“That would be a feather in my cap,” said the escort. “To be the one who brought back the famous Natalia.”
“No, thanks,” said Natalia, which is what she tells her old clients who call from time to time. “I say I’m retired, in repose. They say, ‘Come on, let me buy you a drink. I’ll be good.’ I tell them, ‘Look, we had fun and I love you. But that is over.’ Mostly, they understand. Some are willing to stay friends, some can’t wait to get off the phone. They’ve got other numbers in their book.”
That doesn’t mean a girl has to stay home at night. New York, after all, is a big place, full of opportunity. In a way, things have gone back to the way they were before she met Jason. “Wiser, but not necessarily sadder,” Natalia says. Tonight she’s going downtown. It is always good to look good, so Natalia goes through what was a familiar ritual back in the days when she was the Perfect 10—getting her nails done at the Koreans’ on 29th Street, combing out her wavy hair. For old times’ sake, she’s got on what she used to call her “money dress,” a short satin pink number with gray jersey inserts, with the shoes to match. About ten, she’s ready. She goes out into the street, lifts her arm, gets into a cab, and disappears into the night.