Don’t Look – 22 December 2000 – 2.20PM

Soul Destruction - Diary of a London Call Girl

I’m lying on my Betty Boop towel at Manly Beach. It’s blazing hot. Sweat is trickling down my neck, between my breasts and onto my stomach. I can’t stand the heat anymore. The sand burns the soles of my feet as I rush to the sea. In the warm seawater, I lie on my back, make small waves with my arms, and float.

I feel terrible for misjudging Lorna last night. Because of the things I’ve done and the things I’ve seen working as a hooker, I suspect the worst of people. Lorna was such a comfort to me. She made me up another hit, and after holding me tight and rocking me, I felt at peace. I never feel at peace like that. It was like she brought me out of this world and carried me up to heaven. Like when I first started taking heroin.

As I stand in the sea, I catch sight of Mickey with his surfer friends a little further down the beach. After the embarrassment of yesterday, I can’t have Mickey see me. I’m in a different bikini today. Perhaps he won’t notice me. This one is bright orange. Perhaps he won’t be able not to notice me. Tiptoeing back to my towel, I hide behind children building sandcastles and families with windbreakers.

Please don’t let him see me. Please don’t let him see me, I pray silently in my head. But I want him. There was something about him. Something that drew me in. That sucked me in. More than his looks and his fit, tanned body. It was something behind his nearly transparent, blue eyes. But he doesn’t want me. So I don’t want him to see me. If he doesn’t see me, then he’s not rejecting me again. I hate rejection. I don’t know what it is about rejection that I can’t take. I only know I can’t take it.

Moving my towel further along the sand, I hide behind an obese family of five. The family are as loud as they are fat. I was hoping they’d conceal me from Mickey but with all their noise, they’re drawing attention. I can’t move again now. Too many people are looking over this way.

I dry off naturally in the sun, then layer oil over my body as I have done countless times since I arrived on the beach at midday. I’m cooking like the lady in the red bikini. That contented lady I walked past the other day who was saying, “This is the life.” I’m much younger than her. I don’t have her wrinkles yet. And I’m pretty sure if I stop cooking myself at thirty, not that I expect to make thirty, but if I do, then I shouldn’t have done as much damage as she has to her leathery skin.

While I’m worrying about Mickey seeing me now, I’m worrying about Greg seeing me later. I think I might have set myself up for disaster by arranging to see Greg tonight. He’s going to notice the abscess scars on my arms that are still healing. All three were lanced at Barnet General Hospital. They make such a messy job of it there. I swear they do it on purpose. As if leaving you with large scars will stop you injecting heroin. If only it were that easy. I’d have stopped already if it was. Even coming out here hasn’t got me off heroin. Beijing did, but that was for two days. Perhaps I should have stayed at the stopover instead of coming here to Sydney.

If Greg sends me away, I’ll be devastated. I remind myself he’s a wanker. But that’s not the point. He has to want me. I have to pull his strings. I have to be in control. If I don’t want to see him that’s fine, but he has to want to see me. If he sees the scars, he might realise what I am. I haven’t been working for the last few months. I couldn’t handle being sent away from a job. I’ve never been sent away from a job in my life. I know other call girls that have. Shelley was sent away from jobs regularly. That’s why some of the madams stopped using her.

I look at my arms. Maybe I should cancel, or perhaps some concealer will work to hide the redness. At least they’re not the deep, gaping holes they were to begin with. I could see right down to my ligaments. I could see them move. It looked mechanical. The skin has grown over now. It’s red and thin. Concealer should do the trick. I’ll wear that black, Moschino dress with the deep V-neck. That’ll give him something to focus on. That’s all I have – my breasts and what lies between my legs. I should be more than these body parts. I don’t want to be just body parts. No wonder I want to die. There’s nothing to me.

4 thoughts on “Don’t Look – 22 December 2000 – 2.20PM

  1. I love that there are layers to the story, I like that we are really getting to know Nicole through witnessing a variety of her encounters. We get to see more of her personality, see how she interacts with people based on the different sorts of relationship she has with them. Generally in life people have so many sides to them, they wear so many masks, and we only get to see how they are with us. But to be able to witness Nicoles ‘truth’ around different situations and people really gives you a deeper insight and understanding, and it has enabled me to connect with her on an emotional level.

  2. I like how Nicole is so tough and in control but beneath that there is pain and a need to be wanted/loved which she barely acknowledges. As someone who studied prostitution as part of a law course, I have to say that you’re giving an accurate, multi-layered and complex portrayal of sex work in the UK (and other countries where it’s decriminalized but not legalized). This particular post interested me (although I’ve read all your posts) because I always thought Nicole had a strong sense of self/identity but she seems to feel her identity is fragmented/destroyed in this post; she has been reduced to parts. This is the opposite of how I feel (so far) with Roland, but then of course my experience is very nontypical and nonrepresentative. I feel that I’m similar to Nicole in the drive for independence, the drive to travel the world and the pursuit of hedonistic pleasure, though. Although these drives are quite complex and even crucial in her case, like going to Oz to get clean.

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