.  With a problem

      Three glasses of champagne.  They were small.

      Then I settled up and hit the road.  I had to move fast.  The alcohol on top of the valium served two purposes: it was just enough to anesthetize me while leaving me cogent and functional. 

     And it would significantly impair my short-term memory. 

     But it wouldn’t last long.  Thirty, forty minutes tops.  Then I would be present again, and sensitive, and horribly aware.  

      I had to get there and get it over with.  ASAP. 

     Walking up the stairs to his apartment, my dread was replaced with a sort of soothing, vague detachment.  Everything was going to be just fine.  I stopped being angry at him.  I stopped being angry at myself.  I thought about the bills I was going to pay with the money, and felt relief.  

     Because this was a “Have-to-pay-the-Bills” client.  A last-resort client.  A client only to be seen in times of financial distress.  I couldn’t stand him.  He stressed me out.  

    But business had been slower than molasses.  And it was the end of the month.  And I was floating a check for my tuition.  

     And this man, this Client of Last Resort, sent me an urgent email out of the blue: Can you come over? 

     I pushed the button, announced myself, and he buzzed me in.  He was standing in the doorway as I approached.  Even in my slightly drugged state, I could feel the anticipation coming off of him in waves.  A very eager beaver, this one.  

     “You’re beautiful,” he said when he saw me. 

     Get through it.  Get through it, fast. 

     “Thank you,” I said, smiling.

      As I brushed past him to go inside, he remarked that I smelled crisp and a little minty. 

      He probably thought it was toothpaste or an altoid.  In fact, before I’d left the house, I’d rubbed myself down liberally with a lidocaine gel intended for the relief of minor burns.  I paced in my living room, letting it absorb into the skin before I put on my dress.  The gel had a slight menthol scent.  

      I am a superlative masochist.  Pain and violence are my business.  But I didn’t like him, and I didn’t want his touch. The burn gel would help with that.

      I stood in his living room, faced him, and set the bag at my feet.  I asked him how he would like to begin.  Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a souvenir wooden baseball bat on his sofa.  Oh, yipee.  

      He was still standing by the door, staring at me.  As if he’d never laid eyes on a woman before. 

      “You’re beautiful,” he repeated. 

                         *                            *                        *


       Later, I recounted the story to my friend Alice, at the Studio.  

      “A baseball bat?  That’s a new one,” she said, and laughed.  “What was the script?  ‘Punish me please, I’m a Red Sox fan?'”

       That cracked me up.  

       “It’s a living,” I said.

       “It’s a dying,” she corrected. 

       I thought that was even funnier. 

5 thoughts on “Scenes from My Dunkalogue: In the Eye of the Beholder”

  1. Sad, yes. I think most people have to do things they dislike at work from time to time.

    In an afternoon, many bills were paid. Every major decision in daily life is a trade-off.

    But this could just be rationalization on my part.

  2. So was it really a big bat or one of those little ones they give away at a game. Formidable but not really much worse than a wooden paddle. Though not being a huge maso who am I to talk. Actually story is so well told it reads simply as a cold eyed day in the life.

  3. Hi Advo!

    It was significantly larger than one of those mini-bats, but it was not a standard-sized bat. Slightly worse than a heavy wooden paddle because 1) it lacked the surface area of a paddle (to distribute the force of the blow) and 2) my client did not have much personal experience administering violence.

    The beating was really the least of my worries. I’m not indifferent to pain, and it kinda sucks to be manhandled by a rank amateur (especially if he thinks he’s being Mr. Sexy Domly Dom the entire time, which, sadly, is par for the course for the conceited amateurs)…but I can endure most sensations with aplomb and fortitude. Even if it causes minor tissue damage and even if I’m not attracted to the client. I’m a heavy player.

    The only thing that makes this story sad is that I didn’t have the will or the courage (or the desire) to face this guy sober. It is a very weird emotional experience to be grateful for the unexpected opportunity to earn money that I sorely needed…and to feel anxiety and disgust about what I knew I would have to do to get it.

    But…I have experienced that discomfort and cognitive dissonance in every service job I’ve ever had. Hell, in academia!

    The worst part was agreeing to see a client that I told myself I’d never see again. That made me feel badly about myself. Pathetic.

    Thanks for saying this is blog post is well-told!

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