Sunday, April 11, 2010

The rich, older man

Yes, I know I haven’t posted in months. But I’ve been busy doing things worth posting about, working on a special report you could say.

I have somehow become an accidental gold digger, and my special report concludes thus: it seems that being a gold digger isn’t easy.

The rich, older man and young woman combination is such a cliché in this city and so widespread, it was just a matter of time. Here’s how I got drawn into it.

Two months ago I was introduced to the CEO of a private equity business. Let’s call him Mr.X. Many things about him didn’t make sense: why did he have the time to take me out to lunch? Why did he make so much effort to be charming? And why did he stay in touch? In my naivety I thought he just wanted sex. He flirted a lot and talked to our mutual friend about me. All my insecurities were activated. I thought I had found a mentor of sorts.

But through all the graciousness, he had the most intense stare. His eyes fixed on me with blue-gray steel. He said he was good at reading people, but I didn’t know what he was looking for, and what he had found in me.

Now I think maybe it’s this. Female journalists are supremely placed to meet rich, older men, and, for the sake of the job, to charm them. After years of doing this two or three times a week, you also become quite good at it. Worst of all normal people doing normal things begin to bore you.

You find ways to escalate experiences, to find the extremes.

After a period of ‘courtship’ he made his real move – he introduced me to his client, Mr.Y, an even richer, older man. This man had been the real object of his courtship for an investment of US$ 3 million. He also happened to go to the same school as me in London twenty years ago, and was divorced and lonely. Given his cold and fastidious character, an ordinary whore would have been too vulgar. He needed a high class escort without the escort label: i.e. a well educated, cultured, gold digger.

Yes, I’m the perfect fit – except for the motivation. I’m motivated not by money but by what? I don’t even know. Curiosity perhaps, validation. I was a welcoming present, an object.

I went on a date with Mr.Y – where he changed the time to fit his schedule, and changed the location to his building. On these dates the man gets it all his way, they’re not really interested in you. That was how he related to the whole world: when he says jump, everyone says how high.

I found all the gatherings of this circle to be sad, surreal affairs - a mishmash of oddly matched people who had nothing to say to each other, but who were still desparate to be there. Young, beautiful local women sat in silence like they didn’t exist while the men talked shop. Young guys hanging on to their every word, the lackeys, the groupies. A friend became one of them, a young man who was changing before my eyes from a sweet hearted kid.

But crazily enough I consider continuing. Perhaps because I’m used to self abuse. Or because the story isn’t finished yet. Curiosity always has me in its grip, and I’m compelled to open the blinds.

At the same time I walk away from innocence.

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