Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Creature of the Night

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Total Black: $344.48
Total Red: $230,715.35

I awoke this morning with a feeling of unnameable dread from the night before.  I had certainly had enough to drink.  Nothing near the amount consumed in A Day Without a Post, but enough to keep my engine running until 5am.  I hinted in And More Jollification at some of my late night activities.  I opted to post part two separately both because the events of last night technically occurred today and because they go to a deeper financial confession I’ve not yet made.  

As a bit of comic relief, I thought I’d post a song from The Rocky Horror Show: Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch-A Touch Me. Feel free to sing along.  The tune came to me as I was wandering the city this afternoon in a bit of a daze looking for human touch.  Last night was a rough night.  Being rejected by someone you’re interested in and being left by the people you’ve arrived with both don’t sit well on a drunken mind.  With the clarity of the morning light I can say that I doubt my Drunk Texter, whom I mentioned in Jollification, rejected me, per se.  But he certainly didn’t make out with me at the club like the night prior.  Or even speak with me really.  But I suppose that’s my mistake for expecting a boy to act like a man and just level with me about his attraction to me, if any.  At any rate, when I realized that the group I’d gone out with, as mentioned in And More Jollification, had left the last bar we all had been at, and that I was now alone, well . . . I went looking for replacements, so to speak.  I walked a few blocks up to a spot called Paddles, by early evening a straight S&M club and by late night a gay sex spot.  I went in search of touch.  As it were, they’re only open on weekends and I suppose a Sunday evening / early Monday morning doesn’t count as a weekend on their calendar.  So, I hopped into a cab and headed over to another bar on the Lower East Side, The Cock.

The light-hearted may want to skip ahead.  See, the Cock is a bar where anything happens.  And Sundays is Sperm Sundays.  I had forgotten that until I arrived.  I walked into the bar to see a go-go boy standing on the bar, getting blown by this large, unattractive man.  He needed to earn his tips and that man was paying.  There is a dark side to my twin personality that many may not know.  And one factor of that dark side is that it occurs at night.  Friends, co-workers, even strangers are often amazed when they learn some places I’ve visited or when they see me explode on the dance floor, as a few examples.  Of course, this dark side is often fueled by a basic human need.  To be touched.  Far too often, men translate this into sex.  A wet mouth on your hard cock is at least something if it’s not a pair of arms around your waist or a hand in yours.  Or in the case of that man at the bar, someone else letting you touch him is nearly the same I suppose.

Once I walked in, I figured I’d hit the head before I hit the head.  Along the way I passed all shapes and sizes of men in various states of undress, jammed into tiny corners of this bar or lined up along the walls.  The walls are painted black.  The bar erects barricades or puts up plastic tarps to create the illusion of more space.  Couples were grinding upon one another.  Others were huddled around them, dicks in hand, as if around a warm fire, trying to catch a few of the sparks flying off.  Men on their knees waiting to have their mouths filled.  On a prior visit I saw a man up against a wall, bent over, pants around his ankles, just waiting to be taken.  No interest in who might saddle up and ride.  As I navigated the room, I felt sure that I crushed underfoot the seed of ten-thousand children never to be.  The room was pregnant with the scent of men—like distilled testosterone had been aerated throughout the bar.  Although the location and its activities intrigues me, partly for practical reasons but partly for ones sociological in nature, I’m not very daring in such places.  My antics are limited to a few safe actions.

As I wandered this motley casino, I tried my hand at a few tables.  Looked for my jackpot in a few locations, but unfortunately, my quest went unfulfilled.  Although many tried, none could see me through to the end of my journey.  I left and went home.

This morning I awoke a bit stiff and sore from the night before.  While lying in bed, I hit upon the idea to go get a massage.  Perhaps a sense of desperation last night mixed with an air of urgency in the crowd blocked my path.  A massage might unlock it.  Typically when I get an idea in my head it’s just a matter of time until I follow it through.  So, I lied in bed a bit longer, musing over this plan, until I finally resolved to get out of bed and call for an appointment.  Last fall and winter I had a bad spell with massages.  I sort of became addicted to them.  It’s a form of human touch that is both relaxing and stimulating.  And you’re being touched all over—sometimes literally.  I must have blown at least a thousand of dollars of my severance package on paying people to touch me.  And it’s not only last year when I partook of this pleasure.  My last massage was probably about three weeks ago.  And this morning here I was again in a bit of a frenzy in search of that connection once more.

I prefer trying out different therapists before even consider requesting someone in particular.  Catch is, at this one men’s spa location, I’ve gone so frequently that I’ve ended up with the same masseur a few times now.  So going there meant a high probability I’d be booked with him again.  I don’t feel comfortable requesting a different masseur upon arrival, especially since they’re typically waiting for you to arrive.  So, I was looking to try a new spot, but the complication is that I know I can be touched a certain way by that masseur.  So, I went back and forth trying to figure out whether to make an appointment at that same location and just chance who I’d get.  Or try a different location all together?  There’s a men’s spa near my apartment that I tried once, but they seem to be a bit more business than pleasure.  Clearly I was looking for a massage that would be more relaxing than usual.

