Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness - Suzy Favor Hamilton (2015)

Chapter 19. WHO I REALLY AM

The service called me and told me that I’d been hired, along with another girl, to go on a golf outing. That sounded like fun, something new. Plus, it involved just the kind of challenge that appealed to my competitive nature.

“Here’s the deal,” said my contact. “You’ll only get paid five hundred dollars to be there all day. I know that’s way below your normal daily rate, so just win somebody over, get him to invite you out that night, and you’ll make up for it.”

The other escort working with me that day was Briana, a wonderful girl I’d worked with before and considered a friend. I also respected the fact that she was supporting her mom and a boyfriend all on her own. We’d been told that the event’s organizer hired two girls every year, but the year before the girls were awful and his clients had not been pleased. As Briana and I headed over to the golf course together, we decided that this year was going to be very different.

“This is going to be the best time of their lives,” I said.

I was wearing a very short gray sleeveless dress over a sexy lace bra, and nothing else, so I was feeling sexy and free. We worked it from the moment we arrived at the lobby of the golf club. When we saw the guys we’d be escorting, I got very excited. I was immediately drawn to the one who was a dead ringer for Patrick Dempsey. He had such charisma that I wasn’t sure if it was the actor or not.

“Holy cow, you look exactly like that actor,” I said.

He laughed and pulled up a picture of himself with Patrick Dempsey.

“Are you his stunt double?” I asked.

“No, we just look exactly alike,” he said. “I actually met him in person, so we took this picture together.”

He might not have been the movie star, but he did look exactly like him. I was completely attracted to him, and so I hopped onto his golf cart. One of the other guys was clearly smitten with Briana, so she hopped onto his cart. Our job was to entertain the guys on the golf course, meaning they wanted us to drive the cart around, meet the other guys they were playing with, and flirt with them. I could more than handle that task.

I had my Louis Vuitton bag with me that day, and of course I always carried condoms in this purse, even though I wasn’t expecting to need them for an afternoon golf outing. Briana had a purse, too, but apparently she wasn’t as prepared as I was. “Do you have any condoms?” she asked me.

“Here,” I said, pulling out a strip and handing them to her.

As we drove to the third hole, it was clear the movie star look-alike was very into me, and as I learned more about his fast-paced career in Los Angeles—he actually worked in the movie industry—the feeling was certainly mutual. I was always turned on when I had a client who was particularly successful. The path to the fourth hole led us through a secluded area on the edge of the course, with big mounds of earth that shielded us from view. He drove us around one of the trees to a place where no one could see, and I got out a condom and took care of him right there in the golf cart. It didn’t take long, and we were both completely covered again before anyone could see us. I’d never done anything like this, in broad daylight with a client I had only just met. But it also seemed totally normal, and I didn’t have a single moment’s worry or sense of shame.

Engaging in such risky behavior filled me with adrenaline, and I was as high as I’d ever been. The men couldn’t keep their eyes off us, which only encouraged us to take it further. At the next hole, Briana and I both bent over in front of the look-alike so that our skirts lifted just enough to reveal what was underneath and test his concentration. Every hole, it got more extreme. Our clients loved every minute.

On the sixth hole, the look-alike hit the ball into some brush.

“Come and help me find the ball,” he said.

The next thing I knew, we were having sex behind a tree. It wasn’t even pleasurable, but I wanted the act itself, the motion and the danger, and even as it was happening, I craved more. As usual, I’d been listening to the same Usher song, “Numb,” again and again all morning before I left for the golf course, just like I did every day when I was escorting. The words were stuck in my head: “Let’s go numb.” By the last hole, Briana and I were both lying on the green with our legs spread, as if they were playing a very adult version of miniature golf and we were one of the obstacles.

From the golf course, we had a thirty-minute drive back to the Strip. While Briana sat texting next to me, I called Mark. In my heightened state, I was swearing like it was nothing and talking freely without any remorse.

“Mark, you’re never going to believe the appointment I just had,” I said. “We were on a golf outing and my guy, he looked just like Patrick Dempsey, and he liked me right away. Within five minutes, he pulled over behind a tree, and I did the guy right there in the golf cart. And then I did him again in the woods. And the other girl and I, we were out on the green without any underwear, trying to distract the guys while they were playing.”

