by Andrea Brandt *


Between Assignments  

When handling an assignment, I consider the subject, location, and the people. Logistics are critical. The how is part of the list. The why is part of my fee. There appears little carry over to my private life. I’m messy. My hotel rooms are a mess. I write this for NPJ with the aforementioned in mind. 

I sat on the terrace of a hotel room. Gazed over the Mediterranean while sipping a Mimosa and began a mental diary written backwards. I’m single. Have been for the past twenty-five years. Have lost track of the men I have slept with. I never kept a black book with names and numbers. Don’t know how much I would have benefitted from it.

I’ll be honest. I am now in my very late forties. I’m on the verge of the half-century mark. I enjoy fucking without strings attached. Particularly given my job and the stress. Who were the men I slept with? Well, most affairs were not in a supine position on a bed. So, I question whether they qualify as “slept with” or even affairs.  

I lost track of the number. Except on that particular morning. I began grouping the men I had sex with since 1999. First by country and city or other locale, then personality, occupation (really?), otherwise anything atypical. Who were those that captured my attention? What was the enticing characteristic? It wasn’t easy. I had to rethink the stratum of what constituted satisfaction. Names, especially surnames, are a more complicated memory task. 

Many men were simply an immediate need. Vaginas have power when it comes to picking a man up and letting him think he’s picking you up. I liked when a man was totally into me. Lust can be fun. His charisma was more important than physical characteristics. Though I had to be physically attracted to them. I have a male (non-fucking) companion. We communicate. We understand each other. All things being equal personality and projection of the inner person got the nod from me. That philosophical approach lasted for years. Not for my colleague she was into the physical, period. I like words. I like conversation. She could have cared less.

The men that counted were into satisfying me. Or they were good at pretending to get lost in me. I was able to vividly recall between ten and fifteen of those men. And about half of those really stood out. I wanted more of those few. It was raw and personal for both of us.

I like the company of men and an occasional woman. My selection criteria is changing. I am changing. The people I want near me are changing. There marital status is their business. They have to deal with it. If they want a therapist, I charge a fee. Today more than ever I inspect them like I inspect anything before trying on. I always carry protection. It’s my experience. I like warmth, and the winter of life is here before you know it.

I’m working on picking up the guy in the next room though the bartender is really cute, love his smile and yet he appears shy for the work he does. But then perhaps it was my lowcut dress. I have cleavage. Most men like cleavage. They also like classy dresses and heels. I know what I want. A look and a voice that says I will worship you goes a long way with me even if it’s for one afternoon standing and leaning against a wall.

My next assignment begins in few days and will require some intense focus, a clear head, and caution. My lifestyle in a given week feels like a coin flip. A colleague calls my lifestyle fearless.

*Journalist. Germany.