Saturday, November 27, 2010

What You Pay For by Robert O'Shea


I get stopped on the street. On the tube someone will press too close. In a queue a hardened penis jabs me. At a café a waiter scrawls his number on my napkin. People forget themselves.

A taxi driver may try to bring me on a detour. Offer me money. Or try to take it for free. Nobody gets it for free. No taxi driver could afford me.

Even with money I still have to see other qualities. They need to interest me. Need to have something that doesn’t make me want to fart in public. I interview my clients. I expect I am the first whore to do that. But I am worth it. They know that.

They have heard about me on the grape vine. My number can’t be found in any phone book. My mug shot can’t be found in no grubby wank mag. There is no email, finger print, paper trail, address. I am hard to find.

Only the precious few know.

There is:

Peter, owner of New York. So powerful that he can afford not to be seen. He caused the recession. The mood simply took him because I refused to respond to his call. He could destroy the world…simply because I won’t kiss his ear. He is the earthquake that swallows hundreds. He once paid me with a tropical island.

Emily, daughter of a female icon. She has cost her mother millions in cover-up money. When Emily doesn’t get her way she cuts people up, college friends, dorm mates, random men. Emily’s mother pays me to give her happiness. Only briefly. Enough to stop Emily killing for another few months.

Azrial, the Satanist.

Hilary, the politician’s wife.

James, the obsessive director.

I fix. Clean. Empty their wallets. Make them hungry for more. Once you taste me you can never have enough.

Have you seen me?

Briefly on the street? Were you shocked by my beauty? Stopped in your tracks?

Did you go looking for me; follow around the corner only to find a dead-end alleyway?

I am hard to find.

I will see what you’re like.

Are you worth it?

Robert O'Shea is a Dubliner living in New Zealand. His stories have been published in Ireland (New Irish Writing), England (First Edition Magazine), New Zealand (Her Magazine) and the US (365tomorrows). His story Cut Throat was shortlisted for the Hennessy X O Literary Awards (2009). He won the Writing4all Short Story Summer Competition with his story sleep. His most recent stories were published in Bravado Magazine and Verdad Magazine. His next two stories will be published in Outburst Magazine and New Leaf. He is currently working on a novel.

Photo by Adam Lawrence.
Street art by TrustoCorp.

This is a new track from this throwback band from Philly.

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