My dad told me not to worry about it. He told me it’s the world’s oldest profession. He was right. Ever since Adam ate that apple we’ve been chasing her. Every man pays for it in some way. It could be buying dinners or rings. For some men it just comes down to cash. I never had to pay for it before the accident. It was the opposite. Women chased me. From the age of sixteen I’ve always had a woman after me. I had three different women ask me to move in with them. I did. I was a non-professional gigolo. Now I sit in my wheelchair wondering what women are thinking when they stare. They stare at me but I no longer know why. I wink and flirt but none of them want me… the good ones that is. The bad ones want me. There’s been a succession of the bad ones. By the bad ones I mean the broken ones. But you’re sitting half-deaf in a wheelchair, I hear you say. Well by broken I mean emotionally broken. But aren’t you emotionally broken yourself, I hear you ask? Well ok, I mean a succession of wrong women. I have a silver bearded and bilingual neighbour who told me I was crazy for turning any woman down in my position (no legs, no memory, no job, no money, no hope). He was right and I am wrong but I am happy and wrong. I can tell by looking a woman in the eye if it’s going to work. I can tell by looking at a woman’s body if it’s going to be worth the effort. The feminists and angry women are shouting SEXIST PIG!!!! I can hear them. Angry women and feminists don’t live in the real world. They say it’s a man’s world but it’s the woman who chooses. Most women haven’t figured that out. The feminists haven’t figured that out.

I keep meeting women who want to be my friend. They keep giving me their phone numbers. I want to fuck all of them, even the ugly ones. Everybody wants a friend but me. I’m not a misanthrope but I don’t need people the way they do. I’d be happy with one person if they were the right person. I have a phone and wallet full of people’s names and phone numbers I’ve forgotten. When I say people I mean women I’ve forgotten. I should be more careful. My mother tells me off. She tells me that I’m too picky and also tells me that by going for looks alone I am missing out on some really special women. She is right and I am wrong but I am happy and wrong. I keep meeting nutters. I keep meeting the strangest women. They’re drawn to me. Maybe it’s the wheelchair or maybe they can just smell my pain. There was a beautiful woman just the other week. She stood in front of my wheelchair to block my way. I smiled at her and she burst into tears. She didn’t say a word. She didn’t say why she was crying. She just stood crying while I sat wondering. I sat wondering if she was crying with me, for me or over me? Again I know I shouldn’t be so picky. Maybe if I got to know her and cuddled her she’d stop crying but I didn’t want to find out. I’ve cried enough of my own tears.

Women. I thought I knew them before the accident that almost killed me. I did know them as I was then. I don’t know women as I am now. A Female Friend told me off a while ago. She is a mother of two and took the tone of a mother of two as she told me. She told me off as I told her of the women who’ve turned me down since being in a wheelchair. I said that heaps of women had flirted with me so I’d asked them out but none wanted to get to know me. I’m always asking women out after they’ve flirted with me to be told they’ve got a husband or boyfriend at home. I asked Female Friend if they were flirting with me at all or was I misreading signals? I told her I thought that they were. Female Friend took that mother tone as she almost screamed, they’re not flirting with you; they’re probably just impressed and want to get to know you. Impressed with and want to get to know what, I asked, the wheelchair, the hearing aids or the buggered brain? Andy, she said again like a mother, they’d be impressed because you’re pushing yourself up hills and not giving up. I told her I’d rather they were unimpressed and still wanted to fuck me. She said, well they’re not are they? She is wiser than me. My mum always says, don’t you know mothers know everything? Female Friend knew it. Mothers do know everything.

I still need sex as much as I always have. Not being able to get it has turned me into a wanker. I wank like a horny boy. I wank four or five times a week. My spinal injury has affected my legs bum dick and mind. Some nights as I lay wanking my cock goes limp. Some nights as I lay wanking my cock goes limp from thinking too much. The animal in me pauses as it peers out of the woods. I start to question why I’m doing it? I wonder why I’m laying on a bed with a box of Kleenex waiting to come on to sheets of 2-ply. It’s really my mind that goes limp. Just last week my mind took over as my Macintosh was connected to Melons Tube. The first image made me swell. I fell in love with the girl on my screen. Somehow my love of the girl on the screen was killed. I lay watching busty teen sex videos while my erection faded. At first I didn’t know why my erection was shrinking. The images turned me on. It was only after the pitch of my lust was quietened that I could hear what my mind was saying. My mind was reminding me of the excitement of a woman’s breath on the side of my neck. My mind was reminding me of cuddling a woman until she falls asleep snoring. My mind was reminding me of waking up and still being in love. My mind is at war with my heart and my soul. My mind is at war with love. I miss love. I still need love as much as I always have. My body needs love as much as my mind.

They’ve agreed to pay for two visits to a sex worker specialising in spinal injuries. I looked at her website. The photo on her page made her look like she works in a fish and chip shop. She looked old weathered but happy. I rang my case manager and told them I would rather have my penis lowered into a deep-fat fryer than put it in that dirty old thing. It took a lot of ringing around before they found me a younger version. She’s a hot Asian. The photo on her site makes her look like an engineering student. I rang her on a Wednesday afternoon. She picked up so I introduced myself and told her the name of my insurance company. She told me she’d heard of me and the complications related to my injury. A friend had given me a list of things to ask her. I launched into them. I asked her if I could expect penetration out of an encounter? I told her I’ve only managed a three quarter hard since the accident. I told her that might be because I haven’t been turned on properly or that it could be because of damage to the spinal cord. I asked if I would be allowed to penetrate her or not? She paused a second before she answered. She said timidly that she couldn’t really talk as she was actually on the bus. I laughed and asked her again, come on tell me what can I expect and am I allowed to fuck you? She laughed and I laughed again. It made me happy to think I could still relate to the opposite sex but sad to think that I now had to pay for it.

I still can’t decide wether I should go through with it. It feels dirty having to pay for sex. It also feels dirty laying on my bed with a hand on it with 2-ply at the ready. They say money can’t buy love. Money can’t buy love but money can make it feel like it.

Andrew Stuart Buchanan

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