I saw a callgirl a few months ago.
It was late at night, around 9 p.m, I was walking along Kenyatta Avenue when I passed her. She smelled of marijuana, that familiar, acrid smell that is unmistakable. The smell was probably stronger because it was cold, like how Nairobi had been at that time. The few people on the streets were rushing home, bent over, clutching their sweaters and bags to shelter themselves from the rain. She wasn’t hunched over, or shivering, she was moving her broad hips seductively, seemingly to a rythm in her head, and with every movement, men craned their necks and tried to make it look accidental.
She acted like the rain wasn’t there, as she swung those hips of hers, she was clearly lost in her own world. A world where she didn’t give a fuck about who saw her, or identified her, she was there to make money. Given the dress code in her occupation, I thought it was a good thing the rain was fleeting, or she would have had to take those broad hips to the hospital for a flu shot.
I think I must have stared at her for quite a while, (apart from broad hips, she was also very pretty) because I noticed the scars on her face. They were stitches actually, one below her eye socket, the other right on her temple. The temporal one looked fresh, like it was from about a week ago. I wondered if she thought about staying home, to recuperate, then I remembered in her line of work, any day spent ‘recovering’ was a loss in income. Then I thought about the source of her stitches, and I imagined an altercation over ‘territory’, or a client who wouldn’t pay up, or a client who wanted more than he had paid for. Or perhaps an operation by the cops to flush them out of the CBD had gone from ‘she was resisting arrest’ to ‘we had to use required force to ensure compliance’.
Then I walked away, I was already at my stage, GPO, and the last bus home was making its last call, also I didn’t want to be those guys that ogle at call girls. On the way home I thought about that girl, and how scary her first day of work must have been. For most people, the first day of work is a series of actions strung together to impress a demanding boss, or an overbearing HR manager, or dealing with insolent clients. Her first day was spent trying to hope that her client was not into kinky things, (like chains and whips, and the other type of penetrative sex), or that he would pay up, or that maybe her pimp would cut her a fair share, or that the client would not burst his condom..her first day of work was probably your worst ever day at work, a baptism of fire. Of course it ‘gets better’ from there, and that’s the worst thing, that ‘sweetie’ is not a pet name, but a greeting, that a kiss is not an expression of love but rather a drunken slob slobbering all over her, calling her names of the girl his money couldn’t get, that sex is not giving herself to someone she loves, but a means to an end. Like how a teller punches the keyboard at work, handles money, whatsapps a bit and clocks out. But only now, the keyboard is her body, and she is not even in charge of who she lets punch numbers, and anybody who can pay up can put his grubby paws on her, own her for a while, until his urges are satisfied.
Then I was really glad I am not a callboy, (I didn’t like the term man whore), and I don’t have to sell my body to get food, health care, clothes, saving money. That I can call in sick when I am unwell, that the worst thing my clients can give me is a rude stare and the occasional insolent comment. That I don’t have to smoke a joint before I start my shift, so that I’m numb before I start working. That I don’t have to hate it when someone calls me attractive, or sexy, because I ‘d think they just want to get laid and they don’t even mean any of it. Because I don’t need stitches, seeing as I don’t have to fight anyone to work.
Then I thought about my life, if I actually was a callboy, and what my clients would look like. Would they be old women whose husbands can no longer get it up, or young women whose old sugar daddies can’t keep up with them, or would it be curious housewives wishing to use me to cross a wish off their bucket list. Then I thought about how AIDS statistics would scare me, and how familiar I’d have to be with the cops, and if I wasn’t, the regulars at the police station. Would I have a pimp? Or how would I get a spot without having to knuckle up? Would I survive a turf war? Would I enjoy sex with my lady, if I had one to start with.
Would I plan for the future? Would I want to have kids? What would I tell them when they asked about my job. Would ‘experience’ work for or against me when I met new clients? Would I want to save for a home to grow old in? Would I ever find love? And have that feeling, where you would be hungry, in pain and poor, but still smile at the thought of someone..
Then the conductor asked me for money, and my train of thought crashed. A big, loud crash. Back to reality. I was going home, to my warm bed, to cook, to sleep and hopefully wake up in the morning not worried about burst condoms and police raids.
I saw a callgirl a few months ago.
It was late at night, around 9 p.m, I was walking along Kenyatta Avenue..