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An actress prepares

  Sun 24th February 2019

Esther cooked us a chicken curry, which I woofed down in the way that an alcoholic who gets most of his nutrition from beer will do when a plate of real food is put into his hands.

"I'm working tomorrow," she says. "Better make sure he's still coming," and goes to the yards-long glass table to find her work phone.

We turn the flat upside down looking for it. My manly nine-and-a-half-stone frame is called upon to lift up settees and move beds. We decide it must have been stolen by Midge Ure's Best Friend the other night.

All her clients' details and texts are on there, and she hasn't backed anything up, nor put a lock on it, nor a GPS tracker, and my suggestion to ring the phone company to have the SIM barred was shunted aside by her loud worry -- competing with her as loud television -- about the "petrolheads". These are men who find a callgirl's location, are let in, then douse her with petrol before holding a match in front of her whilst asking her where she keeps the money. I will never consider engaging a prostitute again.

After what felt like hours of me ineffectually going "hmm", and "yeah" and "fuck", after exhausting what help I could suggest, she resigned herself to the phone's loss, and we watched an interesting television programme about Whitney Houston's coke addiction. Esther said that she had indeed been, as she told me in our first five minutes of aquaintance, an offshore tax advisor, living in a flat in Chelsea that even fifteen years ago cost £2000 a month. Parties every weekend, sugar bowls filled with coke.

"I'm sorry looby, you've really had it in the neck tonight haven't you? Do you want to stay?" and we slept together, me wanting to stroke her in sympathy but knowing that would be interpreted as an unwelcome sexual advance.

We got up about eleven; her client was coming at two. "We could have a cup of tea -- or actually, what about some lager? I have to get pissed before I can do this," so we had a breakfast of San Miguel and vodka. As she was getting what she called her "whore's kit" out of her bedroom cabinet, she slapped me on the back and gave me an unwonted kiss. "Look what I've found!"

She asked me to help getting the place straight. I did the kitchen and hoovered about. She got her clothes together and did the bathroom and got her hair and make-up done. The client is seventy-eight and likes her in an evening dress and nothing else.

"It's not just sex, you know. You've got to be a cleaner, a make-up artist, an actress, a hotel owner...it's not just an hour. My trick is to keep them talking, talk talk talk, and then 'Oh look at the clock, we'd better get on with it!' I could charge more if I did some of the things I get asked for. They want you to shit in their mouths. Fuck. I couldn't do that anyway -- I can't remember the last time I had a solid shit."

7 comments

A prostitute’s life isn’t harrowing enough? They have to contend with being set afire?! How can anyone think there’s a God?

78 years old and still driven mad with desire! Again, where is God?!

Tue 26th February 2019 @ 11:34 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

I hope my desire is still proving bothersome at that bloke’s age.

Tue 26th February 2019 @ 14:34 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

I’d like to answer Exile’s question if i may… god is a 78yr old man who wants a prossie to shit in his mouth.

Solid or otherwise.

Tue 26th February 2019 @ 19:29 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

I once met someone who was friends with Jools holland. Best or not, I didn’t believe him.
Ack, I am getting motherly, but I want to feed you all a proper breakfast. Would if I could.
Sx

Wed 27th February 2019 @ 17:20 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Oh God, that would be lovely. You anywhere near Bristol?

Wed 27th February 2019 @ 17:29 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Eryl [Visitor]

Gads that sounds like a horrendous life! If it were mine I may well consider pouring petrol over myself.

Thu 28th February 2019 @ 20:25 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

I haven’t heard the half of it, and I haven’t told you the half of what I’ve heard. She’s astonishingly resilient and cheerful. Being with her makes my own difficulties fade to nothing.

I always try to be nice to people, but with Esther I am at pains not to do the slightest thing that might even mildly upset her. She’s had ten lifetime’s worth of shit treatment at the hands of men.

I like her and admire her. My first proper friend in Bristol.

Fri 1st March 2019 @ 11:46 Reply to this comment


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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person


M / 54 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.


There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

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Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
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Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
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One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

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