This one was a little harder to write than the others, but I got through it. It was a necessary part of the story, even if it wasn't my favorite to write.
Disappointment and Opportunity
The whole modeling thing didn't work out exactly as I planned. Or hoped, I guess, is the right word. I never heard from Greg again, actually. I guess it wasn't really a big deal; I mean, I didn't really expect it to pan out. But it's so easy to get your hopes up, you know? It was one of the first things in my life that I really, truly wanted for myself. I'm a little embarrassed about it, but I actually found myself sitting beside the phone a few times. I just knew they were going to call me any minute, and then it would only be a few small steps before I was living the life of a model.
I think the draw of the whole model fantasy was the acceptance. I wanted so badly for people to recognize me for what I was, and to celebrate it. I got a taste of that when Greg gave me his card, and I wanted to feel that again. At first, I thought it was just the attention that attracted me, and in part, it was. But it was more than that. I craved acceptance.
That was one of the things I took from that ill-fated modeling sham. I finally figured out what I wanted most in life. I liked Amy because she wanted me for who I was. She didn't really try to change me. I mean she did, but it was because she knew who I was better than I did. I can say that now, but back then, I hadn't quite connected the dots, you know? I was on the verge, but I might as well have been miles away.
The other thing that I got out of the modeling thing was a new job.
It had been months since the photo shoot, and, to be honest, I'd mostly forgotten about it. Every now and then, I'd think about it, and get a little angry, but most of the time, I just didn't think about it. I guess that's how people deal with mistakes. Learn from them, and move on. But can we ever really escape those mistakes? I still think about mistakes I made in grade school, and feel embarrassed. Rationally, I know nobody would ever remember anything that far back, but that's just how my mind works.
Anyway, I was eating dinner one night when the phone rang. I won't recount the whole conversation, but the gist of it is this: a man named Gus Erickson had seen my pictures on some website online, and he wanted to talk to me about maybe jump starting my career. I knew it was a little cryptic, but when I asked him to explain further, he just asked me to meet him for a cup of coffee. He said that he'd explain everything. He also said that I would not be disappointed.
I wasn't sure what that meant, but I agreed to meet him. Why? I don't know. Maybe I still held out hope that I could be a model. Or maybe I was just lonely.
Either way, I went to the diner, and sat in a booth. After a few minutes, I didn't think he was going to show up. I thought that I had been duped yet again. And then I felt a tap on my shoulder.
The man I saw wasn't cool. He wasn't suave. He was just a normal, middle-aged guy. I started second-guessing my decision to meet him immediately.
When he sat down, he said, "I know I'm a little late, so I won't keep you in suspense. I'm Gus Erickson, and I make adult movies."
He was so blunt about it; I didn't know what to say, so I just let him talk.
"I saw your pictures on the internet; we look around at all sorts of sites trying to find new talent. When I saw you, I was blown away. You're everything I've been looking for in an actor," he explained. "I'm sorry. I'm not really tactful about all of this. But you're in the business. You know how it is."
"In the business?" I asked, a little confused.
"The adult film industry. I mean, it was obviously you in the pictures," he said.
"Wh--I think you've gotten the wrong idea. Where did you see them? They weren't supposed to be for anything but --"
"I see. You got scammed, didn't you?" he asked, real empathy in his voice.
"It happens a lot. Usually it's young girls, but, well it happens. I guess I've wasted your time, then. Thank you for meeting me anyway," he said, rising from the booth. "Good luck in your future endeavors."
And he started to walk out.
I was so confused. My pictures were on the internet? And Mr. Erickson wanted me to be in a movie? Me? What kind of movie? And then it hit me. I wanted to hear more. Listening didn't mean I had to do it, right?
Was it curiosity? Or did I really want to do it? I have to admit, the first thought that flashed through my mind was that it would solve the whole sex problem. I mean, doing it myself is fun and all, but it's nothing compared to being with someone.
"Wait!" I said. He turned, smiling. He knew he had me.
If I would have known then what I know now...would I have let him go? Maybe. Maybe not.