SUMMARY: A professional girl talks about her life and the most curious client she ever had.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own them.
DATE POSTED: May 1998
Don't ever look at me with pity. I don't.
I like my life. How many other 28-year old women do you know that make well over six figures a year? Not many, I'll bet, and those that do probably work sixty or seventy hours a week. I only have to clock in fifteen or twenty.
Please don't call me a hooker. I am not some little crack addict shivering on a street corner for her pimp. I'm a call girl, although I prefer the term rent girl, or professional girl. See, I'm for rent. My clients hire me for a specified amount of time, I provide a service and then I'm out the door. You can rent me, but I am not owned by anyone.
You probably think I had some messed up childhood where my mama beat me and my daddy screwed me and I ran away from home at the age of fourteen. Not true. I grew up a nice Irish Catholic girl in the suburbs of Chicago. My parents are kind people. I call them weekly.
To me, it's pure business. If I can make a lot of money with my body, why not?
I saw a therapist for a while because I was worried about my lack of guilt about my chosen profession. Even she had to admit that I'm well adjusted.
The minute I hit thirty I'm out of the life. Eight years is long enough. I want to get out before I turn bitter and cynical. I have been socking my money into sound investments and I must say, I have an impressive portfolio.
Most of the professional girls I know are terrible savers. God, what a pack of airheads that can't see past next Friday. They go for the flash cars, jewelry and designer clothes. When their looks go, where will they be? Me, I've always been a pragmatic person. I drive a respectable Toyota Camry, not a BMW or a Mercedes. I own a modest, but nice, condo in Georgetown. I find my Donna Karan suits and Gucci pumps at outlets stores or a few great consignment shops I know in New York. I've got my future to worry about.
You'd look at me on the street and have absolutely no clue I'm a working girl. Most people picture call girls as being six feet tall, with mile long legs and hair down to their butts. Wearing stiletto heels and a low-cut dress with a slit up the side. That's just stupid thinking. You watch too many detective movies. If you dress like that, you might as well hang a sign around your neck that says HOOKER.
Tiger Lilies, my agency, instructs us to dress professionally. See, most of our dates are in business hotels and there is no way I'm getting past security dressed provocatively. Thus, the navy blue and gray business suits, the Brooks Brothers trench coat, the briefcase.
You'd look at me walking down the street and think I'm a lawyer or a banker. Underneath I may be wearing thigh-high stockings and a black lace thong but you'd never be able to tell from my calm, brisk exterior.
You could say I just fell into my current profession. After I graduated from Northwestern, I moved to D.C. to work for a big financial consulting firm. God, I hated that job, but it was how I thought I was supposed to be living my life. Most nights I didn't get home until 8 or 9 at night and I was too tired to do anything but microwave a Lean Cuisine and fall asleep on the couch only to get up and start the process again the next day. It wasn't a life, merely an existence.
Three times a week I made the time to work out at a health club near my apartment, which is where I met Vanessa. We'd climb the Stairmaster together and chitchat about guys, movies, and clothes, that sort of thing. Vanessa was pretty, with blonde hair in a neat bob, girl next door looks and a nice, athletic body. I figured her for a corporate drone like me. Finally, one night as we were changing in the locker room, I got around to asking her what she did for a living.
Vanessa flashed me a mischievous smile. "Are you sure you want to know, Amy?" she asked.
"Why, are you a spy or something?" I asked. In D.C., you never know.
She laughed. "No, it's not that bad. Actually, I'm a call girl."
My Midwestern jaw hit the floor. Vanessa, a prostitute? No way. She was far too clean-cut looking for that.
Vanessa stopped brushing her hair and turned to face me. "What did you expect, a crackhead in hot pants? No, I work for the most exclusive agency in the city. It's nice, clean, easy work and I probably make about 3 or 4 times what you do."
I stammered, "But, but, isn't it degrading? Dangerous?"
She shook her head. "Why does it have to be degrading? It's my body and I should be able to do with it anything I see fit. As for dangerous, not really. Let's just say that Tiger Lilies offers me a certain amount of protection." She pursed her lips and went on applying her lipstick.
I was dumbfounded, but also terribly curious. Vanessa glanced at me appraisingly. "You know, Amy, if you ever get tired of crunching numbers, let me know. I could always arrange an introduction. Tiger Lilies is always short on redheads."
I laughed. Me, Amy Callahan, from Evanston, Illinois, a call girl. It was the craziest thing I had even heard.
Two weeks later, after spending an entire weekend at the office on a huge, last minute project, I called Vanessa. Three days later I was in an office in an anonymous corporate complex, interviewing with Joanne, who runs Tiger Lilies. That weekend I did my first job. At the Watergate Hotel, no less.
I am sure you are wondering if I felt guilty, if I felt dirty. Nope. I counted my money and thought, this is easier than I expected.
Did I feel pleasure? Of course not. It's business, that's all.
I don't do drugs. None of us at Tiger Lilies do. They randomly test us and if it comes out positive, out you go. Mixing a call girl and drugs is bad for business. Girls skip their appointments, people get arrested. If we're arrested, out we go. I'm healthy, too. I take an HIV test every other month. If my clients don't want to play safe, out the door I go. If a client gives me any hassle, he's in big trouble. Most of them understand that messing with one of the girls from my agency is, well, bad for their health. They know who is really behind Tiger Lilies. I remember the time this French diplomat tried to stiff me my fee. When I demanded my money, he smacked me hard in the mouth. I cut my lip and started bleeding. I got the hell out of there and called Joanne. Last I heard, the guy was still having plastic surgery to get rid of the razor scars.
