The night my piano teacher discovered I was a hustler, I told him to die, and years later, he did.
As I understood it, the tricks were the ones who gave me the money, so I never thought of my piano teacher as a trick. When we met, I was sixteen and had just started hustling. I’d go over to his house and he’d undress me and fuck me, we would drink a cup of tea and begin the lesson. I knew I would never be a virtuoso like him, but I continued with our arrangement because I enjoyed the warmth of his shoulders brushing up against mine as he guided my fingering.
He also bailed me out of trouble. Like on the night of my junior homecoming, when I stole a bottle of whiskey from his liquor cabinet and took it to the dance. Somewhere between peeing on a telephone pole and rolling into the soccer field, I blacked out. When I came to, my back was pressed against the leather upholstery in the backseat of his car. We were in the parking lot of a QFC, but we were the only ones. He had bought me a loaf of bread because he didn’t want me to puke. My jeans were pulled down to my ankles and he was in me. The bread was unopened. Afterwards, he drove me back to his house. In the morning he told me not to drink so much. I asked him not to tell anyone what had happened.
I loved being at his house, the big, white cube with oddly shaped windows. It had heated floors and stone countertops. When we fucked on them I felt rich. He had beautiful dogs that looked like sculptures when they napped. I wanted to speak the way he spoke, fervently, about the nature and purpose of art, what it was and wasn’t, what it should and shouldn’t do. I envied his taste. I loved sleeping in his massive bed, sprawled out on sheets of an unfathomable thread count. At my house my sister and I shared a twin mattress and took turns sleeping on the couch.