June 20, 2017

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I’m early. 

I perch on the edge of the bar stool, trying to position myself in an attractive fashion. Normally I arrange myself without thinking. But today my arms feel too long, my legs are awkward. I don’t know what to do with my bag. Do I put it on my lap or leave it on the counter? 

A barmaid asks if I’d like a drink. No thank you, I say, I’m waiting for someone. I surreptitiously check my makeup in the reflection of the chrome napkin holder. Smooth my hair. Look down at myself and sigh. Why did I wear this blouse? It’s all wrong. My jeans are too casual. My shoes are stupid. 

I fiddle with my phones, forgetting you’re not supposed to have both out at once. It makes you look like an escort or a drug dealer. But right now I don’t care. My...

March 27, 2017

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I think enough time has passed that I can reflect on my first call with some measure of perspective and humour. Thankfully I’m better at boundaries now. So let me take you back… to the night that started it all… 

The booking is last minute. His query arrives via text message and the unfamiliar ping of my new work phone sends my heart into my throat. I am to visit the young gentleman at a hotel by the river. (“What if it’s a prank call?” I think.) A time is set, for later that evening. I have two hours to get ready. 

And so begins The Ritual. 

The Ritual is a series of steps that soon becomes second nature. I shower, cleanse, exfoliate, shave. I dry off and massage unscented lotion into my skin. (“Will it feel different to regular sex?”) Deod...

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