When I had exhausted the massage clientele in every interesting city in America I would travel to Orlando. I travelled there three times for work and while the money wasn't bad, it wasn't holla! money either. It was always my last resort. There are many reasons not to enjoy Orlando, but here are just a couple.
Unfortunately, you can't mosey out of your hotel and roam the city on foot, stopping for a latte here and some culture there. You have to drive everywhere lest you look like a vagrant or at least be taken for one for you will be the only person on foot.
The "city" is barricaded with vulgar outlet malls and theme parks. If an invasion happened Orlando could easily defend itself with an army of fantasy character actors and tourist shoppers pissed off over losing a battle for the last pair of anything under twenty dollars.
These are just two of the reasons I would hole up in a hotel and work for the duration of my time there, then leave with an oil slick between me and the airport, another mouse trap.
The third and final time I worked there I massaged Erick, a forty-something Walt Disney World singer who once had a dreama dream that didn't involve belting out "This Land is Your Land" three times a day in the rotunda of a resort hotel.
He booked an hour with me between the 12:30 and 3:30 performances. He showed up to my hotel room dressed like John Wilkes Booth and looking just as desperate. Handsome, with a kind yet exhausted face and a head full of grey hair he introduced himself then removed three layers of 19th century costume like they were on fire. He hopped naked on the table, stomach down and let out a huge sigh. I asked him why the costume, and in a thick southern queer accent he explained that he was a singer at a Disney resort hotel.
"I have a grey hair for every goddamned folk song I've had to sing over the last fifteen years."
I shuddered at the thought of having to sing one folk song then went back to focusing on his massage.
"So, how did you become a Disney singer?"
"I was too much for Star Search and too old for American Idol."
"We both laughed because it was funny then had a moment of discomfort because it was true."
"Is the money okay?"
"Well, it's not bad and the benefits are good. And since it is Disney I never have a problem gettin' laid. My life is neatly contained in the Magic Kingdom. I work, drink and get laid there. It's a one-stop shop."
I wouldn't have used the word "contained." I would have used "claustrophobic."
I felt for him and when he requested an ending I gave him the best one I could muster up, working my hands and wrists in an arabesque of handy delights. Once we were finished he dressed then tipped me well with his Magic Kingdom money and was on his way to the 3:30 performance.
After he left I had a minor anxiety attack at the thought of spending another day in O-town. I calmed myself down with a Xanax and called a cab. On the way to the airport I googled photos of the East Village then changed my flight from Houston to LaGuardia. I couldn't wait to be in a real city with options.