Full-Time Writer / Part-Time Gigolo

Please don't be misled by the title of this story. I do not make any money writing. However, I consider it my full-time occupation. I am very dedicated to my craft. Unlike all the thousands who bullshit, I know first-hand that it's not easy being gifted and unpublished. A second means of income is not a choice— it's a necessity.

 I live in Boulder, Colorado. I graduated with a degree in English Literature in 1994. That was six years ago. I haven't left the state since. Why? I have everything I need right here: mountains, sun, snow, girls, and café lattés.

 Some writers have routines to keep them disciplined. I do not need this. I write every day, whenever I can. I refine and edit countless times. Why? Because every word makes a difference to the shape of the universe.

 I send my stories and articles out to magazines, literary journals, and all the popular Internet sites. Sometimes I get published, and this positive reinforcement keeps me going. But I hardly ever get paid. More often than not my commissions do not even cover a single month's rent. I receive a smattering of fan emails along with my daily dose of spam. This correspondence keeps my ego well fed but they do next to nothing for my stomach.

 I am the only child of two midwestern know-nothings. They never seemed to approve of anything I did. So I was cut off financially after graduation. I still have nightmares about it. Sometimes I think God is mocking me. I am all by myself in a world of strangers. But God did not leave me completely defenceless. He did give me boyish good looks. I can still pass for an undergrad at age 30. If not I would probably be homeless, gainfully employed, or worse.

 I have been a part-time gigolo, for want of a better term, for six years now. The amount of undersexed middle-aged women in Colorado is appalling. I do my best to help out. But it's still hard to remember all the lies and routines. Women are so much better at lying than men. Their deceptions are so much more natural and believable.

 From freshman year until age 24, I mainly supported myself writing term papers for undergraduates. But as I entered my mid-to-late 20's, I began to know less and less undergraduates, and they grew steadily more and more self-sufficient. Long gone are the lazy cocaine and Jagermeister glory days of the late 1980's and early 1990's. The Internet is not helping matters. Nowadays the kids do not even have to be able to type to bootleg a passable paper. They can just search the web and then copy and paste their way to success.

 The worst part is, I actually enjoy spending a day with my nose between great books absorbing new bits of information. I have written papers on everything from Anthropology to Zoology. Studying for pay is noble— at least as noble as teaching. And I quite like the solemn atmosphere of the library. Only once did I receive a bad grade when writing term papers for money. It was a C+ effort on a critique of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. I was sick with the flu and I forgot to print out three pages in the middle that rooted my controversial (but nonetheless brilliant) argument. The girl complained and wanted her money back. But I had already spent it on rent. Tough shit for such a fat and lazy bitch.

 I am more proud of that part-time job than my current one, even though it is almost certainly less romantic and more difficult. You see, since I am so literary-minded and appealing to those of the opposite sex, I often get invited home for drinks from the women at the poetry readings, gallery openings, and artsy cocktail parties I attend. I can't recall exactly how it began at first, but I eventually started sleeping with them for money.

 How do I do it? Well, as I said I have a non-threateningly thin body. My facial features are boyishly angelic. And my head is fully covered by shoulder-length, blondish locks. More importantly, I have mastered the magic formula for projecting the perfect ratio of vulnerability/masculinity. The kind that older women find so attractive. For the coup de grace, I use Dolce & Gabbana perfume in all the right places. It costs $50 per bottle, but it pays for itself in only a few sprays with the ladies it attracts. The average age of the women I service is around 45. I do this two or three times a week. The average payout is about two hundred dollars. It's enough to pays the bills. It's enough to keep going until I get published for real. Then it will be buying the drinks. Then it will be me paying the girls to go to bed.

Most of the women I provide this service to are actually pretty good looking. Many of them are also married. They seem to appreciate that as a writer, this is the only way I can support myself. Often the skeptical ones don't believe me when I tell them I am literary. They make me read them a passage or two from a poem or play I wrote. And then immediately after I read to them, perhaps to make me feel better about myself, they fuck me all night and hand me a few crisp bills in the morning, telling me the money is for books and some decent wine. As if the rest of the things in life are automatically sorted. A few of the women become regulars and that's how I pay my rent and buy new clothes.

