The Little Mermaid


About the Author: Carmen is an independent escort currently stay in London, she is also a fashion model, artist , writer. She claimed she is going to experience the world from a different perspective.

When I was young I was given a set of two white traditionally bound books by my grandmother. It was a compilation of stories written by Hans Christian Andersen. As an only child who often drifted off into my own intellectual world, I have to admit I must have read those books at least twenty times over a period of a decade. Never tiring of the tales for their surface value as a story but never realising the depth of the writing until much later in life.

One of the most memorable stories was that of a young mermaid who fell in love with a prince who lived on land, and often came up to the edge of the water to look for her love. It’s a long convoluted tale and with all the build-up one would assume that there is a happy ending in store for ye old little mermaid. It is a fairy tale after all?

The mermaid offers up her tongue to a witch in return for a pair of legs so that she can go on land to be with her love, the prince. In order to be with him she must be a mute and willing to suffer in pain with every step she takes on dry land. The mermaid makes this trade gladly but despite her sacrifice never gets to be with her prince due to a series of complications.

I was raised in a “can do” type culture where everything was possible. Ambitious dreams were always encouraged. I was told I was smart and beautiful and that I could do anything, have anything and be anything. An idealist with high expectations, my twenties were an era of violent ass kickings that served to bring my expectations back in line with reality.

Ironically, although I am ambitious the only thing I ever really wanted was love. Having a deceased father at an early age left me with a male attention seeking personality that often got me mixed up with the wrong sorts. It’s also the gift that I bring to this occupation because I’m a people pleaser, an entertainer and somehow going beyond the line of duty to please a man is pre-programmed in my wiring. It is instinctive and natural to me.

It never occurred to me that even though a person might be willing to go to the ends of the earth to please another person, that person may not be the right person for the other person. I thought love conquers all and all must be done in the pursuit of love. But sometimes the sacrifice that must be made for love is to walk away even if you feel like you are walking on swords as Hans Christian Andersen so aptly puts it. (My heart goes out to this man; I can only imagine what he must have gone through to write with such insight.)

I know a man who spends every day in close proximity to the woman he loves and never says anything. I thought he was crazy and told him so but now am beginning to realise the method in his madness. I know another man who loves his wife desperately but hates to be the one to initiate intimacy and rather than be a bother, he has simply made another plan. Sometimes being the person in need does not mean that you are what the other person needs.

An anniversary is approaching, one that marks one of the most auspicious days in my life and every day I look at my telephone with expectation and hope. Hope that he will break before I do but every day passes with no phone call. I realise the reason he does not make the call is the same reason I don’t make the call. If you cannot offer a person what they deserve, love is selfishness. There is more honour in walking away on a bed of swords than to make the phone call.

I live and work in very close proximity to this man and very often we must be within meters of each other. I look for him in crowds and twice have chased after strangers with his hair, walk and gait only to find it is not him. The atmosphere is so thick you can cut it with a knife yet I know I am not what is good for him. I sense his presence in my personal radius and it haunts me.

Being a companion is much like being a contract killer. There is a very big part of your life you cannot discuss with anyone, least of all someone that you love. There is a possibility that you can bring harm to your lover albeit unintentional. You can do your job with absolute precision but this is a game of numbers and one day your number will come up. How do you contain this world so that it does not blow back on others who have not chosen this life?

The only way to do this job successfully is to isolate yourself and be an island. If you have no attachments, you cannot feel pain. If you are not cheating on someone or hiding your occupation there is no need to lead a double life. If somebody willingly accepts what you do, there is something wrong with the relationship. There is only this life and your clients are your friends. The secret to never being disappointed by people is to never make yourself vulnerable to people. The formula for protecting the people you love is to stay away from them.

I made a series of trade-offs and compromises in the hopes of being ready for the anniversary of this special day, yet all of my concessions have come to nought and I still fall short of the prize. An achievement that is in the air but not yet attained is not an achievement at all. If you climb Mount Everest but fall short of the summit by forty metres, you cannot say you have climbed to the summit of Mount Everest. You will never be the person who can go out there and announce; “hey everyone I am the guy who climbed Mount Everest”. You will have to say; I am the person who almost climbed Mount Everest and forty meters before I reached the finish line I realised I had forgotten to put on my snow shoes and my feet were frozen in the snow ……. (Insert your own bullshit story here).

A valuable exercise in Napoleonic warfare, despite a month of achievements… failure to meet a deadline seems imminent. I have made such great progress yet fallen short of the goal. It seems I am consigned to the group of people who must walk on a bed of swords for at least another year as my window of opportunity passes. Can I make any other compromises or trade-offs, yes there are a number of things I can do to evade delivery by deadline. Chickening out and compromising gets you nowhere in life, I have thirty four years’ experience which can attest to that fact. If I am to learn my lesson once and for all, I will have to feel the pain.

So here I lie in the snow, forty meters from Mount Everest and the only window of opportunity to come back and try again is next year. The ocean is so far behind me now there’s no point in going back and my deal with the witch is done anyway so there’s no hope of an unwind. I’ll just have to go back to base and plot my next attempt at the summit.

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