It was him that asked me to do it. He was a posh type, not one I’d encountered before. “Put your hands around my throat” he said as he ploughed away on top of me. I’d heard about gentlemen like him, the ones as like to be throttled a little while they have their way. Odd habits like that you could charge more or less what you liked for, so I named my price and gripped his neck on either side. “Harder” he said, his face flush with excitement. “Harder” he said, his voice strange and thin. His skin came up red between my fingers. “Harder” he said and I squeezed his throat like I was trying to wring wet from it. He gave a little groan and went limp, his weight on my body. It was only when he’d been still like that for a good couple of minutes that I realised something was amiss. His face was bluish and cold. I shrugged him off of me, took his wallet from the table at my bedside and ran out, fast as I could, without looking back.
February 28, 2010
THE WORKING OF THE “CONTAGIOUS DISEASES ACT, 1866,” AT ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S HOSPITAL, CHATHAM.