I decided to call the day spa near me to book a massage.  It was the closest and, I thought, perhaps you’d get additional perks the more frequently you returned.  Turned out that location was booked solid for a few days.  Not to be dissuaded, I called the spa I’d often gone to.  No one picked up the telephone.  So I waited and called back, this time from my home telephone.  I didn’t want to appear desperate, right?  Again, no answer.  So I called a third spa—a new location I’d never tried yet.  It rang until their answering machine turned on and asked for a remote access code.  Screw it, I thought.  I’ll just head downtown and try a few places.  One of them has got to be open and have availability for me.  So I threw on some clothes and headed out the door.

I needed to pull money from the ATM, however.  I’d promised to stick to Suze Orman’s Back to Cash Movement and since my post in Semicolon And I’ve included debit cards in that effort.  I’m also trying to avoid those pesky ATM fees incurred when using other banks, so I opted to walk to the nearest Bank of America branch, on Broadway just across from the Dave Letterman Show.  I passed my gym along the way and ran a few computations in my head about the possibility of getting a discounted massage there—as a member—overlain with the high probability that I’d get only a massage from such an established franchise.  Some time after leaving the bank, cash in hand, I had a moment of clarity.

The clouds parted and I opted to use the money I’d just withdrawn for something else—my monthly gym membership.  I noted in Cutting Costs, Corners . . . and Concerns that my gym membership had been suspended since August because I couldn’t afford to pay it.  That was only partly true.  Clearly if I could “afford” approximately $150 for a massage I could instead spend $139 for my monthly membership at the gym.  About two weeks ago, I received a debt collection letter in the mail from someone trying to recover the unpaid months left on my gym membership.  So, just before Christmas, I paid those arrears. and will send a copy of that receipt to the debt collector today.  When I arrived at the gym to pay for this month, however, turned out that my membership had been canceled.  I had only been given a six month membership when I renewed back in July.  So now I had to renew it again but it would cost a bit more since Equinox, where I work out, had upped their corporate retention rates—an effort to keep laid-off corporate folks on their membership rosters.  Now I’d be paying $160 a month.  In this moment of clarity, I concluded that it was absurd to repeatedly pay people to touch me, when I could be working out at the gym and getting in shape, and along the way boosting my self-esteem and self-confidence, which would increase the people wanting to touch me for free.  Plus, as Robert T. Kiyosaki pointed out in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, we should ask how we can afford something, not whether we can.  I’d finally decided to cancel my cable subscription and my New York Times newspaper subscriptions.  The internet can supply both my television and newspapers.  And now the money I’d been spending already on those two items would just be reallocated to my gym membership: something healthier in every sense of the word—financially, emotionally, and certainly physically.

Hopefully this creature of the night will soon settle down for a long winter’s nap.  No one can be proud of the crazy behavior human needs sometimes drive us to.  I’m certainly not.  But the need for human touch and connection can be strong.  And it manifests in manifold ways for various people.  At least in finally confessing this short-coming, I’ll now have dragged it out of the closet and can hopefully start moving towards the light: a place where I needn’t pay people to touch me.

2 Responses

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  1. Oh. my. God. You blew $1000 of your severance (and who knows how much since) on “happy ending” massages and you wonder why you’re broke. You are a sick, twisted loser.


    December 31, 2009 at 20:23

  2. Sick and twisted because of the massages? Or because of spending the money on them? Or the amount? If they hadn’t included “happy endings,” as you call them, would I still be sick and twisted? I suppose you feel the same way about legal prostitution in Nevada? Or lap dances at any strip club across the nation. Or internet porn streamlined to home laptops? What if I had spent $900 on internet porn? Would that still make me sick and twisted? If so, I respect your point of view, but I don’t agree. But the propriety of such behavior is a separate conversation to what I posted here. I’m just saying—don’t be a hypocrite.

    If, instead, you’re saying I’m sick and twisted because I blew that money—period. Well, you need understand that about $1,000 (which comes out to maybe six massages or something like that—they’re not cheap in New York City) wasn’t much of the $30,000+ severance package at that time. And it was also one of the most stressful times of my life, especially because I was dealing with the bedbug problem at its apex. But I also went a bit overboard on Christmas presents for my family and friends. Did spending all that money on presents make me sick and twisted too?

    We all have our vices. For some it’s food. For other’s it’s spending or shopping. For still other’s it’s drugs or alcohol. Human beings aren’t perfect, if you haven’t noticed. Instead it’s the striving towards betterment that enriches our lives.

    Maybe you’d best get some windex for that glass house of yours. I’m sure you’ve got some vices you’re not proud of. If you’re a Christian, and you practice, go look up the verse about specs and logs in eyes.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    December 31, 2009 at 20:36

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