Jamie, the john


When I first moved to San Francisco I was completely broke, living in a roach-infested hotel in the Tenderloin while studying to be a paramedic and getting my Master’s in journalism.  Needless to say, I had no time for a real job.  This led to working as a male escort.

It wasn’t as seedy or weird as I thought it would be.  Largely, I just listened to women harp on about their failed marriages over a glass of wine at some upscale eatery.  Only a few of the women directly propositioned me, to which I obliged, because I really needed the cash.  There were some strange occurrences at times—like when, after several dates, I heard Susan’s husband sneeze in the closet; apparently he had been watching through a peephole, unbeknownst to me.  I still receive christmas card annually, thanking me for helping them through a difficult time in their marriage.  There was a handful of BDSM weirdoes and some embarrassingly trite role-playing, too.  I grew accustomed to older women grabbing my package, winking with a devilish smirk as they stuffed $100 bills in my pocket.

But then I met Jamie.  She was about 10 years older, sultry, intellectual, charming, and generous.  She was a power broker in the financial district and we always had a great time together.  Around our fifth date, I started falling for her.  One night I confessed my undying affection, to which she just nodded, not smiling.  I told her I didn’t want to charge her anymore, that I wanted to quit the agency and start something substantial with her.

“Check please,” she said.

Later I heard she was going on dates with another escort at the agency.  She stopped returning my calls and emails.  One day, I caught her outside her apartment and asked her what it was that I did wrong.  She picked up her pace; speed walking down the pavement in her $300 heels.  When I caught up and grabbed her by the wrist she turned quickly and said, “Don’t you get it, kiddo?  I like paying.”  I let her arm drop and just stood there as she clip clopped away forever.

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