Since discovering – by accident, mind – that New Flatmate has been displaying her specialist telephone skills in some of Soho’s spunkiest telephone boxes, I have decided that enough is enough. I am moving out; but not before taking my landline with me and demanding that I get a cut of New Flatmate’s profits or else her parents get one of her calling cards in the post. In retrospect, I think I may have been slightly naïve in thinking that New Flatmate spoke to many different men on the phone for hours every night without charging them for her time. Because, in the most simplistic and basest language, she’s a phone-slut. She makes a living not from temping, as I would have believed, but by using my phone number as a wankline. If anyone is interested, New Flatmate charges sexually frustrated men £50 a shot for the pleasure of hearing her say things such as ‘ooh baby’ and ‘I’m not wearing any knickers’. Easy money, yeah, if you have the guts to charge for it (which, unfortunately, I don’t), but it’s not exactly the nicest thing to take a call from a man who is desperate to be stimulated orally when you think you’re answering a call from your similarly-voiced grandfather.
When I confronted New Flatmate about her calling cards (after laughing especially hard at the doctored image of her breasts – they are not that size) she had the guts to admit the truth to me. Her ‘business’, as she lovingly calls it, remains a bedroom operation only – with her records of who she speaks to crudely carved on her headboard. “This sub division here,” New Flatmate said almost proudly, “is where I keep records of the number of men who want me to pretend I am a ladyboy.” She pointed to another section. “And this one,” she gushed on, “is my total tally of how many men I have spoken to since moving here.” I counted about 70 different notches. And began to feel queasy. But from inspecting her headboard (her ‘inventory’ as she so wittily put it) it is clear to see that business is booming, despite my efforts at trekking around the red-light district removing the sticky mess of cards advertising ‘hot phone action’. And while I really don’t mind what New Flatmate gets up to in the privacy of her room, it is time I moved on.
I think, when it comes down to it, I am slightly jealous that New Flatmate has this exciting double life in which she can make men completely submissive just from caressing them with her voice. You just listen to her talking and it’s an immediate ‘phwoor’ – she’s mastered the tone and huskiness of her voice so much that she can bring a man to some frenzied state just by saying his name. And that, I shamefully admit, is what bothers me the most. You see, I’ve always secretly hankered after looking less like a nice, respectable twenty-something girl and more of a sexual, oozing creature – one that just has to do a kind of dirty, post-coital smile to bring a man to orgasm. I’m going to start smoking again just to add to the image of me being a slut about town, and instead of looking like butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth; I’m going to let it drip down my chin. But not before asking if there are any men who would like to lick it off. I’m going to properly reinvent myself – with plans to walk around respectable areas of London with my ‘just got outta your bed’ hair, and scarlet love-bites bruising on my neck – my own personal tally that could put New Flatmate’s headboard to shame. I want to tarnish my whole image so that people can finally see that maybe I’m not as innocent and as decent as they would believe. And while it may seem like I’m pressing the self-destruct button on myself and my carefully honed ‘nice’ persona, it is in image only that I plan to look like a harlot – because I just don’t have the guts to go the whole hog like New Flatmate does in the dead of the night.
Although this may seem like an extreme reaction to the discovery that New Flatmate is capitalising on her sexual inhibitions, I think the whole issue of reinventing myself runs deeper than that. For so long now I’ve been achieving things on the basis of hard work, while at the back of my mind I always knew that I could get even further if I simply applied a slash of red to my lips. I plan to adopt a philosophy where pouting and playing hard to get ensures that I get further ahead, fucking my way to the top without having to open my legs. While I may seem in the midst of a nervous breakdown, I feel more focused than ever – sod The Boyfriend, sod social etiquette and damn anyone who dares to think that I’m making a fool of myself. Because the fact remains that I’m not – how can I be when I am simply manipulating what men want for my own gain? I think I would be more egotistical if I believed that people would want to be near me for who I was inside than rather how I looked, but I think if I can combine the two, and make such a wicked package out of both – I can’t go wrong. Right? I mean, Jesus, this column shouldn’t be called The Fox for nothing.