We were flirting like mad and chatting up a storm. On the dance floor with a cute woman, ten years my junior and doing well. Despite being very drunk, or perhaps because of it, I was having one of the best nights I can ever remember. As is often the case remembering became the difficult part.
Her name was Gobbsy; no that was really her name. All of a sudden, this very attractive woman looked at me as though I’d killed her pet dog Fluffy. Given the look she gave me I thought Gobbsy might slap me across the face. Then she just left me standing on the dance floor, a gormless look tattooed on my face.
The next Monday as I walked out of the lifts at work, there was Gobbsy; she nearly spat on me. What had I said? What had I done? I skulked into my office and physically sweated worrying about what my poor behaviour might have been.
Only one week earlier a bus full of people from the Advertising agency I worked for had departed for a long weekend to Thredbo, a local ski resort. I sat down and Gobbsy plonked herself next to me. We chatted and laughed and drank for the entire six hour drive.
All weekend Gobbsy and I would sit together and chat. The chatting turned to flirting. We spent one whole night dancing together before she returned to the room she shared with three others girls.
A week later the agency had a movie night. The theme was come as a character from the movies. Everyone was dressed up except for me; I went with a sign around my neck that read, “James Dean’s bloated corps”. We hired a small old-fashioned movie theatre and watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
An old-fashioned cigarette girl ensured that everyone had a constant flow of alcohol. After the movie we all moved upstairs to the dance floor and that’s when Gobbsy sidled up to me. She looked hot, she was dressed as Carry in a white robe smeared in blood. We talked, we flirted and then we danced.
The music was loud so Gobbsy had to put her arm around my shoulder and speak directly into my ear.
She gave me a cheeky smile.
“So… what do you think of prostitutes?” She asked.
“Hookers, what do you think of hookers?”
“I’ve never really thought about them much.” I said. “S’pose they’re just people doing a job, like the rest of us.”
Gobbsy smiled and gave me a look that could melt butter and make it hard at the same time.
She leaned over real close and said, “Have you ever been with a prostitute?”
I’m not the best looking bloke and I’m still thinking that this pretty young woman is coming on to me.
Body language is great and she’s all over me.
“No.” I said telling the truth.
“Have you ever wanted to go with a prostitute?” She asked.
This is a test better not blow it.
“Just really not my thing.” There was only one answer I could give.
“What do you mean?” She asked. She was definitely trying to test my moral fortitude.
“I just wouldn’t go with a prostitute. You don’t know where they’ve been.”
“Sorry?” She said.
“Besides, you don’t know what you might catch.” I even started a list.
That was it, that’s what I said the night Gobbsy walked out. She worked for the agency for another six months and in that time she didn’t say a word to me.
About two years after Gobbsy had left the agency she walked past a restaurant that I was having lunch in.
“Hey… there’s Gobbsy!” Said Ox. “Did you know she’s a prostitute? The Creative Director of McCann’s pays for her to live in an apartment in Paddington.”
I didn’t hear the rest of what Ox had to say. The dam had burst and the memories of that night came flooding back. For those two years, even though I could not remember what terrible thing I had said, I had lived with guilt.