What does a woman like in a man?

A rich old man hired the services of a courtesan, in whose veins whirled the first froth of youth. The old man was tired and all spent up. He used to pop happy azure pills to inject life in his dry melancholy bones. The man was proud of his filthy affluence. When he entered the chamber of the courtesan, he was attired in a brown silk suit and blue suede shoes. A fat gold chain dangled from his wrinkled neck.

‘I am proud of the riches I’ve,’ he said. She understood that the old man was a snob. But she didn’t complain, as the man – from each of his wrinkled pore – exuded money. And she needed every ounce of money to survive the wicked world.

‘You’re rich,’ she said, in a tone of feigned playfulness. The man too smiled a vacant smile, as he opened a small bottle of enchanted pills: a bottle that he conjured from somewhere. He popped three blue pills and washed them down with water. And, with his creased face turning taut, he looked at the woman who sat on the large bed. The woman sat with her legs soothed by the pillows kept under her thighs, and her back reclined on the cushioned headboard. He found her lovely and young. His ashen face turned blood red and taut, at the sight of her youth and loveliness. ‘Lucky me!’ he exclaimed. ‘I am fortunate that you are a courtesan and not a nun.’

She looked through his presence, and next she pulled a pillow which lay on the coir mattress on the floor. She placed the pillow on the headboard, to let the nape of her neck rest on it. Relaxed, she closed her eyes and said: ‘A courtesan and a nun, are they not one? Kindred spirits they are! One nurses through her prayer and the other… through her pain.’

The rich man was in no mood for such austere talks. His face was taut and red, and he took off his shirt and shoes. He was aching for comfort; his old withered bones wanted to embrace something young and lovely. But he had a question in mind: a question that he asked every woman, whose services he used to hire. ‘What do you like in a man?’ the old man asked the young woman. The woman had her eyes closed, and the nape of her neck rested on a pillow. She was in a reverie, yet she spoke. ‘Does it matter?’ she asked.

‘It does,’ he said, and repeated his age-old question with a slight variation. ‘What does a woman like in a man?’

He unchained the golden wristband of his diamond studded watch. She opened her eyes and looked searchingly at the oldish face, as she said:

‘Youth.’

The tautness left the old face, and it turned withered and pale again.

 

(From Confessions of a Cuckold Maker)

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