Mark hung up on me, but in my wild mood, this didn’t faze me in the least. Just as we had hoped, Briana’s guy called her. I was thrilled for her, but hadn’t yet heard from the look-alike. And then, my phone buzzed.

I met the look-alike at his room and spent three or four hours with him, earning about two thousand dollars. I was already numb, hardly thinking about what I had to do now when I was with someone. My body just took over.

During a break in the action toward the end of the night, I was lying in bed, naked, drinking a glass of wine, and it all came crashing down on me—everything I had just done with this man, everything I’d done in the past eleven months, what would happen if the Smoking Gun really did expose me. I snapped back into reality, into being Suzy, and I started to cry.

The look-alike was instantly freaked out.

“Hey, hey, it’s okay,” he said. “What’s wrong?”

“You’re going to know who I really am soon enough!”

“What do you mean?” he asked, sounding intrigued.

“I can’t tell you, but you’ll know when it’s in the news,” I said.

I still wasn’t entirely sure why I was crying. I didn’t really believe that my story would come out. And while my behavior had gotten more extreme in those late days, I couldn’t seem to make myself care about the consequences.

After about five minutes, reality just clicked off, and I was Kelly again. I left soon after that with a promise from him that he’d text me soon.

Not long after that, Mark and Kylie flew into town, and the three of us stayed at our condo at the Trump to spend Thanksgiving together. When they arrived, I was so excited for them to see the condo, my new home. I stood in the lobby with them, facing the bank of elevators.

“Cool,” Kylie said. “Our house doesn’t have an elevator.”

Mark and I laughed.

“You can push the button,” he said.

Kylie ran along the row, pushing every up button and craning her neck to watch the windows that showed the elevators’ movement between the floors. When we got upstairs, Kylie ran along the corridor, exploring every corner, and once inside, she hurried over to the large wall of windows to look at the view.

“Wow,” she said. “You can see everything.”

I had found Kylie a place to do gymnastics nearby, and when she went to class there she fell in love right away. By simply calling Bridget, I could get anything I asked for. I used that connection to get tickets to see Shania Twain. Kylie and I walked there, as the concert was in the casino nearby. The next day, I took her to the Fashion Show Mall and bought her whatever she wanted, wanting to make up for the fact that I’d been gone so much. I was showing off for my family, sharing my new life with them. I wanted them to see all that I could give to them now.

Mark’s parents came in from Malibu to meet us, and we all had Thanksgiving dinner together at a nice restaurant. I didn’t feel the least bit nervous about having my family or my in-laws in town, even though I was very much leading a double life. I was convinced I could get away with anything. By this point, Mark and I had become pretty skilled at acting like everything was fine. I was always happy to see my daughter, and the more time we spent together as a family in Las Vegas, the more I hoped I might make inroads in my plan for us to move there. The mood was strained but not unpleasant. It was the last happy time we’d spend together as a family for a very long time.

During our time in Vegas together, I made my case to him.

“I really think you guys should move here,” I said, rushing to list all of my reasons before he could shut me down. “Kylie’s gymnastics here are awesome. She has a great babysitter. She loves the condo and the pool and going to shows. We could get her into private school here, and we’d all be together and have fun, all the time.”

“And what about my business?” Mark asked.

“You can quit your job and work out here,” I said. “You can work for Trump. They need good real estate brokers like you.”

Mark sighed heavily.

“We’re not moving to Vegas,” he said.

“But Mark . . .”

“You want to move to Vegas, fine, but I want nothing to do with it, and Kylie will not be a part of it.”

And that was that.

As much as I wanted to have Mark and Kylie there with me, I really just wanted to never have to go back to Madison again. That was more important to me than my family at that moment, as crazy as it sounds. Even with Mark and Kylie still in Vegas, I went back to what was my normal life now—spray tans, nail salons, dropping thousands of dollars in cash on a pair of boots or a dress, and seeing multiple clients in a day, even picking men up at the bar if the service didn’t have enough work for me. I always had to be in motion, which meant I always wanted to be working, and now that I knew the ropes, I made sure I always was.