The scenario usually goes like this. This is a dialogue between myself and whatever "middle-aged horny mother" is paying for my dick:

MAHM: It was nice seeing you again, Michael. I really enjoyed the latest chapter of your novel. You are very talented.

Me: Thank you [MAHM]. It was nice seeing you again. Hopefully I can get it published some time soon and support myself.

MAHM: Please Michael, call me [First Name].

Me: Okay [First Name].

MAHM: Here's some money for books and scotch. What are you studying again?

Me: Oh nothing. The Psychology of Literature in the 18th Century.

MAHM: Wow, sounds interesting.

Me: Not, really. It's all a bunch of mindless BS like nearly every Comp Lit class.

MAHM: Oh, well, you kids have to do something to keep you off the street. Ha ha.

Me: Yeah. One day I will be a famous writer and you can say you knew me back when. Oh, should I come over next Monday?

MAHM: Monday? uh, no. I will be out of town. Make it a week from Wednesday.

Me: Okay. I best be off now. I got an 11 o'clock class you know. I don't want to be late.

MAHM: Bye Michael!

Me: Bye [MAHM]! And thanks!

Of course I graduated like ten years ago and have been taking good advantage of the Boulder location ever since: mountain biking, snowboarding, scamming bored housewives, and writing. But mainly scamming and writing, as you probably could have figured out by now. After I service a customer, I normally go home to work on a story or else hang out at the Cafe Roma trying to meet interesting people. Boulder gets a lot of interesting types moving through town and it's normally sufficient to concoct a character sketch or two. I don't want to sound too self-satisfied, but the life I lead is one I'd mostly hate to give up.

* * *

Today I am returning home from my best client, Katherine Anderson. She has a penchant for slightly painful bondage routines, but she fed me dinner, got me high on coke, and then drunk on fine Bordeaux. Plus she paid me $200 for the effort. This is a week's wage at Subway.

Just because I get paid for my play, doesn't mean I don't have a steady girlfriend. Her name is Alexi. She's a German girl with dark hair, of Greek ethnicity. She is like the goddess Isis from Mount Olympus. And of course she adores me.

As I make my way home, I intend to bypass the campus entirely and go straight home to sleep. But I see Alexi in the cafe Roma. She is predictably sitting and flirting with another boy. I enter and walk casually up to the table. As a rule I do not suspect any infidelity from her. Alexi considers me both a brother and a lover. She is my biggest supporter.

"Hi Alexi. I saw you through in the window. You look absolutely beautiful today in that white mini dress."

"Oh Michael. You are so kind. How are you today?"

"Oh Alexi, I am not well."

"Why not?" asks Alexi concerned.

"Well you know I had to sleep with Mrs. Anderson last night, right?"


"And you know sometimes she doesn't pay me right away because she needs to go to the bank?"


"Well she literally kept me tied up all night, and now I am tired. Plus I must finish a screenplay for my agent in Los Angeles. To make a long story short, I don't even have enough money for a triple grandé hazelnut."

"Don't worry. I'll get you one baby."

"Oh Alexi, you are really too kind to me."

Alexi gets up to stand in the long line. I sit down next to the new boy vying for her affections. I expect him to realize Alexi is taken and excuse himself towards the door, or at least another table. He doesn't. He smiles at me and sips his pedestrian mug of drip coffee. I smile back and pretend to be as naïf as I look.

This suitor is young, perhaps early 20's like my Alexi, but pale skinned with a dark mass of curly hair. His oval face is slim and features round onyx eyes and a small pointy nose. Along the perimeter of his mouth grows a well-groomed bohemian goatee. He is definitely not American. He looks of Slavic origin to me. Call me prejudiced, but I don't like the Slavs. They are very stubborn and think they are the world's smartest race. Plus they expect everybody in the West to feel sorry for them because the Bolsheviks killed their great-grandparents, burned their cities, and generally fucked up their economy. At best, I find them suitable backgammon foes. At their worst, I find them to be a bunch of lowlifes— always on the take.

