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May 2000 Features
xmag.com : May 2000 : Diamond Dave

Zola said the philosophical core of Nana illustrated 'a whole society hurling itself at the cunt.'


Nana Book Cover"I want a plain girl," ordered Dave over the phone around four in the morning. "Not a lot of makeup. No fishnet stockings, no high heels. I've dealt with other escort services and they always send over these girls who look like whores."

"That can be a problem," I agreed, trying to stifle my laughter. "But you needn't worry about that with our service. Our girls don't parade around through the streets like Lady Godiva. They blend into the surroundings. I think you'd enjoy Robin. Dark hair, dark eyes, 5' 2", cute figure."

"Big breasts?"


"Is she a country girl?"

"She grew up on a farm in Kansas."

Robin's a city girl, but I tell the meatballs what they want to hear. Dave had a clipped accent I couldn't identify. I heard classical music in the background behind his soft, smooth voice. He spoke of traveling to Brazil, India, South Africa and other parts of the world buying diamonds, which he resold in the states.

'she agreed to take the diamond for a hand job.'

He lived alone on what he called a "gentleman's farm" about 50 miles north of the city. Too far for the girl to go at that hour, I told him, but if he wanted to come into the city and get a motel, we could work something out. He agreed to meet me outside my apartment and call me from his cell on his arrival.

I called Robin, who later gave him the nickname "Diamond Dave," then hung around outside, with cell in hand, waiting for both of them. In the crisp night air, the sidewalk was deserted except for a few street people huddled in doorways. Headlights stabbed the darkness from a police cruiser rounding the block. The cop slowed down and eyed me, then moved on. Except for the cell, I probably didn't fit the profile of a drug dealer, though quite a few crack addicts and dime bag freelancers work this neighborhood.

Diamond Dave showed up first in a blue Porsche. Getting out of his car, he stumbled. I grabbed his arm to keep him from falling, caught a glimpse of a big diamond ring on his little finger, the whiff of liquor on his breath and some wretched cologne encircling his large head. Short and stocky, his flat face, tiny eyes and pug nose gave him the appearance of an over-the-hill boxer down for the last count. He regained his composure, surveyed the empty street, stumbled in front of a tavern window.

"Closed," he groaned. He returned to his car and steadied himself with a hand on the hood, "There is so much disappointment in the world," he shouted, waving his right arm in-the air. "Do you know disappointment? It comes in so many forms. People lie to me. They cheat and steal; I am a very honest person. You won't take advantage of me, will you? I mean, right now, I'm disappointed. I thought when I got here, this woman would be here, standing here, glowing."

Though he was pickled, I felt bad shattering his fantasy. It’s a drag to drive an hour down the freeway deep in the night expecting an encounter with a radiant lady and see instead the face of a pimp. Luckily, his song of passion was not in vain, for Robin wheeled up in a taxi, jumped out in the street, just as the morning sun cast its first ray of light behind her. Too bad there wasn't an old church nearby to ring out some chimes.

"Here she is," I chirped, "glowing just for you."

I stepped aside so they could talk for a moment. Robin came over and whispered in my ear.

"He's so drunk, I can do him in his car."

Diamond Dave grinned, that universal hungry grin men give to each other when one of them is about to have an adventure in amour. I walked around the corner, back through an alley into a parking lot where I could keep an eye on them. It started raining. I stood in the rain for a long 30 minutes. Robin finally emerged and the blue Porsche drove away.

Back at my apartment, I peeled off my clothes and shivered in a sweatsuit next to the heater. Robin unwrapped a piece of thin paper the size of a matchbook and examined her booty. She handed it to me and I gazed at it under the light.

"I dunno," she said, "He told me it was worth $1,400, but it might be fake."

He had told her he didn't have any money on him, so. he offered her a diamond. She argued with him, explained she only worked for cash. But he wore her down. Not wanting the night to be a loss, she agreed to take the diamond for a hand job.

"If it's really worth $1,400, that will be a great deal, " she said.

We both had our doubts, confirmed the next day at a jewelry store. Zircon. I was pissed off, but I brushed it aside. After all, Diamond Dave out-hustled me, a chance you take in my business. The next night we got a better call at a hotel, No country girl tonight. Robin looked hot. Black silk top cut low, yellow mini-skirt, black pantyhose, yellow-high heels.

While sitting in the lobby of the hotel waiting for the hour to pass, I pulled the worthless rock out of my pocket and held it up to the light. Might this speck of mineral be a decree from the oily darkness of nature warning me of troubles ahead? Nah. Tonight would be better, and so would the nights ahead. I felt a hand on my shoulder.

"Let's get out of here," said Robin, standing behind me.

As we left the hotel, I felt the fictional presence of another woman in the elegant, ornately furnished lobby: Nana, the poor girl who enticed the rich of Paris into her golden web in Emile Zola's masterpiece. Zola said the philosophical core of Nana illustrated "a whole society hurling itself at the cunt."

Nana and Robin have a lot in common. But Robin did not emerge from the pages of a novel. She's real. So, too, is the green she handed me as we walked toward my car, her body shimmering in yellow and black, like a sun bursting across the sky at midnight. My midnight.




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