The electric hum of the city calls me from my sleep. I watch out my window as trams packed with businessmen returning home from a busy days work slide past. Like a nocturnal animal, I rarely see sunlight – in the cold winter afternoon it is already growing dim. Café’s close and bars open, the crowd of middle-aged men and women turn into the eccentric fast paced youths. Like a snake shedding its skin, I remove all that identifies me of who I am. I wax, shave, pluck. I become ideal, a vision of perfection. I become blank. I am not my plain self anymore; I’m someone else entirely. I leave my life behind, my tidy apartment, my friends and my family. I embrace the cool night air on my cheeks as I hail a taxi, the familiar streets rolling past as we slowly flow through traffic.
I can be whoever I want to be, I can be whoever they want me to be. My first one, he’s shy. He’s lonely. He wants a friend, a mother figure; a kind soul to comfort him. A shoulder to cry on. I talk slowly, in a gentle voice. I am careful, I am tender. Loving.
The men, the women, the night creepers, the ghosts of desire; they seek me out to fulfil their needs. They want me. They have me.
My second for the night, he’s feisty. He wants fun, he wants flirtation. I giggle, I purr like a kitten; I run my nails down his back, leaving red-hot marks. He bites my neck, I bite him back. We chase each other around the room like children, I squeal with fake delight. I can be whoever he wants me to be, I am a blank canvas, and I can be molded however they choose.
The night slows down, the flow of men decelerates. I sit with the other girls, we giggle about our encounters. Venus, a tall blonde with a fantastic chest, has the laugh of a hyena. She throws her head back, her mane of golden curls falling back behind her, her neck quivering as she lets out her piercing scream of laugher. Valentina, a petit brunette, never says much. She sits quietly, sipping diet Coke through a straw, and her perfectly manicured hands always seem to be moving.
The others, the new girls, they come to me for advice. I show them the tricks of the trade, the ins and outs, and the ups and downs. They look up to me, they respect me.
Things start to pick up and the place becomes busier. My third for the night, a young woman. She is new, “I’ve never done anything like this!” She says. I run my finger down the side of her face and kiss her neck. She needs to feel wanted, adored, desired. I run her a bath, I sponge down her back. I tell her she’s beautiful, sexy. That’s how she wants to feel. That’s how I make her feel.
I make my way home through the still cool morning, the sun just beginning to rise. Birds wake and call to their friends and lovers, the gentle hum of the city begins to rise. It’s a cold morning; I hug my coat around me tightly.
In my apartment, it’s now daylight. I watch through my window as the traffic begins to build up, the streets begin to fill with people, businessmen and women beginning their days of work. Mine has just finished.
I turn to the mirror and take in my appearance. High heels, suspender stockings, push up bra, silk slip.
I smile a sexy smile. I wink. I stand with an air of superiority – I am not 'me' anymore, I am someone else. The mystique to end all mystiques.
Separate names with a comma.