When he finally arrived, Gopal lost no time in verifying that his fifteen minutes of lateness wouldn’t cut into the appointment. Once I assured him the hour wouldn’t start until we got into the room and warmed up a bit, he went into the rental office, got a key, and we were on our way.
The first thing I noticed about the room was that it looked as if it had been redecorated sometime in the 1980s. I would have been disappointed by the lack of mid-century kitsch but for the mirrors covering almost every available surface. There were mirrors on three of the four walls and mirrors on the ceiling. I looked down at the floor and half expected to see mirrors there too, but there was only a well-worn maroon carpet. I decided that the sleaziness of the mirrors was more than enough to make up for the unfortunate state of the rest of the room.
The call started out normally enough. Aside from the strangeness of the mirrored room, there was nothing remarkable. After about fifteen minutes of awkward small talk while we warmed up, Gopal kissed me for a while and then we stripped.
It occurred to me for the umpteenth time how bored I was becoming with this work. People say prostitution is degrading, that it will burn you out and damage you, and that may very well be true for some people, but it was never the case with me. The worst part of prostitution wasn’t renting access to my body to strange men; I didn’t mind that part at all. What I found most challenging was the monotony of it all. Even before I stopped getting nervous on my way to calls, I had started to realize they were almost all exactly the same: I’d show up, make out, maybe let the guy slobber at my crotch for a little while before he got bored or was sufficiently satisfied by my imaginary performance of ecstasy, then I’d put a condom on him, give him half a blowjob if he asked for one or wasn’t hard enough for intercourse, and almost always have five to ten minutes of intercourse before he decided if he wanted to cuddle, talk, or leave. The men who wanted to incorporate some kind of kink were, for the most part, just as boring, if only in different ways. Sure, I was making more money, but I was certainly no more fulfilled than I would have been doing data entry in a cubicle.