There I was: back home again. Due to the military hospital restrictions, I could neither move back to London nor I could look for a job, but I could enjoy my free time and I started going out in the scene. Lars, a Danish guy, gift of an intensive week of chatting in the cyber World, was the guy who took me first to the “After Line”, one of the most popular gay bars in Milan. That night I managed to meet one of my former middle school classmate, who also happened to be gay, to get drunk and to develop a stupid crash on Lars. Lars, who was interested in older guys, introduced me to his handsome friend Renzo, who the week later became my boyfriend.
As Renzo still lived with his family, he used to take me around the city with his car. He was totally in love with me, but soon I felt out that the feeling wasn’t reciprocal and our relationship did not last a month. At the end of October I was released from my social duties and I decided it was the time to look for a job. In fact, I had promised my parents that I would spend a few months in Milan before returning to London. The job offer came pretty fast and soon I became a part-time call centre agent for a private television company in the city. The people in the office were very friendly and the environment was kind of fun, however not only the money was crap, but also I missed the spice in my life. It was time to act, I thought. In a matter of a few days I managed to find two ways to get some extra cash and have fun as well. At that time, my mobile phone provider had one of those tricky offers, namely: free top-ups. As my telephone bills were a big burden for my finances, getting free credit for my outbound calls, would have spared me quite some money. The way the whole thing worked was pretty easy: for every one-hour of incoming phone calls, my phone would have been credited of 7000 Liras. The only problem was, the incoming volume of my calls was just too low and I had to find the way to push it up. "Why don't I publish my mobile phone number in a gay thread?" I thought. The silly side of me, the urge of money and my bad conscience, won over the good proposals of me being a nice guy. So I wrote an advert including my contact number, I scanned my pictures, I posted them onto the Internet and I waited for responses. Well, I did not have to wait that long, as the advert appeared on line my phone started ringing and it kept on ringing for quite some time every day after 7pm. Naples, Palermo, Rome and Bologna, were the cities from where most of the guys called. Within a few days I became a professional in the erotic line business. I still recall that day when I was on the tram and I had to tell a guy who had called me that it was neither the place nor the time to dirty-talk with him… “No, I can’t give you a blow job right now, I am on the tram! People are looking…”
On a very lucky evening, a private message popped up onto my busy computer screen. Berardo, a 60-something professional photographer, proposed me to pose before him for 200,000 liras per hour. Considering that my wage was about 1,000,000 liras per month, I did not waste too much time to think about it and I accepted his appetising proposal. His studio was just a few meters away from the Sforza Castle, onto which he had a great view from his terrace. The property had two floors, some ten rooms, a winter garden and a creepy spiral staircase, whose rusty metal was likely once fully painted in a greenish tint. When the artist asked me to follow him on that curving spooky stairs, I was quite reticent, however I took some courage and I managed to reach the upper floor with him.
The room was antique decorated, cream-coloured wallpaper and a red carved sofa covered with silk cushions, gave a pretty warm look to the spacious room. He asked me to take off my clothes and to sit. As agreed I would have posed in my underwear, in fact, I did not feel very comfortable in letting someone taking picture of my body totally naked. Berardo guided me through my first day of posing, he asked me to smile, to alternate positions, or to smoke a cigarette and within two hours, he took hundreds of black and white pictures and some colour ones. At the end of the photographic session he gave me a 400,000-Lira cheque and I left. I went there other three or four times, until one day he asked me if I felt like posing totally naked. Since my mind had not changed, I told him I would have not done that and our “contract” ended. I had managed to feel special and to earn quite some money at the same time. My mother, who was informed, was quite upset about the whole story and she kept on telling me that I had be cautious with this kind of things. “You never know, one day you might find your pictures on a porn magazine” she warned me.
In November I met Adriana for the first time. She was the best friend of Valeria, a former class friend of mine. Adriana studied at the University of Milan, she was really friendly and we got along quite well straight away. We started going out with our common friends and getting to know each other more and more. She was attractive, she had long black hair, a very sweet smile and we both liked going to the Alcatraz Disco club on a Friday. Through her I got to know Fabrizio, a 25-year-old 2-meter tall guy from Monza who soon became my boyfriend. I fell in love with him pretty quickly and we had always a great time in his car, at least until the police caught us in underwear and we had to find alternative locations for our dates.
Just before Christmas my mother found out about my homosexuality. One night she read a kind of diary of my personal experiences that I used to keep. At first she was upset, but a few days later she became very understanding. During one of her room inspections, she was pleased to find out I had condoms and she decided she wanted to meet my boyfriend. When I spoke to Fabrizio about that, he freaked out and we broke up. From that time I started having a very special friendship with my mum and I was not nervous about her questions anymore. The new millennium came and Adriana moved to New Haven in the United States. Before she left, she invited me to go there for the summer and to spend some time with her.