"Hi. I'm Michael, nice to meet you."

"I am Igor. From Bulgaria."

"Igor? Nice name. Tell me, Igor, is your father in the government?"

"Yes! How did you know?"

"Well Igor, I can tell by the way you seem really proud of yourself, even though you are from a shitty third-world country like Bulgaria."

"My father," states Igor, "was Secretary to the Prime Minister."

"Oh wow. My mom was a secretary once. But she quit when she married my dad. She didn't like typing anymore because it messed up her nails. How fast can your father type? Maybe he can get a job in a real country."

Igor looks offended. "My father is not a typist. He is an important man. I promise you."

I continue my joke in bad taste. "Wow, he must be really important if he is a secretary who can't type. Say Igor, why don't you leave my girlfriend Alexi alone, go get your friends Dracula and Frankenstein, and fuck off back to Romania with you."

"I am from Bulgaria."

"Same difference."

Igor does not get angry. He just looks at me and says, "You are a funny American, Michael. I wish I was so funny. Maybe then I could date Alexi instead of you."

I smile. "I doubt it. Alexi and Igor. Doesn't really have that romantic ring to it?"

"Igor is a popular name in Bulgaria, like John."

"Yes, but we are not in Bulgaria. We are in Colorado, where Igor is only a popular name in B horror flicks."

"Ha ha. Good one. Tell me my friend... are you a student here?"

"No, I am not. I am finished with all that. I write term papers for money. Do you know anybody that needs to have their papers written?"

"Tell me Michael," Igor continues, "who would pay someone to write their papers now with the Internet?"

"Lots of people do. Just let me know if you meet someone, okay? That's what I do for money."

"What about this Mrs. Anderson?"

"Oh her? She is just an old whore I sleep with to pay off my student loans."

"She is the whore?" Igor laughs. "That is an interesting perspective."

"Yes," I reply. "She's a dumb literary whore."

"Ha-ha!" laughs Igor and smiles a toothy grin.

Alexi comes back to the table with my triple latte. She hands it to me and sits herself down. I sip the drink, enjoying the bitter taste of the espresso mixing with the frothed milk and the nutty syrup. This is what I call the breakfast of champions. It cuts through my hangover and lack of sleep. I feel better. More confident.

I tell my girl that Igor and I have hit it off and decided to run away to New Jersey and open a haunted house. Igor laughs again and says that I am a very funny man. But apparently not funny enough though to make him move any closer to the door.

As the three of us talk some more, I warm to Igor a little bit. He enjoys my combative nature and seems tolerant of my moral shortcomings. Moreover, he is full of admiration for my passion with the pen. I figure Igor has no chance with my Alexi. She loves me. And my tolerance of him proves openly that I have nothing to fear except fear itself. What am I supposed to do, anyway? Forbid her from speaking with people in cafes?

Igor is a philosophy student who transferred from UCLA. We talk about how much we hate Los Angeles, and then discuss our various theories of existence. I am a Cartesian and he is an existentialist. We find each other's theories to be quaint. Alex butts in and tells Igor that I am a Sophist- that I say whatever I think people want to hear. Igor agrees that I am too willing to share information that should be kept private.

"No one would admit to be a male prostitute in Bulgaria," Igor says.

I tell him if I lived in Bulgaria I might not admit it either.

We laugh and then suddenly, out of nowhere, my best client Mrs. Anderson enters the cafe with another boy. The boy is cherubic, noticeably younger than me. 18 at the oldest. Barely legal forbidden flesh. She is already molesting him, with her hands on his round denim-covered buttocks. She sees me and struts over to the table. This is not the situation I needed right now. I should have just gone straight home. I suddenly have this epiphany. I am totally fucked. I don't care. So I decide to just roll with it. 

