Before I was married and had kids I had a friend named Natasha who was a dominatrix. She called the other day to catch up. Told me she was recovering from a brain aneurysm that had ruptured while she was in her dungeon on Sunset. She’d fainted, and was rushed unconscious in a red latex dress to the hospital. Things turned out okay, although she said she’d sworn off men and was living with her transsexual female slave in a loft in downtown LA. She wasn’t accepting any new clients. After we hung up I looked at her website and saw that she was pretty as ever—long auburn hair, green eyes, and a body as small and compact as a stick of dynamite.

Natasha’s real name was Nancy. She was British–Puerto Rican and had grown up in council housing in Birmingham, England. Her dad had been addicted to heroin and overdosed when she was sixteen. Afterward she and her mom moved to the States. Natasha once told me that her dad sometimes contacted her in angel form. I didn’t know whether to believe her or not, but I never said anything because that sounded like a really nice way to communicate.

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