The Man I Gave a Hand Job in West Hollywood Will Surely Blow His Brains Out Before I See Him Again

By

I was dumped over the phone by the man I’ve been dating for several months. I’d never had such an abrupt, hostile break up. He just hung up like a pissed off fourth grader. Said he didn’t want to talk anymore. That he’s done. Then he never spoke to me again.

My friends assumed there’s something dishonest about his abrupt, mean behavior.  Perhaps he simply fell in love with someone else, or at least started fucking someone else. It would make reasonable logical sense to jettison the stripper for a nice girl with a headshot. Being discarded abruptly sort of feels being like being hit by a train:

A woman was carrying a one year-old girl when she was struck by a train in the North Chicago train station.

I wanted a different ending so I emailed. I called. I tried to get him to talk to me; I considered him a friend. We could part amicably. Wrong.

Warning bells and lights were going off and the train blew its horn when the woman crossed.

I wanted badly to cut his heart out and feed it to vultures, because it would be great material for my comedy act, and I could upstage him, but instead, I gave the saddest man in West Hollywood a hand job for a couple greenbacks.

After the crash happened, she was declared dead at the scene. She was 34.

Seriously, I wasn’t in the mood. But when I’m not in the mood, my clients can’t get enough of me.

Whenever I’m broke and need the money, I wait by the phone for clients to book appointments, there’s nothing but crickets.

When I’m anxious and depressed, my phone rings nonstop.

This particular night, it was Bill from New York, who lives in West Hollywood near Sweetzer. I hadn’t showered and I was nearly out of massage oil, but I showed up anyway, half an hour late.

A tall white guy in shorts waved from a balcony from an apartment building. He had a wine glass in his hand. He buzzed me in and met me in the lobby. He could have been anywhere between 25 and 40.

“Do you want to ride the elevator or take the stairs?” he asked. My shoes were at least six inches high.

“Elevator,” I said.

The button lit up when he pushed it. We waited a couple minutes.

“The stairs are faster, he said,” then the elevator arrived. We stepped inside. I’ve been to many generic hollywood apartment buildings like this with too many cooking smells from too many kitchens. His apartment was at the end of a hall. It had a balcony overlooking an empty courtyard. It was a big place with at least two bedrooms.

Once inside, I put my purse on the table. He stood next to me and leaned into me, close, and tucked his head in the space between my chin and collar bone. His hair was soft and red.

“Do you live here alone?” I asked. He didn’t move his head. I held him and put my hand on his head. He moved into my skin where the train had hit.

“Yes, but I have a daughter,” He said.

“Where is she?” I asked.

“Albequerque,” he said.  His blue eyes were steady and clear. I hoped he couldn’t tell that I hadn’t showered.

“Is that where you’re from?” The easy chit-chat of the heavy hearted served as smoke to hide the fact that I didn’t want to be there. But, I was too sad not to be there.

“I’m from New York,” he said.

“Why’d you move here?” I asked. He picked up a glass that had red wine in it. He drank.

“I got a job on a horrible reality TV show.” He watched me remove my jacket, throw it on the table next to my purse and keys.

There were empty goblets of red wine on stark white tables. TV screens and computers were on in every room to fill the void.

He handed me some twenties, which I counted and tucked into my purse. Two hundred.

In the room with the bookcase there was a baseball game on the TV. He kept hugging me, like I was the last human on Earth. He led me down a hallway.

“Are these your photographs?” I asked. There were black and white photos against the wall.

“These ones are,” he said pointing to two photos: a woman on a beach with her black hair blowing in the wind behind her as she stared out ahead and one of the ocean with the title “Catalina.” They were lovely melancholic prints framed tastefully.

“Is that what you do?”

“Not anymore,” he said.  He’d accepted the reality TV show paycheck but he wanted to take moody photographs. It was the collective soul-sucking, LA tragedy.

His bed was huge and everything was soft and white. Neat bed frame and white comforter, expensive down pillows, to cushion the blow of profound disappointment.

He had Freckles. He watched me get undressed. I massaged his back and his cock, but, no matter what I did, I couldn’t get him hard.

“Been drinking a bit today?”

He wanted to eat my pussy so I let him for a couple minutes while the baseball game played on the huge TV. I was afraid that I tasted like depo provera chemicals, the birth control that’s a shot. He looked up.

“You just got sad. What happened?” He said.

“I went on birth control for someone I’m not with anymore. It makes me bleed black and I hope you can’t taste it. It’s kind of chemical-tasting.”

“I just want you here,” he said.

The realization that he didn’t know me at all and this was the first time he’d ever met me and he would never know my real name-hit me hard. He turned onto his belly. I massaged him with the oil and lay my body on top of his, and moved fingers through his hair, brushed my lips against his ear.

“It’s okay,” I whispered in his ear. “It happens to everyone in LA.”

“Don’t worry about getting me off,” he said and fell asleep.

**

Photographs by Romy Suskin.

See also, The Sex and Politics of Antonia Crane.


Antonia Crane is a writer, teacher and performer in Los Angeles. She is the author of the memoir SPENT by Barnacle Books/Rare Bird Lit. Her other work can be found in Playboy, Dame Magazine, Salon, PANK magazine, Black Clock, The Believer, Frequencies, Slake, The Los Angeles Review The New Black, and lots of other places. She can be found running up Griffith Park mountain and here: http://antoniacrane.com. More from this author →