I moved home. It had to be done. There was nowhere else I could go–I didn’t have the financial reserves to support myself for long without doing sex work.
I also did it because I knew that the proximity of my family and the people from my old life would force me to be accountable, or at least instill enough fear of getting caught in me to make me behave. I mean, what am I going to do, sneak out of my mother’s house on the pretext of visiting a friend, go do a professional BDSM session in a hotel room, and then come back with my leather clothes and stuff in a duffel bag? Answer client emails at the breakfast table? Come on!
At least, that’s what I thought.
I’m going on three weeks of being an unemployed loser. This morning I applied for a job teaching the ACT and SAT to High School Seniors. Then I applied for a job as a “Feline Attendant” at the local SPCA. I am not too proud to clean litter boxes. Once you’ve hung a guy upside down from the ceiling and penetrated his urethra with an electrified sound, changing litter and feeding kitties their de-worming medication is positively pedestrian.
My mother wants me to go see a career counselor who knows much more about the local economy than I do these days. I’ll do it if she wants me to because it is very important to keep peace in the household, but my problem with that is that I am not looking for a “career” in this town. I do not want to live here for more than a few months. I can look for a career later. I have to get out of education anyway. Right now, I just need a stupid JOB that will keep me busy during the day and allow me to sock away a little cash.
Emphasis on “a little.”
I charged between $20 and $80/hour for tutoring in NYC. The community college job paid peanuts but at least it helped me keep one foot in the regular world and filled up the gap in my resume. Data management and law office secretarial positions here pay $10-$12/hour. I have not worked for that little money since I was an undergraduate. My last school worked the research assistants like beasts of burden, but at least we got free tuition out of it.
I am stuck here until I make the money to leave again.
I did this to myself on purpose. This was my design.
I am already establishing a routine here. My mother gets up at 6. At 7, her little dog comes into my room (“my room!” At my age!) and serenades me with an awful squeak toy. I get up, I take a shower, I drink two cans of Diet Pespi, and then I tackle the job ads. I apply to at least two jobs a day. I could do more, but some of them require cover letters, which means I have to do research into whatever company or industry or office I’m applying to in order to write a competitive letter.
I check my bank balance. It’s looking bad.
I go to AA. My mother takes me, or I ride a bike. I’ve spent enough time in the local rooms now to be able to identify which ones are the crazies and which ones have their shit more or less together. There is a woman about my age who runs the Tuesday night meeting. I like her. I think I might approach her to be AA friends.
I apply for Medicaid.
I clean up after myself as much as possible. I volunteer to do chores. I try to be inconspicuous. I don’t want to be an imposition. I don’t want to wear out my welcome.
I’ve been out to lunch a few times with my mother and her friends, which is excruciatingly embarrassing. They all want to know why I came back. What I want to say is Don’t ask if you don’t want to know, but what I really say is, “I needed a break,” which is not really a lie.
I write when I feel up to it. It passes the time.
I go to my brother’s for dinner. His freezer is full of ducks he’s blown out of the sky. He shows me an unusually fine specimen that he’s taking to the taxidermist. We grill ducks.
My mother told my Uncle that I have a drinking problem. This is the only thing that she has done so far that pisses me off. My Uncle is a very judgmental man. I do not think that he will like me so much from now on.
I water the garden. I collect tomatoes.
At night I look at the ads on Backpage and Eros. I am older than a lot of the women, but I’m also better-looking and more sophisticated. Their photos are all bathroom selfies with bad lighting. I think about what my Russian manager would say about these awful photographs. Compared to them, I would be a classy hoe. Hell, I could be the classiest hoe in town!
Too dangerous. Smaller community. People know me here. This was my design. It’s why I came back. Accountability.
I left New York to get away from that field of work and the entire double-life craziness. The last six months of it was pretty unpleasant (with a few exceptions). Why on earth would I even want to consider it now?
It’s not easy money, but it is fast money.
And life is sad and boring, and I was certainly never bored when I was zipping uptown to meet a new client with my bag o’ swag on my zap. Nope, not bored then, not even a little. In fact, I was usually wishing I had a drink in order to curb the anxiety that this client might FINALLY be the client who was going to rape me and leave my body under the bed. And I wasn’t bored when I walked out with $400, either.
But…no more sessions that are so bizarre that they give me PTSD. No babysitting cokeheads at 3 AM. No more schoolgirl outfits. No more masturbating wackadoodles. I have not seen a naked stranger in three weeks. WOW that is sort sort of record.
I just have to wait it out. Things will get better. If nothing else, maybe I should go down to the local Democratic Party office and offer to volunteer until I get a job. Anything to keep me busy. Idle hands, and all that.
Cause the phone isn’t ringing.