The organizers of the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon had asked me to make an appearance at their 2012 half marathon, which took place a few days after Thanksgiving, and I was also slated to do television commentary for the race. I really enjoyed my work for this organization, and during the past year I had taken part in several athlete panels, where amateur runners ask their favorite professionals for advice and sometimes autographs. It was a way to give something back to the running community, and I felt honored to speak alongside greats from my sport, like Rod Dixon, Frank Shorter, and Jim Ryun. When I was in the right mind-set, I found the appearances fun and rewarding. But today this was not the case. I was uncomfortable. I was bored. I felt like I was putting on an act. I couldn’t wait to be done being Suzy for the day, so I could become Kelly again.

I could be Kelly right now. That’s what makes me feel alive, I thought. Instead, I’m just up here onstage, bragging about myself, repeating the same old shit, over and over.

I wasn’t getting the kind of thrill I craved, even with the stream of fans approaching me to say hello, asking for pictures and autographs. That was nice, but it wasn’t what made me feel good. Money, adoration, and sex were what made me feel good. At least the folks at the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon let me run events any way I wanted at that point. The organizers loved my energy and my lack of inhibition. The same was true of the other groups I appeared on behalf of, including Disney and Foot Locker. Instead of giving my usual talk, today I was planning a warm-up for the runners who were there, even though my shimmery short skirt and tiny top weren’t exactly athletic wear. I’d given the sound person a CD, and when I heard the opening of my song, I leaped onto the stage. Juiced on the music, and the magic feeling of being in front of a crowd, I worked my body to draw people in, using my physical assets almost like a stripper—a hyperactive stripper, anyway. We had a decent crowd, and all I cared about was that all eyes were on me.

As soon as the music was pumping around me, I felt alive. No more dull conversation, no more expectations of who Suzy was and how she was going to behave. I wanted to have fun and feel good, and so I danced with all I had, even pulling two people from the audience up onto the stage with me. I bounced around in time to the music, shaking my hips and waving my arms over my head, convinced that every man in the crowd was undressing me with his eyes. Scanning the audience as I danced, I saw Mark and Kylie. This was the first Rock ’n’ Roll speech they had attended with me, and I decided that Kylie should come up onstage too. So I bounced over to the edge of the platform and pulled her up beside me. Mark wasn’t smiling. He’s no fun, I thought. I didn’t need his energy near me, not when the whole city was full of men who wanted to adore me and pay me good money to do so, too. I danced around and around the stage, shaking my hips and waving my arms. Kylie laughed and danced with me, too young to know how sexual my moves were, too naïve to know that the looks people were giving me were disapproving. As soon as the song was done, Mark came up to the side of the stage and gently took Kylie’s hand from mine. He then immediately left and took Kylie with him. I was just fine with Mark leaving me alone at the expo center. I was too consumed by mania to see that he was trying to protect Kylie by minimizing her contact with me. When they weren’t around, it was easier for me to be Kelly, and that’s who I wanted to be.

A group of fans surrounded me once I left the stage, and I laughed and joked with them as we posed for more pictures. I then spotted two of my biggest fans, male groupies who came to every marathon and followed me around. They pushed their way to the front of the crowd. As always, I loved the attention and validation they gave me. They both smiled when they got close, hugging me a little too long. That was fine with me. I liked the feeling of being desired.

“I’m going to head up to my room,” I said, glad the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon had gotten me a hotel room for the weekend, because tensions had recently escalated between Mark and me, and I didn’t really like to see Mark and Kylie when I was in escorting mode.

“We’ll walk you back,” said one of my fans.

So there I was, barely dressed in a sparkly purple outfit, with a guy on either side of me, bopping through the convention center and casino. I felt like everyone watched as we walked by, feeding my ever-growing high. The Palazzo hotel was crowded because of the marathon, so we had to push our way through the mob of people. I felt the bodies push against mine, the thrill of the crowd parting ways to let me pass. When we finally reached the narrow hallway that led to the bank of hotel elevators, my phone buzzed with an incoming text. I had a client, and now, the two fans beside me were just a distraction. I quickly said my good-byes, then scrambled to a quiet place to check my message. It was Jim, the client who had previously taken me to an incredible dinner that included a thousand-dollar bottle of wine and had bought me an expensive handbag. Spending more time with this sophisticated, wealthy man was suddenly all I could think about.

I didn’t hesitate for an instant, and confirmed the appointment.