The Name I'll Never Forget
My ex-clients are nothing more than faceless ghosts of my past, people that belong to a life I’ve long since left behind. I only remember a titbit about each of them, the colour of their hair, whether they wore a watch, if they had odd socks on, just one small trivial detail that sets them apart in the crowd. There’s a lot of names I don’t remember and a lot of faces I can’t place, but then there are some things, some people, that will follow me to my grave.
Something as simple as the smell of honey is enough to shake a few gritty memories loose from the time I spent working at Palm’s Motel. It’s been six years since I walked away from that life, but when something triggers a flashback it feels as if I never left. Years ago, when the memories first began taunting me it’d take me days to recover from an episode. But I’m older now, stronger, and a Hell of a lot smarter than I was at twenty-one. Being swamped with degrading and shameful memories isn’t something I can prevent, but now I know what my triggers are and I’ll avoid them as best as I can.
I was just a kid when I started working the streets. At seventeen I had my own apartment at Palm’s Motel and after a couple of years I’d managed to build up a solid client base. My regular clients weren’t the sort of people you’d expect to find with a prostitute. They were businessmen, fathers and husbands, by societies standards they’d have appeared to be respectable men. They were very powerful and very wealthy men who showered me with a lot of cash to keep their sexual deviances under wraps.
Meeting with one-off clients was something I didn’t have to do a lot of in my later years of work. Experience taught me if they only wanted me for one night, they were probably the violent and degrading type. Fortunately, with the client base I’d built, I managed to turn over enough money each week that I didn’t need any extra business. All I had to do was keep my regulars happy and in exchange the cash would continue to flow. Every now and then they’d send a friend or colleague of theirs my way and trust that I’d show them a good time. As much as I didn’t want to deal with one-offs, the promise of five-hundred dollars an hour and the continued loyalty of my regular clients was something I couldn’t turn down.
This was how I met Darren, Darren Glasgow, a friend of a regular client who I agreed to entertain for a night. I doubt that Darren was his honest-to-God name, but it’s the one he used when we met and now it’s a name I’ll never forget. Of all my clients he’s the one I’ve spent the least amount of time with and yet he’s the only one I’d be able to pick out of a line up. In some respects, I suppose I should be thankful to him. If he hadn’t brought me to the verge of death I’d still be living at Palm’s Motel on the coin of some sleazy perverted bastard.