Hurried Harry, melancholy Matt

Nancy weighs the scales of hooker judgment.

Published September 2, 1999 4:00PM (EDT)

Sept. 2, 1999

Tuesday, Aug. 3, noon

Allison just called with a scared summary of her latest conversation with April: "She'll have the rest of the money to buy the book by the weekend. She really expects me to sell my book to her! And I can't tell her the deal's off until I have enough money to return her down payment. She sounds friendly but I have a feeling she's going to be mad at me when she finds out." Well, it doesn't take that long to come up with $1,500 but Allie keeps spending it. She's like a client who keeps trying to put off his orgasm. Every time she goes shopping, she prolongs her little hooking spree because she doesn't really want it to end.

For now, she's avoiding April and seeing new guys through Liane. It's kind of odd -- Liane is the first madam Allison ever worked for. In fact, that's how Allie and I first met -- on a call for Liane at the Pierre Hotel. Though it was for the client's amusement, I liked the way Allison touched me. It made me like her instantly. Some working girls could be clumsy or mechanical with another hooker's body. Not Allison. She always had a light, seductive hand, even when she wasn't trying. I still remember Liane's assessment: "She's a natural! Everyone wants to see her again. If only she had more common sense outside of bed."

Wednesday, August 4

Last night, I relented and Matt came over bearing flowers, a jar of vitamin C and another of Co-enzyme Q. "Your immune system must be seriously impaired," he said, kissing me gently. "God -- I really missed you! Why didn't you let me take care of you, honey?"

"Because you're too busy to play doctor. Silly boy."

When he insisted on sleeping over, I told him I was still too fragile for sex. He was respectful but horny and I felt his cock pressing against my thigh, dying to jump out of its boxers -- but he was too convinced of my delicacy to do any serious damage. When I completely make up with Matt, I want him to really take me. I know our next date will be ... wonderful. Oh, except that he doesn't know we've had a fight.

This is a small detail. He doesn't know I've been upset but he can feel the symptoms -- my absence, our lack of sex and his mounting appetite. (God -- mine too.) It took a few days for my (deliberate) disappearance to sink in but it's clear that he suffered, even if he doesn't know why, exactly. It's what he feels that matters -- not what he knows. So, is what I know more important than what I feel? Maybe.

Because my "flu" was a stand-in for my romantic bewilderment, his concern is oddly gratifying. I didn't plan it this way, but his distress has been so touching that it almost substitutes for the remorse I want him to feel regarding the fling or flirtation I pretend not to know about. I keep looking at his face for signs of guilt: none. Yet.

Wednesday night

Just got back from doing a quickie chez Jasmine. Her regular, Wednesday Harry, is so brief that a girl dares not arrive a minute late. Harry was at Jasmine's door, looking flustered but cheerful, at 6:00 sharp. By 6:03, Jasmine and I were in our panties and heels, while Harry did his best to relax in black wing-tips and patterned socks -- held up with old-fashioned braces. He can't be bothered to undress completely. Jasmine started talking dirty at 6:04 -- and didn't stop until 6:07. She opens her mouth and all these filthy run-on sentences just come tumbling out -- something about a 15-year-old boy with a huge cock that she's terrified of putting in her ass but eager to try. Harry thought all this fantasy filth was grand, popped a condom on, and -- since Jasmine sees him every week -- I made a point of getting him off.

"Beware of a middle-aged man in a hurry," he quipped, as Jasmine rushed off to get a hot washcloth. He was in his car by 6:20. We peeped out the window and watched his driver pulling away from the curb. After a decade of doing Harry, Jasmine still finds his hectic style entertaining. He's the only person who can actually make Jasmine giggle.

When I told Jasmine about my first night back together with Matt, she said, "You're letting him think he's getting away with something and you're punishing him for a crime he thinks you don't know about. That's pretty deep. If only you used that ingenuity to manage your money!"

"Oh, please," I said. "You sound like my mom ..." I hate it when Jasmine nags me about my inability to save money. "I can't stop Matt from flirting with some girl at the office or even seeing her. But I can make him feel my absence. I wanted the message to come from the universe, not from me, and it worked: He definitely suffered."

"That's why I don't have a serious boyfriend," Jasmine sighed. "How do you get any real work done if you're constantly tied up making policy decisions? I'm not saying it's the wrong policy. In diplomacy terms, it's like pretending you didn't know you were bombing the Chinese embassy! It still gets bombed."

I hadn't really thought about the global implications of my ruse ... Is it crazy to punish a guy without telling him what he's being punished for? Not really. Is it wrong? As long as you hit your target, who cares what the world thinks?

9 p.m.

Milt is on his way over -- with a new porn video and more news about April. "She stopped calling me at home," he told me in a nervous voice, "and she sounds a little calmer. But now she's calling me at the office. And my wife made a point of telling me that she gets hang-up calls on her car phone. We'll talk more when I see you." Did Milt promise to give April the hush money? I wonder if that down payment on Allison's book came from Milt ... Of course, I can't tell him about her plans to buy Allison's book -- I never discuss girl business with a john -- but I can't help feeling that some of this is my fault. Maybe, if I hadn't planted the hope of buying Allison's business in April's head she wouldn't be threatening my best customer! If Milt knew about April's business plans -- and my own foolish efforts to help her -- he would be twice as panicked.

By Tracy Quan

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