© 2007 Lisolette Gilcrest
I never tell Gaston what I'm doing during the day, whether it's legitimate or nefarious because I don’t think he could possibly stomach it. It’s not so much that I take commissions with other men that frequently, however, I will not deny that I do on occasion, especially if that commission has been a regular with me for some time or even if I’m mildly entertained by them. However, I don’t think Gaston could stand it to think about his "wife" with “other men” and I think Gaston has grown some affection for me personally, although he would never admit that since it would also require him to admit our charade to himself and it is clear that he is enjoying the illusion. More often than not, though, I fill my day running errands and going shopping – both of which are really just an excuse for me to watch other people since my life is so mundane otherwise. I think this, too, would be cause to make Gaston recognize that I am not his Chloë, who seems by all accounts to have been filled with a vivacity and love for life.
I think it also bothers Gaston to know that even though the Francs that he gives me are clearly enough for a salary, I continue to do what I do. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure why that is. I think that part of me is afraid one day that Gaston will abandon me and that I will be back out on the street on my derriere starting from zero again if I don’t maintain some contacts and prospective work. Sometimes I'm more honest with myself and I admit that I do it simply because it's all that I am. I do it because some small part of me enjoys doing it. I also cannot deny that I do it because I know I’m good at it and I will never be anything more than a cortisanne. It's all I will ever know and all that I'll ever be able to rely on.
I learned my lesson once about relying on someone else. I started out low and went even lower before I ended up where I am now. I never want to go back to that place and I have to embrace that I can't go anywhere else. What would I put on my resume: "Whore extraordinaire?"
I have done very bad things in the past and I could do them again, if I wanted to… as far as I know my contacts still exist. I did those things once strung out on drugs and alcohol and willed by extortion. I'm sure if I were ever in that position again, I'd have to drown myself to the point of delusion and justify my actions in a three hour high because I was so suicidal for so long last time when I finally broke that vicious cycle that I’m not sure that I could last through it again… but things are different now. I have no one precious to me. I have no harbinger. I have no hope. I have no future.
Even with the aide of drugs and alcohol, I’m not sure I could ever return to him again. I won't take those things away from other people because I don't have them anymore. I'm bitter, not malicious. At least I'd like to think so.
I'm a prostitute, because it's who I am. I turn tricks and play escort to men who pay me money… many different men. Because of this my personality must be dynamic. I change who I am for who they are. In a sense, I guess that makes me nothing.
But I was something once... before that night... and I did have life and vivacity like Chloë. Perhaps that is what reminds Gaston most of her when he looks at me. Maybe there’s a flicker in my eyes and he sees the passion within me to live hidden deep beneath the layers of fear, abuse and pain.
I’ve heard some people say that to be alone, or maybe better word is “lonely” is the worst feeling in the world. I’ve often thought about this adage, because most of my life has been spent in a private fashion and I wondered how this could be worse for more solitary individuals like myself, than say the grief over having loved someone who didn’t love you back. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that loneliness was not worse than two other things that others I know have personally experienced. At least if you lose someone, you’ve had the opportunity to love. But loving someone who cannot return that love – this, this was the worst potential thing I could think of to happen to any good soul. I can’t say that I have ever really experienced this, not in an adult love anyways.
I thought that I loved a young man in school. He broke my heart, as most young men do to their lovers and I spent one evening crying behind St. Catherine’s. It was a beautiful church, with an amazing scene behind it that was illuminated at night and the iconic saints, mother Mary and Jesus upon the cross would glow with a life-like aura. I remember being struck as a little girl by the statues at night after going to a midnight mass with my mother. After mass my mother took me outside to look at the scene in back and she told me how she used to go there as a girl and pray or talk to them when she had troubles. She told me that once she thought she saw the mother Mary move – she was sure she was not mistaken – but, of course, she never saw it again. I found solace there, mostly because it made me think of her and her wisdom and words.
On this afternoon, I went behind the church heartbroken about Pierre to cry and grieve and ask God how he could be so cruel. I was there for several hours sitting and thinking when suddenly I felt like a selfish child. How could I be cursing God about Pierre’s lack of love towards me, when God probably felt that way most of the time with most of the people in the world – including me? I couldn’t help thinking that if we all were God’s children how painful it must be for Him to love us and for most of us not to love Him in return – or worse, just forget about Him and that He’s watching us like a proud parent.
I cannot deny that I’ve often questioned a lot of things about God and if He even exists – and whether He does or not – the mere idea that if He does exist, He is probably in much more pain that I could even imagine. This very thought made me feel very small and very spoiled at that moment. It was an odd epiphany, especially considering I did not think myself particularly religious or at least not dogmatic.
It was also then that I decided for this reason that my loneliness without Pierre could not be the worst thing for me to experience and that although I felt rejected, there was indeed a worse fate than his ignorance at what I had to offer him.
There is something that is much more treacherous – betrayal and abandonment. These two things by their very definition mean either gaining of one’s trust and friendship intentionally to harm them or for your own personal gain – or simply because they’ve reprioritized their own needs above others without consideration for them.
That’s more than simple ignorance; it’s neglect through malice.
In the long run I can deal with betrayal, because while the sting of betrayal burns deep – I’ve always said it is best to cut your losses there and be grateful that their darkness is out of your life forever. But abandonment… for me it is the worst pain imaginable. It leaves you wondering why they left, when they’ll be coming back and hoping for some justifiable explanation as to why they couldn’t be there for you. A desperate hope… for something…