Gaslighting Greg – 23 December 2000 – 1.10AM

“You really let me down last summer,” Gaslighting Greg says as we lie in the four-poster bed in his suite. “If you do that again next year, I might find myself a new whore.”

“What are you talking about?” I take a pull on my cigarette. The only benefit with Greg is that he is also a smoker.

“You were a no show at Ascot.” His eyes squint as he looks at me. “Don’t pretend you don’t remember. You’ve already had a scolding for this.”

“Have I? I don’t recall.” So I was meant to be at Ascot, was I? And I’ve been told off for it already. Really? This is the first I’ve heard of it.

“Yes, you have. Don’t make me cross with you.”

I need to play the game. “Oh yes,” I lie. “I’m so sorry about that. I won’t let you down again, Greg. I promise. I’ll be a good girl.”

It’s times like this, I find it hard not to burst into laughter. It’s ridiculous, the things he says I’ve promised and not delivered. Some of it, surely, he must know I can’t possibly believe. I play along though. I can see he gets off on it – his feeling superior to me.

Earlier tonight, he ordered a rare steak for me in the restaurant. I’d asked for it well-done. I told him well-done before I went to the ladies’ room to reapply concealer to the abscesses on my arms. He insisted I asked him to order it rare. I didn’t start an argument. I apologised. That’s what I do. That’s the part I play. That’s the part he wants me to play. And as it happens, rare is exactly how I like my steak. He keeps me on my toes. But I’m quick enough to make sure I’m always ahead in this game.

I get on my hands and knees. I crawl down the bed. I take his penis in my mouth. This is how he likes an apology.

After a while, he says, “Are you ready for my big cock in your wet vage?”

Another lie. His penis is rather thin and short. Why he is under the impression it’s large is beyond me. And my vagina isn’t wet. When he went to the bathroom before, I squirted lubrication inside.

I sit astride his bluish-white body. The fat on his stomach wobbles with every thrust. “You cunt,” I shout silently in my head as I ride him. He’s repulsive. This is the repulsion I live in. The repulsion I choose to live in. What is wrong with me? It’s not like I need the three-thousand pounds he’s paying me for tonight.

He thinks the look on my face is passion. It’s anger, Greg. How can you not tell? I’m sure he sees lust in my eyes. It’s disdain and disgust. He’s like the rest of them. They can’t read me. I don’t know how I do it – give a different impression. I don’t hide my feelings when I fuck them, wishing they were dead. I don’t know how they can’t tell, how they can’t see it. What I do seems to turn them on. The angrier I am, the quicker they come. And that’s better – the sooner it’s over. Hurry the fuck up, cunt!

“I’m coming,” Greg says. His eyes are closed. His face is contorted. He looks like he’s about to do a shit.

My body shudders, suppressing a laugh. “I’m coming too, love. I’m coming.”

He squeezes my buttocks as he orgasms. I squeeze my pelvic floor muscles, faking mine with some added moaning. When his eyes open, I try to keep a straight face. He’s a joke.

As I lay silently in the bed next to him, I pity his wife. How does she live with a man like that? One night in his company is hard work. I have to foresee any opportunity he might have to gaslight me. How does his wife live like that day in and day out? My heart goes out to her. For a moment, I feel her pain. She must be so downtrodden. He’ll be playing those mind games on her. But when the other party doesn’t know they’re being played, it’s not a game. It’s psychological abuse. His poor wife.

The battle-axe is what he calls her. I mull it over some more and envisage an alternative scenario. She’s the one who wears the trousers. That’s why he feels the need to be on top when he’s with me. His ego is damaged by her controlling and manipulating ways. So he sees a hooker in order to feel in control, to feed and build his ego. In that case, poor Greg. He’s a failed gaslighter. He doesn’t have control at home and he doesn’t have control with me. He’s actually being controlled and manipulated by two women.

Greg’s fast asleep next to me. I won’t sleep tonight. I hate acting the girlfriend. The being out in public is bad enough but the sleeping in the same bed is the worst part. How does anyone fall asleep next to someone they despise?

Obscurification – 22 December 2000 – 7.55PM

Soul Destruction - Diary of a London Call Girl

I treat my work with respect. That’s why I’m on time as I walk downstairs from my second floor suite to the hotel lobby. I made sure I had enough time to get ready. I have concealer covering the three abscesses on my arms. I’m in that black Moschino dress. The one with the V-neck so low it nearly reaches my belly button. And although it might get too warm, I’m wearing my pink cardigan over my shoulders. If the concealer rubs off or fades, I’ll put the cardigan on properly until I can get to a ladies’ room to reapply it. Of course, I’ve brought the pot of concealer with me in my handbag.

