After showing me several pictures of his previous sugar babies, Dennis outlined the financial agreement he had used with all of them. He would pay me $50 per hour for any outings we might go on. If there was any sex, there would be a bonus of $150 for oral, $200 for intercourse. I would have preferred an allowance–and the prices for sex were much lower than my hourly rates as a prostitute–but it seemed likely that I could make as much, if not more, while expending significantly less effort. And possibly acquire some nice possessions in the bargain.
I waltzed home humming ‘Sugar Daddy’ from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I was sure I had things made.
My first paid outing with Dennis was set for the coming Wednesday. Overjoyed to discover that I smoked, he insisted I try smoking cigars and arranged to meet me at a specialty smoking shop. I really had no interest in cigars (and I was somewhat nervous about whether the two of us could keep a conversation running) but if this was what it took to get my shopping trips and fancy restaurants, so be it.
For as long as I can remember I have looked to books for support in trying times. I grew up in a house where bookshelves lined the walls so densely that there was very little room left for pictures; as a result I see books not only as the literal object, but something that represents a certain safety and security. Even when I am fairly certain I won’t have an opportunity to read, I bring whatever I’m currently reading with me on any trip that might take a turn for the worse. This time my security blanket was Women by Charles Bukowski.
When Dennis finished buying the cigars and asked about my book, I was elated. Here was something I could talk about for hours! I wouldn’t have to answer questions about myself or my life (my two least favorite topics), I wouldn’t have to explain the absolute lack of meaning attached to my tattoos, and I wouldn’t have to hear Dennis talk to me about whatever old men think young women find interesting.