Excerpt from: Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent. To buy the book click here.
“David, I’ve got a fantastic job for you, Friday night, this is a two hundred dollar job!” Mr. Hartley’s straight shooter baritone reaches down my throat all the way to my seventeen year old balls and squeezes hard.
“Wow,” I say in what I hope is a loverstudguy voice, but which I suspect smacks of eunuch, “that’s great, excellent, thanks, I uh-”
“David,” Mr. Hartley sounds like a benevolent dictator in a three-piece suit, the ultimate Master Alpha, “this is a very important client. And if you do this job well I can absolutely guarantee there will be lots of exciting opportunities on the horizon for you. You understand me David? Do we understand each other?”
I have no idea what he’s talking about so I say:
“Sure, absolutely, I got it-”
“This is a very unique opportunity for you David. I want you to be completely prepared. It’s rather unusual job. But I think it really matches your skill set.”
My brain races like a train on bad speed. Will there be barnyard animals involved? Ritual sacrifice? Death masks and scat sandwiches? What will you do for money? Where do you draw your line? How much of your life are you willing to sell for $200?
“David, this client, who I must emphasize is extremely important, has decided she wants to treat her friend to very special birthday gift. And that birthday gift is you. So get ready to put on your birthday suit.” Mr. Hartley laughs like a machine gun: rat-a-tat-tat. “I kid of course. Seriously though, David, it’s our policy at the Hollywood Employment Agency to give our clients all the information they need to succeed. We believe that preparation is essential to success. And for this job, it’s very important that you understand you are being given by one of our most important clients to her best friend, as a present for her eighty-second birthday.”
“It’s very important to us that our clients are comfortable performing. Are you comfortable, under the circumstances, uh… performing… David?”
No. No. No. I don’t honestly think I can fuck an eighty-two-year-old. That’s what I say in my 17-year-old manchild idiot head. Out loud I say:
“Sure, absolutely, I’m all over it.”
“You’re all over it,” Mr. Hartley’s Ouzi of a laugh rattles my skull. “That is droll David, very droll. That’s exactly why I thought of you when this job came in. I have every confidence that you won’t let me… down.” Bam Bam Bam Mr. Hartley laughs fast and staccato. “I kid of course. David I want you to call me as soon as this job is done. Do you understand? Do we understand each other?”
“Absolutely, for sure, yeah.”
Mr. Hartley gives me the 411 and then I disconnect.
Immediately my shattered brain sees an ancient naked wrinkled saggy droopy granny spread-eagled in front of me and my poor placid flaccid penis is a lifeless piece of useless meat, I have to give the money back I see myself spiraling down humiliated, a brutal failure rejected by Mr. Hartley and Sunny, drummed out of the business shunned by all my chicken peers the only family I know at this point who accepts me for what I am, my paycheck my refuge my people, all gone.
Anonymously knocking on the door in the ultra fancy ass swank swish hotel that smell like Olde Money, my mind attacks itself with vicious visions of wrinkled, ravaged, sagging grandmother flesh that shrinkwrap my rapidly shriveling penis. Breath short. Tight. Heart racehorsing pounding against my breastplate. A sticky clammy sweaty nervy jumpy freaky tweaky moisture oozes out of most of my pores.
The door slowly opens. She’s trim and pretty in pink and a styly Channel-type suit. She definitely has one of those helmet hairdo, but it’s well done if you like that kind of thing. A huge honking diamond ring holds court on a well tended finger. Shoes the same color pink as her outfit. She’s got wrinkles but they’re not gruesome. She’s wearing makeup but it’s definitely not Whatever-Happened-to-Baby-Janey. But the best thing about her is her smile. She has a smile that welcomes you in. After a heavy sigh full of deep relief the first thought that pops into my seventeen-year-old manchild head is: Shit man, I hope I’m doing this good when I’m eighty-two years old.
Like a Hostess greeting an international dignitary, she asks me if I would like some champagne? Chocolate covered strawberries? Pate and cheese? It’s all spread out on this fancy silvery tray. Curtains are closed. Lights are low. Candlelight makes everything soft. She gives me a long thin beautiful flute of champagne. With a sweet smile ripe with kindness. Like I’m all growed up.
I know what to do. I’ve been trained well by my mum.
“I want to wish you a very, very happy birthday, and if there’s anything I can do to make your dreams come true, I’m here for your pleasure.”
