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Emma The Sugarbaby

Some time ago, in a land called Liberal Arts College, one junior said to hell with an education, and eschewed her design portfolio for a different kind of calling card. The New York Times had just written about this new phenomenon in which young girls sought out older, wealthy men to pay them for varying degrees of their company. The website was called Seeking Arrangements, and boasted a place for “sugar daddies” and “sugar babies” to link up. Through careful attention to semantics by the creators they avoided any legal trouble, despite being an obvious white-collar prostitution ring.

So with her new profile, fake name and raging, prolonged sense of entitlement, Emma went forth as a lady of the, well the mid afternoon actually, because all of those men had wives to go home to at night. I carried on as her roommate who was about to graduate and leave her behind. Emma had purposely set herself back by taking various semesters off in order to prolong the suspended state of not-realadulthood common in college. So for our last few months together she ignored my growing alcoholism that I considered to be a right of passage into adulthood, in exchange for my silence concerning her choices.

As commencement came upon us, all of the new graduates became busy with benders and having unexpected midnight heart to hearts with their parents about how daddy didn’t love mommy anymore, or they were actually adopted. Meanwhile, Emma was busy letting a fat, Greek, Midtown club owner use his vibrator on her after he bought her a Bryant Park scone and gave her twenty dollars. This was what most of the sugar daddies considered an “interview.” It typically consisted of an innocuous day date that ended in getting felt up in a cab and presented with a freshly minted Andrew Jackson.

I always found that an astoundingly low number, but it was consistent. Another friend had a foray into prostitution our freshman year. This was gay prostitution though, which I had an entirely nonchalant reaction to. Perhaps it was because of the pride of liberated, young gay males in New York City, or because of complicated social symptoms having to do with youth, folly, feminism or my own rampant double standards, you choose. Regardless, he received the same interview fee after cleaning a fat, German man’s house in the nude, and then letting him finger his asshole in the shower using Pert Plus as a lubricant. Yet again, not worth twenty bucks, which in New York will buy you a hot pile of nothing.

Anyway, as the tension built between Emma and I, she decided that I should move out. I obviously didn’t want to live with her anymore, but moving in New York is one fucking hassle you don’t want forced upon you. To make it worse, after a month of being surrounded by congratulations, ceremonies and parties, I was unable to process anyone telling me to do anything. My personal belief is that she needed a freer zone in which to bring clients, but instead of wanting to lead her away from the dark side, my only reaction was to passive aggressively slam a few doors before going out to a bar.

I returned that night with a merry band of friends who just wanted to lie on the floor and sing Stevie Nicks. Emma had the audacity to tell us to be quiet, and much like a werewolf had bitten me, I flew off the handle. I threw things. One friend tried to subdue me with a cigarette and then I threw that. I screamed. I called her a succubus, a prostitute, and my personal favorite, a prostitution whore, because I guess just one of those wasn’t sufficient. I pulled things off the walls. One of my more trailer park friends quipped, “I didn’t know you had this in you,” as he put me in a full body hug and I tried to Tara Reid my way out of it. Finally, once I’d just made myself too tired to keep screaming, I decided to walk away, but not before the denouement of flipping the coffee table across the room.

The next day I immediately went to Home Depot and bought boxes, tape and threw up on the steps as I exited. And after all of that I’m not sure what the moral of the story is. Maybe it’s something sweet about how you kids shouldn’t feel bad for being fuck ups. Or maybe it’s a cautionary tale, because the fall from grace is short and hard, like most of Emma’s clients. She and I haven’t spoken since that night, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that she graduated, and is probably working at a coffee shop in Brooklyn like Lena Dunham in that show. And I’m sure one day we’ll pass one another on the street and share a knowing nod that says, “I’ve seen your crazy, bitch. Live long and prosper.” So I guess the point might be that in the end, all of the tables you flip and dicks you suck for money wash down river, so let your fucking freak flag fly.

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