My life is relatively normal. I work out, read a lot and take a lot of vacations, which I can do with my flexible scheduled. I've hiked in Costa Rica and sailed the Greek Isles. Took the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Moscow to Beijing. Right now, I'm taking some art history classes at Georgetown because once I finish with my current career I am opening my own art gallery. Michael, my boyfriend, is a painter in New York. A pretty successful one too.
Yes, Michael knows what I do. I told him the first night we met, at a Soho gallery opening four years ago. I don't believe in hiding things from people. Believe it or not, he didn't care. Maybe it's because he's an artist, but it really didn't faze him. He understands the difference between business and pleasure.
You could say I'm a lucky girl. I have a nice life.
My clients are mostly in business or somehow involved in politics. Just about all of them are married. They all give me the same spiel: my wife doesn't understand me, she's not interested in sex, won't give me head, blah, blah, blah. I'm sympathetic. I listen and then I give them what they want. They go home a happy man and I go home just a little bit richer. Most of them are older, in their forties and fifties. Not many of them are what you'd call good looking, but it makes no difference to me. Like I said, it's business.
There is one client who does stand out from the rest, though. I saw him about once a month, for a couple years. Always at the Marriott.
The first time I saw him, my first thought was why the hell does this guy need a professional? I mean, all he had to do was stand at a bar and rack up phone numbers. Handsome? You bet. Tall, nice athletic body, brown hair and hazel eyes. A great pouty lower lip and a strong jaw. If I were single and spotted him at a party, I'd head right on over. I'd say middle thirties. No wedding ring.
His eyes were lonely, though.
He was a nice guy, sweet and polite. Never wanted anything fancy, mostly oral sex, sometimes straight sex. I'd be willing to bet he could really please a woman in bed, but I'm not there to be pleased. The only odd thing was that the second time I met him, he gave me a small gold cross on a chain and asked me to wear it when we were together. That and a bottle of YSL's Paris perfume. I never asked him why. Hey, it's none of my business.
One night he went into his wallet to pay me and I saw his FBI ID. It didn't freak me out or anything. He wasn't the first Fed who'd hired me. Hell, I've seen senators and one CIA guy. Even a priest, once. It did kind of explain why he might not have the time to meet women, or how he got the various bruises and scars on his body, or why he sometimes had to cancel our meetings at the last minute.
Okay, I admit, this guy really had me curious.
Joanne told me he requested a short, slight redhead, preferably with a bob haircut. My hunch was that I was acting as a surrogate for a woman he couldn't have.
My hunch was borne out the last time I saw him. He seemed really down, circles under his eyes, his broad shoulders slumped. I couldn't help it, I said, "Wow, you look like your best friend just died."
I swear, his puppy-dog eyes filled with tears. He said, in a soft voice, "No, but my best friend is very sick."
I could have smacked myself for that flip comment.
Just then he took off his suit jacket and I noticed a few little droplets of blood on his shirt, just below the shoulder, as if he had held someone while they had a bloody nose.
Later, when we were in bed and he was fucking me, he called out a name as he came. He said it long and slow and desperately.
"Scuuuuh-leeee." Scully? What kind of name is that? Of course, I didn't dare ask.
Afterwards, he seemed embarrassed. He wouldn't look me in the eye as he paid me.
He never booked me again and he didn't book anyone else at Tiger Lilies. I know, I asked.
So, the funniest thing happened last Sunday. Michael and I were having our usual Sunday in D.C. brunch at the Egg and I. We were drinking coffee, eating blueberry pancakes and reading the Sunday Post. For some reason I happened to look up and there he was, my curious client, coming through the door.
It is always a strange experience to run into clients in public. I hadn't seen him in almost a year.
He wasn't alone. He was with a woman. I watched the proprietary way he led her through the doorway by placing his hand in the small of the
back. How he bent his head down to her and smiled as she said something. So solicitous.
Thank God there was no way he could see me where I was sitting. It would just be too weird.
I got a good look at the woman as she walked to their table and it all became crystal clear. She was tiny, barely reaching his shoulder. Her auburn hair formed a neat cap to her chin. She wore a DKNY suit I have, navy blue light wool, with three buttons. Carried a briefcase and had a beige trench coat thrown over her arm.
She had to be Scully.
He pulled her chair out for her and she sat down. As she looked over the menu, I caught him sneaking little looks at her. I have never seen a guy with an expression of pure devotion like that.
Later, I bumped into her in the bathroom. Furtively, I studied her face as we washed our hands and re-applied lipstick. Not identical, but close. She could be my sister, older by a few years. My hair is a little redder and my eyes a bit bluer. She had nicer cheekbones than me and an aquiline nose. Pretty, very pretty in a reserved way.
"Nice suit." I said to her, just to make conversation. "Is it DKNY?"
She gave a surprisingly shy smile. "Yes, it is."
I couldn't help myself from saying, "You boyfriend is awfully cute."
The woman laughed and I swear she blushed, just a little around the ears. "Oh Mulder? He's not my boyfriend; he's my partner. You're welcome to him."
If she only knew.
I blotted my lips with a Kleenex and turned to her. "Thanks, but I have a boyfriend. But let me tell you, if he were my partner, I would find a way to make him more than my partner. I saw the way he was looking at you in the restaurant, he's obviously crazy about you."
She gave me a shocked glance. She said, "Well, thanks for the advice," and walked out of the bathroom.
As she brushed past me, I noticed the small gold cross hanging around her neck. I caught a whiff of her perfume. Yes, it was Paris.
I was right all along. Sometimes I can be so brilliant, it surprises even me.
You learn a lot about people in my line of work.
I still haven't heard from him. Oh well. Back to business.