I’m expecting to see Greg outside but just in case, I check the reception area and the sofas around the corner first. He’s not there. I walk through the automatic, glass doors to the front of the Radisson Hotel. The sun’s nearly gone down. It’s that strange twilight time. On the other side of the road, the sea is glistening. I watch it sparkle, as I stroll up and down on the pavement, waiting for him to arrive.

Suddenly, hands cover my eyes. My body jerks automatically. I know it’s Greg. This is his thing. He knows it makes me jump – it’s my startle response. He likes that.

“Hello you,” I say, prizing the fingers from my face.

“Hello beautiful,” an Australian male voice says. It’s not Greg. Who the hell is it?

With my head freed, I turn around. It’s Mickey. He’s come for me. Beautiful. He called me beautiful. Adrenalin is pumping from my chest upwards to my face. The warmth settles on my cheeks. Damn, I’m blushing. I don’t want to be blushing. “You were a long time having that beer.” I slip my hand into my hobo bag, taking out the packet of cigarettes.

“I had to give the matter a lot of thought. Something so serious shouldn’t be rushed.” He smiles.

I light a cigarette. My hands are shaking slightly. I hope Mickey doesn’t notice. Greg will be here in a minute. I need to get rid of Mickey. If he sees me with Greg, he won’t want to know me. He can’t find out what I do for work.

I look into his eyes. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen eyes as light a blue as his before. Speak, I tell myself. Speak. “I’m glad you realise I need to be taken so seriously. I can be fun though.” I wink. They weren’t words I would choose. Where did they come from? My nervousness probably. I’m an expert flirt but the words aren’t flowing like they usually do.

“You’ll need to show me.” Mickey runs his fingers backwards from his forehead through his short brown hair.

I imagine his fingers running over my stomach and up to my breasts. I shiver. My chest is cold. He needs to go. Greg could arrive anytime. “What are you doing tomorrow?” I ask.

“What about now? Or was I too slow?” The corners of his thin mouth dip. “Looks like you might’ve got yourself a date already.”

“I’m having dinner with a client. I’ll see you on the beach tomorrow. I need to get back inside.”

“You’re working late. What do you do?”

I take a pull on my cigarette, buying time. “Sorry. I need to rush. Meet me at the beach.” As I run through the automatic doors into the hotel lobby, I turn, and toss my cigarette out on the pavement.

Worried that Mickey might want to wait with me inside, if he sees me loitering in reception, I make my way to the bar. I could do with a drink after that encounter. In fact, a drink before the encounter would have been useful. Why did I tell him I was meeting a client? I’m never nervous with men. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Perhaps it’s remnants from the anxiety I had last night.

I’m dying for a fix but I’m not seeing Lorna tonight. I don’t have a physical cluck. I’ve only used two nights in a row so far. There’s a slight aching in my legs, though that could be from lying on the hardness of the sand today. There’s no sweats. But what I do have is the craving – an all-encompassing, all-consuming yearning for a hit.

I see Greg sat on a barstool. I make my way over. I’d rather not be seen in public with a client but Greg likes to do the whole girlfriend thing. He looks like a wanker even from a few feet away. He’s in his forties, I reckon. He’s never said his age. He talks about his wife and son in such a derogatory manner. I can’t bear his company. But I play the game, nevertheless.

“Where have you been, naughty girl?” He adjusts the collar of his white shirt. He’s always adjusting the collar of a white shirt. Perhaps that’s what gives him away as a wanker.

“I was waiting outside for you, like we arranged.” I kiss him on the cheek.

“No, we didn’t. I said we’d meet at the bar. You scatty little minx!” He ruffles my hair. I hate it when he does that.

“So we did.” I lie.

He thinks he’s playing with my head. But he’s not. I know what he does and it’s actually me who’s playing with his. I know we were meant to meet outside. He thinks he’s managed to confuse me, make me question myself. I know his gaslighting. That’s why I call him Gaslighting Greg. He’s always at it. It makes him feel superior, in control, above and better than me. But his gaslighting doesn’t work on me. He doesn’t know that though. He thinks it does. It’s part of the service I offer – giving the client what he wants. Because he doesn’t know I’m playing him at his own mind game, he doesn’t know my real position or his. Of course, I do. The position I lead him to believe that he holds is supported by me, as long as I continue to play. He’s being propped up by me. And because I’m propping him up, I can pull him down anytime I like. Who’s in control now, Gaslighting Greg?

“I must listen to you more carefully.” A wide smile spreads across my face. “So where are we having dinner?”