I have rehearsed the speech. I am pleased with the delivery. I hold up the long thin beautiful flute of sparkly bubbly. She smiles kinda shy. Demure. Which is shockingly endearing in a lady who’s turning out to be the totally awesome grandma I never had. That I’m just about to have sex with.
She holds out her fluke for a clink. Weak clink. We drink. The champagne shoots little giddy meteors tickling my lips and teasing my nose. I love the way it feels inside my mouth like the most sophisticated pop rocks ever. Smooth smooth, smooth, it goes down tingly and frothy, liquid laughter.
She tells me her name is Dorothy. But her friends called her Dot. I think that’s a cool name. Dot. She’s talking about the champagne. Apparently she knows a lot about champagne. This is from some famous champagne place in France. Soon as I’m done with the first sip I can’t wait for another so I just let it guzzle down my muzzle all twinkly and sparkly. One more big gulp and the whole beautiful flute is empty, the contents now inside me. It comes on quick and suddenly my head floats on my neck and my face is happy, bones melting, blood rushing like carefree debutantes jitterbuging at their coming-out ball. It feels a lot greater to be alive than it did five minutes ago.
Dot insists I have a chocolate-covered strawberry. Doesn’t take much arm-twisting. Apparently it’s some world-famous chocolate from Belgium. It’s got a hard crunch when you bite it, but then it gets all melty in your mouth, as the fruity juice of the rapturously ripe strawberry sings with the chocolate in mind-boggling two-part harmony. When I finish I see Dot watching me with a big grin on her face. Makes me like her. Even more.
Dot tells me she likes to watch people enjoy themselves. I tell her how much I’m enjoying myself. And the crazy thing is I completely mean it. She asks me if I want another one. I say no, even though I really actually do want another one. She asks me if I really want another one but I’m just saying no to be polite. Like she can see right inside my head. I confess I do and did. She insists with an impy grin that I have another chocolate covered strawberry. So I do. I have two more after that. I could eat every single one. But I am there to do a job. I figure after three chocolate-covered strawberries, it might impair my ability to perform.
Dot tells me all about her madcap romantic husband, how they met, how he proposed to her. Took her to Europe, South America, Broadway shows. She hauls out a picture of him. It’s black-and-white. He’s in a sharp suit with two-tone shoes, hair all slick and a debonair devilmaycare smile. I must admit, he was one dapper motherfucker.
He’s been dead for ten years. It’s sad and happy at the same time. Makes me like her so much that she has all this love for this guy she was married to for like fifty years or whatever. Being now the son of a dyke from a home broken beyond repair and having sex for money with grandmothers, I just can’t fathom being married to somebody for fifty years. But Dot says her old man was a pistol and a mensch and a big old bundle of fun. Dot tells me about how they used to have these wild and crazy parties with all their brilliant zany friends, where they’d get all dressed up, drinking, dancing and yakking all night about art and politics and life and death and war and taxes.
It’s a mad blast listening to her wax about her one wild and precious life. Makes me hope that at some point I can have one. A life. A most excellent wife, some brilliant crazy zany friends, a house with a pool and lots of rooms where people can party. Sounds nice.
This is such a great job so far. But of course there’s that nagging tug in the back and pit of my head and belly: how in the name of Pan the horny goat boy am I going to get It up and off? I am bombarded by the image of my meat torpedo morphing into wet spaghetti. I am forced to focus extra hard to avoid hyperventilation.
Dot stops talking. She hems and she haws and she tuts. Clearly she wants to tell me what’s on the menu for her birthday dinner, but she’s having a terrible time spitting it out.
I’m scared breathless. I desperately want to give Dot want she wants. I need to please her. She’s been so nice to me. And I want to succeed at this job. Be an American. Be a man. But will I be able to achieve liftoff with a naked octogenarian laying on top of me? I believe I can. I know I can’t. What if she wants to do some weird old person sex thing I don’t know about?
My testes cower in a corner. My head is like a balloon being inflated by a homicidal clown with ADHD. My guts rumble thunderously, roiling like a boiler about to blow.
Again I find myself seriously questioning my career choice.
Dot forces out a strangulated sentence like a tongue-tied eighty-two-year-old schoolgirl.
“I’ve always wanted someone to kiss me…” she motions with her head down towards her nether regions, “down there.”
