Borrowed times,

I remember the last time I woke up in a bed at my favorite brothel, I was worried about the fact that the clock had crossed my morning office timings ages ago, which is why I preferred to pay for some more borrowed time.

I remember greatly admiring Marquez’s “Memories of my melancholy whores” but the tragedy still lurks each time I have come here, I have confused between Veronica and Dennis, especially due to their mutual hatred for older men, which is mostly due to their unhygienic habits of not shaving their excessive body hair.

I do not blame them either. I myself saw one of these girls, yesterday while getting off at my bus station, talking or rather negotiating a deal. For perhaps an hour or two, sex becomes harder as you grow old I fear. But I still have much to live up for.

My parents died when I was 19, my father got a stroke in the same room I was born in, while my mother died a few months later due to a severe form of cancer. It was a moment of unrest, great unrest. It was also the year when I first entered a whore house.

My parents lived and died in the same house where their parents did, though in no sense do I pity them since their room opened to a small but beautiful balcony overlooking a lake. I remember how proud my father used to be when he used to talk about it to his friends, boasting about how beautiful the scenery was. I have vowed to live and die alone in the same room, in the hope that my death will come painlessly.

I am only 39, but I fear so many things, that at this point of time I have refused to make the count. I fear heights because the first time I jumped out of my terrace, I fell and broke my bones, instead of flying, and I fear queues because I was a pampered child. I still like taking the public buses, because they tell me the stories that I long for, stories about places I’ll perhaps never go to and people whom I’ll never meet. It allows to rest my mind a little bit and not think for a bit, and while I listen and barely forget any of these stories, I can never quite experience it.

I am still restless, sitting beside a lady who sells her ‘love’ for money, I tremble because I wish to be a part of their chaotic lives but I cannot. Mostly because when I say that I wish to be a part of them, I don’t intend to sell myself as a sex worker but only because I have fallen in love with Decidua and she fails to see this. She tells me that every guy who fucks her tells her the same thing, but once they are done, all they give you are shillings.

It is true. I am not a prostitute and that is why I am allowed to dream of love and of pleasant days when everything goes the way I want it and I am allowed to recollect my dreams and post them in fancy stationary and in notebooks made of handmade paper. But I am still restless. And I’m allowed to say this because there are people who will listen, but what if I need to scream. What if the whores screamed? Of scars on their bodies and of their dreams and of respect.

“I think it’s better to be comfortable in your skin than to be miserable being who you are. Sure, the meth is horrible. It ruins people from the inside out. It’s a waiting game — it’s not a matter of if it destroys you, but rather a matter of when it will. I’ve made it this far. I’m not sending a message that it’s “cool” to be on drugs and tell everyone about it. I don’t sum myself up as a drug addict and a hooker. That’s not what I am. Those are juts things I do, they don’t define me. Jobs and addictions do not make us who we are.”
Ashly Lorenzana



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