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  • Writer's pictureThe Channel

"The Escort’s Story"

Updated: Mar 10

"The Escort's Story" by D R Hill -- first performed as a dramatic monologue by Joanna Strafford in April 2023.


TW: Sex References



I’m stuck here in self-isolation.

I’m sick of this flat.


I’ve been painting again today. Painting shapes and patterns. Painting so much I’m running

out of some colours. I quite like that. I like that it means less choice.

I love the painting. I’m addicted to it. I tell the day of the week now by the paintings…

what yesterday’s painting tells me …about how I was feeling, what the one from a week ago

was like.

Before this lockdown, knowing which day of the week it was depended on which of

my visitors came, my regular visitors. Maybe my paintings show what the visitors were like.

Their preferences. Would they recognise themselves? They’re not exactly portraits. And

anyway, they’ve been fixed outside, on my window, outside, and changed by the weather.


Funny to think that six weeks ago, I painted a rainbow and stuck a painting outside my

window for the first time. Why did I do that?

It was about trying to belong. Here. In lockdown. To be accepted, to be part of this

community, of anonymous flats. But why did I stick it outside?

I went out, when you still could, and bought paints and paper.

What did I think? That they’d believe there was a child living here? Maybe I meant it

as a joke.

Then I got bored. No phone messages, no online dating. No adrenalin. No sex. No

money. The bruises on my arm, from the Tuesday visitor, slowly started to turn yellow.

That was what I first painted, after the rainbow, the changing colour of the bruises.

Was that a warning I was hanging out my window? To others who might be tempted? ……A

cry for help? No! This is about me saying who I am. Who I am.

I was blotting paper before, wasn’t I? Soaking up what they came over me. Now I’m

saying who I am. Who I really am. Sharing it loud and clear, putting it out there. Sometimes I

tape pieces together to make a patchwork, all the different aspects of me. My kindness, my

need to be independent, my rejection of my god-awful childhood, my fuck you approach.


That Tuesday visitor. Always the same Tuesday afternoon time. Hardly spoke. So quiet,

never sharing anything about himself. I had to undress him. Then, when he started, pinning

me down, scary the first few times. I didn’t know how far it might go. Always leaving bruises,

on my arms, then afterwards, scuttling away with never a word. Not even waiting to be

kissed. But that last time, when I asked him where he lived and what he did, saying ‘I don’t

know anything about you.’ He changed. Slapped me about. Hard. I don’t know whether he

would have come back. How he might have been if he had.


Instead, I get paint all over my hands and arms.

Each day the rain comes and washes parts of the painting away. And the wind

creases it. And I bring it in and start again, sometimes bigger, or even more colourful, more

striking.

I never leave them out for more than twenty-four hours. I take them in and start

again. I have a need to change the picture each day. It’s like the pattern of clients. Daily

change. Some old and familiar, some new and risky. Some brutal and some gentle, some

quiet and shy, some bullying and demanding.


Sometimes I used to have a sore pussy, or nipples, but still the game went on. And I never

let on. I couldn’t. I wasn’t able to be honest. But now I can get in the shower when I want to,

not when I need to. Wash the paint off, not the cum.


Strange that before this I wanted to be, invisible, anonymous, safe. Now I’m advertising to

everyone, advertising who I am, to everyone.

The paintings are part me and part the world, how the world changes them, the rain,

the wind, the dust. How I change. Some are torn, but I love them just the same. They’re part

of me. I don’t throw any away. I remember them by the day. The day they were done. I can

see a journey in them. My journey.


They say we won’t be the same again after this lockdown. After this virus has gone.

Will I have anybody visit again? Will I want to? I’ll miss one or two of them. They probably

won’t miss me though, just my pussy.

I’ve not had to bother to shave.


I’m going to take pictures of the pictures. Have to find a use for my phone now. Take

pictures of the pictures… and put them up on Instagram. The Escort’s Story.

Yes.

Who would have thought Abi would become an artist? Not my clients that’s for sure. Not my

Tuesday afternoon visitor.

That’s my dream now. I’m taking my adverts down.

But I want to be visible. I want to be known as an artist. An independent artist.


Once the restrictions are gone, I’m going out…. to buy more paints.


Cover Photograph by Tillie Lam

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