That’s it? Thank you Lord, for delivering me from the wilderness. A little head? A wee dram of cunnilingus? Hell, I can do that with my eyes closed. In fact many times I have. And then I think, Can you imagine wanting to have someone go down on you for fifty years? Having a husband you love and not being able to ask him to do that? I’ve gone down I can and in all this is what he is on every girlfriend I’ve ever had. It seems like one of the most basic sexual things you can do. My mind is officially boggled.
But the weight of the world, so heavy on my head moments ago, has been mercifully lifted. I assure Dot that I would be more than happy to make her dream come true.
She gets under the covers. She doesn’t take her clothes off. This is just getting better and better.
Here are the best jobs in order.
1) Just talking.
2) Just talking while I’m naked.
3) Just talking while I’m naked and playing with myself. And by playing with myself of course I mean masturbating.
5) Doggy styling.
6) Missionary positioning.
7) Cowgirling with direct eye contact.
So this is the fourth best job there is.
Dot wiggles and wriggles under the covers. I assume she’s taking her granny panties off. She doesn’t tell me to take my clothes off so I don’t. I crawl under the covers. I suspect there will be wrinkly grandmother flesh. But what do I care? Cunnilingus is cunnilingus. Luckily I was trained in this art by the first girl friend I ever had, who was much older than me and rigorously demanding, albeit in a very sweet educational way.
So it takes a while for me to burrow myself in, but eventually there I am. Right between Dot’s 82-year-old legs. It’s very dark in there. Like a cave. I like it. And when I arrive, to my surprise it smells good. Fresh. Manicured. Everything is quite smooth leading up to the area. Which is a very pleasant surprise.
Dot is very ironing board like. But cunnilingually I’ve been trained well. I take my time. I go slow. I kiss all around the area soft and gentle. Some lips. A little tongue. Very light. The more I do it the more she softens. Then suddenly she’s moving herself towards my mouth. Now there are little moans and sighs and groans and gasps coming from outside the covers. How cool is this? I’m thinking, she’s totally into it.
At this moment I feel so useful.
Her hands are on my head and she’s pulling its into her area. And to tell you the truth, her area is much like any other area I’ve been in. Especially in the depth of this black cave.
Dot is now gently manipulating my head, moving it exactly where she wants it and I’m just applying the appropriate pressure. It’s like we’re dancing and she’s leading while I follow. And she’s exhibiting all the symptoms of excitation. It’s all happening and I could not be happier.
Dot now seems to be climbing the ladder of the stairway to Heaven. I don’t know how long we been going at this now, but it doesn’t seem that long. And she’s already manifesting all the physical manifestations of pre-orgasm.
Sure enough, here it comes. Here she comes.
Here comes Dot. Diving off the cliff into the sea of sexual ecstasy.
I am overpowered by a sense of joyful satisfaction. Mr. Hartley will be so proud of me.
It’s clear we are, you know, done. So I burrow out from undercover and head into the bathroom, to give her a chance to put herself back together. As I eyeball myself in the mirror, I shake my seventeen year-old man child idiot head. Can you imagine? Eighty-two-year-old grandmother pussy tasted great.
Sure enough, when I come back out, she’s totally put together, like nothing happened. Except for the bloom in her cheeks and the sweet smile of satisfaction on her lips.
Dot thanks me profusely. She asks me if I would like to take a chocolate covered strawberry with me. I confess that I would. I grab a chocolate covered strawberry and head for the door full to overflowing with a sense of well-being. Even though my parents don’t care to speak to me, even though I have no home and no family except for a bunch of prostitutes and a pimp, even though I have no future and I’m wracked by nightmares and lusting for revenge on the man who attacked and broke me into tattered pieces, at least I’m good at this.
As I’m leaving with my chocolate covered strawberry Dot surreptitiously slips a crisp green bill into my hand while she plants of very nice kiss on my cheek. When I pull back, she playfully wipes the lipstick off my cheek. It’s a tiny little gesture, but it feels so intimate and connected in a world where connection is virtually impossible for me.
I thank her profusely—wish her a happy birthday.
She thanks me right back.
Then I’m gone.
It’s a $100 bill. Add that to the $200 that was in the envelope on the fancy food platter. So that’s $300 to drink fancy French champagne, eat world famous Belgian chocolate-covered strawberries and make one pretty great grandma’s dream come true.
As I leave the ultra swank Beverly Hills Hotel, I find myself thinking:
America, what a country!