Have you ever walked in the dark while standing in the circle of the sun?
Have you ever known a fear so great that it did more than just paralyze you?
It blocked the light--blocked the warmth
A fear that was so powerful that you know longer believed there was anything else in the world except the shadows?!
Have you ever had a story and nobody would listen?
They won’t listen…
Why? Because it is not a tale spun by a fable maker, it is much worse…once you heard it; you would know longer be the same, touching your very core…it is the truth!
Walking In the Dark
By: Tilly Rivers
The story of a man who sold his body to survive…
I sat across from him and waited while he just looked at me. His eyes held a deep meaning that I could not understand. Soon I would know why I could not read what it was he was trying to tell me with his eyes. I could not read it, because I have never journeyed into the dark.
“You’re very beautiful.”
Not what I was expecting. Not the reason I was there. He called me, told me he wanted to tell me his story--was it just a way to meet me? Was I crazy, meeting a stranger in a coffee shop?
“Thank you.” I replied and he smiled.
His laughter was full. “You think I am hitting on you?” his smile widened
“It had crossed my mind.” It was his eyes that kept me in the seat beside him. Eyes that were talking with out words, eyes that were filled with so much…. I didn’t know, I just didn’t know…and that is what kept me there…“Why don’t you start at the beginning?” I pried a little
“The beginning?” he looked at dark brown liquid in his cup his voice low “Most of us do not remember how it started. The beginning is not what matters; it is the end that counts.”
“What is the end?”
“Right now. This very second the end continues. Sitting here with you and seeing beauty. Have you ever walked in the dark?” He smiled again “Don’t worry, I know you haven’t I can see that within you. That is the beauty that I see, and I am blessed that now I am at the end of my journey I finally can.”
“Tell me about your journey. I want to understand.”
“I know it is why I asked you to write it Tilly. I read your stories and I can feel your passion, not sex…passion…when you sell your body on the streets, that’s survival. You are….” He paused and looked at me; deep within me…touched me with his eyes…”Alive. Beauty. Passion. When you share your body, your partner’s walk away not knowing what had just hit them…they haven’t a clue that they have been just touched with the pure essence of passion. Yet I am betting that they keep coming back…fight keep coming back…and do not have a clue why…only that they have to touch you…touch the heat…one more time”
“That is very flattering, but you can not possibly know that. I am only me.”
His laughter rang out and the people from the other tables looked over. “I know… While you have sat here and spoke to me, listened to me talk to you about everything and anything, except the reason why we are here…. Why you are here…I could feel your heat. I felt it when I read your stories. I feel it now.”
I looked at him. “Honestly, right now you’re beginning to freak me out…”
“Wear a condom when you have shared your passion Tilly?” He did not wait for my answer “Society pushes condoms; they are after all the miracle cure to all STD’s right? They protect you from AIDS, the magic cape that makes you superman. Untouchable.”
“Hell no! But I am against men and women not understanding that a condom will not protect you unconditionally. I am against society and the media filling our brains with the notion that buying a condom will make all your worries go away.”
“Most people realize that the only true protection is abstinence.”
He grinned “Do you abstain Tilly? Come on. S*x is as much a part of our nature as breathing and eating…more so.”
I could hardly argue with the truth. I was never one to bullshit, and the fact is, s*x was a major part of my nature. Hell, s*x is my nature, my career, I write erotica….
“You weren’t your average Gigolo though. You catered to high society.”
“Gigolo, cute phrase don’t you think? Makes you think of a life filled with glamour. I mean women get call girls and hookers, and men get a cute upscale phrase like gigolo. What I was --was a man…just a man…who cared so little about himself that he was willing to fu** anyone who could pay.”
“Men and women?”
“Yes. Older men. Young boys, who were experimenting, closet Gay men…as long as they had the money. Women. Cops wives, lawyer’s wives, wives of professional men who are so fu**king stupid that while they were at their mistress’s house for a quick roll in the sack, they had no idea that his hard earned cash was buying me my new car while his wife fu**ed me.”
“Did you always wear a condom?”
“No. If my client asked me to ride him or her bare back, I did. For an extra fee of course.”
He looked at me. “We are after all invincible right? It could not happen to me…AIDS…STD’s…they are for other people right? I mean it is not like they did not know what I was, they were paying me for Fu**’s sake, but some how, some magic indestructible way it would be okay, and we are above disease.”
I wanted to ask him…the burning question…did he have AIDS…or had he been one of the lucky ones who somehow beat the odds? The question wedged in my throat….
“I did not start in this racket as a high class gigolo. I doubt anyone does. The illusion. The top of the line clothes, best apartment, best, fastest cars, drugs…. All window dressing. I began on the streets, a fu** for sale so I could eat, so I could sleep in a bed that night…it is the way we all begin.”
“How did you get on the streets?”
“Know one wants to listen…ever noticed that? The youth of our society, they do not need to listen…we are after all talking through our hats right? The older generation that could possibly never know what they are going through…. The professionals, they do not need to listen…. They have to be the voice…shaping our society…. The average person…what is the point of listening…they are only average…no one listens…. They only hear what will make their little corner of the world better, what ever they wanted to hear.”
I looked at him. “I’m listening.”
He looked at me. That look. That penetrated within, seeking. He nodded once.
“I’ve read your poems too.”
That shocked me., Everyone knew me as “that erotica writer….”
“You have an amazing insight towards life. But more, there is innocence about you.”
It was my turn to laugh. “An innocent erotica writer?” my eyes flashed the challenge behind my statement “Tell me what you want to say. I am listening…”
“No one will listen. No one wants to believe that the dark exists, that the hooker, the call girl, the gigolo…” he smiled and paused over the word, “Is someone’s child…mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. Lost souls in the dark on sunny days, lost souls of society, of abuse, no one cares.”
“Help us than. Help me to understand.”
“How could you? You have ever known a fear so great that it has become your best friend: because it has blocked out the world? It has covered your sin in shadow; it has become the only thing you know? Have you ever been so desperate to escape the pain, to just escape…that you were willing to sell your soul if you could get one more fix?”
“Have you ever welcomed the dark, so you could just stop thinking, stop feeling…stop hurting?”
“Have you ever sold your body, so you could feel for a moment, you could close your eyes and pretend, that some one really cared…that someone loved you?”
“Have you ever watched your best friend dye of AIDS? Have you ever been walking down the street and have the gun fired at the guy beside you because he could not pay his drug money that week?”
“Have you ever taken your brand new sports car that was bought though the sell of flesh out: drunk, stoned, and drive it as fast as you possibly could into a hydro pole on purpose just to end it…. Escape the fear?”
“No one will listen.”
“Than why do you want me to write your story?” He took a deep breath and looked at me again.
“How can I tell your story?” He just kept looking…. That look…The look of someone who had escaped the walk in the dark.
He smiled than. Stood up to pay the check. I watched him go to the till without a word, and for the first time I doubted my ability as a writer, I was an erotica writer, I wrote fantasy, how could I exemplify the importance of his message? I doubted I would be able to make anybody listen….
Will anyone listen? Is anyone listening? Does anyone care?