"Hi Michael."

"Hi Katherine. What brings you here?"

"Well I just met this boy David here at the bookstore. I was just browsing and he was trying to buy the latest textbook for the Psychology of Literature class. We got to talking and decided to come over here for coffee. Wait? He must be in the same class as you, right? Surely there can't be two Psychology of Literature classes this semester? Do you guys know each other?"

David proffers me a puzzled glance.  "We only have like five students. This guy is not in our class. I would remember him."

Katherine looks shocked and slightly offended. "Is this true, Michael?"

Everyone looks at me. I try not to look like a deer caught in headlights. What I need to do is suspend these people's disbelief for only a few seconds to change the subject to something else. Anything. A year ago I could have torn David a new asshole. Spun some story that would have convinced everyone that actually he wasn't the one enrolled in the class and was actually some illiterate high-school junkie drop out from Kansas. But this time I could not lie, so I just blurted out angrily...

"Yes it's true. You think I would sleep with you for pleasure? 'Katherine the cow' is what I call you to my girlfriend here."

Katherine's smile turned upside down. It was clear that she didn't like being mistreated by a man she invested so many thousands of dollars in.

"Well Michael, I don't care if you are not really in school, but I will certainly not be insulted. I prefer the tender David here anyway, who is probably more than willing to take over your scholarship duties. What are you, 30 by now anyway? Time to move on for both of us and for different reasons."

"I am 34 actually", I confess. "I graduated 10 years ago. I pluck my few gray hairs and I only ever fucked you for the money."

Alexi and Igor both simultaneously grimace and groan. David gives another puzzled glance at Katherine, blushing. "Can we go now?" he asks.

"Sure honey. Now that Michael has retired I can't wait to get you home young man. I will teach you things you can't learn in any Comp Lit class."

Fucking whore! I curse to myself. Katherine is my best client by a longshot. My dick was still wet with her vagina juice and she's already giving sloppy seconds to a Freshman.

David seems quite unsure what to say or do, so he just stands there looking somewhat virginal. He has little idea, I muse, that within a couple hours he will be two orgasms down and tied to the dungeon wall with a brass cock ring on his dick and a greasy dildo up his ass. But to be honest, his third orgasm will be the best ever and he will be well rewarded for it financially.

I start to sigh and regret my defeat. But I had it coming (so to speak). "Fuck Boulder Fucking Colorado and all the fucking fucks who live here anyway", I pout. "I am so better than this shit."

Wait? Did I just say that out loud? Apparently because now everyone at the surrounding tables is now looking at me like I am some kind of jerk. Alexi is fighting off the laughter. Igor sits waiting for visible signs of my humiliating defeat. I cannot laugh or cry and so I close my eyes, hold my breath, and count to ten. When I am finished counting I glance towards Alexi, hoping to find a glimmer of sympathy in her lovely Greek brown eyes. But they are locked in Igor's stoic gaze. It dawns on me I've just been replaced again.

Shit. Time to face reality. Wait. What is reality? Oh yeah. Cogito ergo sum? I think therefore I am? No way! Scribere ergo sum. I write therefore I am. Yeah, man! That's the one.

Murderous reality sinks its canines into my flesh with rabid intention. But I will not succumb to the madness. I suddenly see myself objectively. Yes. My term paper gigs have all dried up. Yes. I am too old to be a cougar's boy toy. Yes. Kids like David and Igor will eventually steal all my clients and lovers. It's time to man up and face the facts.Between the rise of the Internet and my first gray hair I am slowly losing the battle for the hearts and minds of Colorado. This part-time gigolo needs to grow up fast, get out of Boulder, and get his aging ass published.

Seemingly defeated, I tilt the mug to my lips and swallow the last bit of my hazelnut triple latté, Then I stand up in front of my well-entertained audience. I simply stare at the two of them without saying a word. 

Why waste good words on goodbyes anyway? I simply bow gracefully and walk outside into the November slush. Fuck all this shit, anyway. I am going home to work on my writing.