Sometimes, when money is short, you find yourself willing to undertake things – paid work – that you would not normally have ever entertained. You find a sudden flexibility in your pride and your prudishness. A willingness to consider options that normally you would have laughed at. Even scoffed at.
Today, at lunchtime, I became a male model.
In exchange for £10 I allowed a local artist to do whatever she wanted with me for a whole hour. I allowed her to pore over my blushing form, to caress my trembling curves with graphite, to render me intimately in tone and texture upon the naked page.
I wore my leopard-skin Y-fronts especially.
And I am glad to say they were not needed. No people, scrub those unwholesome visions of my rude deflowerment from your eyes. There was nothing at all seedy about the transaction.
I was not required to present my male virility nude, naked or otherwise disrobed. It was merely portrait modelling. Head and shoulders. My clavicles upwards. Not even as far down as my man-boobs (very tight and pert thank you for asking).
And to be honest it was a very pleasant hour indeed.
I shan’t name the artist as that would be unfair but she’s a local Asian lady, well into her eighties, with a passion for painting and drawing. A number of my friends model for her and for £10 an hour and a sandwich it’s the easiest work you’re ever likely to get. To be honest the homemade lunch would have been payment enough. The £10 per session is a lovely bonus and means I can buy myself the odd treat. It’s almost like getting pocket money. Add into that mix fascinating conversation, genuine kindness and a wonderful sense of humour and it’s a damn good way to spend a lunch time.
I shall be going back next week and for as many weeks as the benevolent Mrs X is willing to entertain my visage beneath her immaculately décored roof.
I’d be an idiot not to.
After all, only fools and horses...