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133# Easy money, easy life

Updated: Mar 21

- Helloooooooooo there :)

- Hello! We’re looking for models

- Uuuuh sorry, I don’t know anyone

The heat wave was still on in El Tunco, but at least the waves were back. I was checking the ocean on la Guitarra’s beachfront when two girls passed by, staring. I smiled and they approached. They were looking for models to pose for a clothing retailer. I laughed and brushed them off, admitting it was a good joke. But the girls insisted. They showed me their Instagram page. It looked legit. They were recruiting men models, and they chose me!

They pitched me: a day of shooting for $100. I pretended to consider. I was willing to do it for free, and here they were, trying to convince me to do it for pay. I asked a few questions and we agreed. They would pick me up in La Guitarra at 9 the next morning.

I ran to Sandra, all excited about my encounter. "They were just hitting on you", she said. Maybe. I still loved the attention and my new status. Every time Sandra suggested something, I rejected her with attitude. “I only hang out with models now... sorry”. Despicable yes, but totally worth it.

At 9 am sharp, a grey Jeep Wrangler parked in front of La Guitarra. The girls had recruited Mariano, an Argentinian beach boy. He was handsome, like most Argentinians, and had previous modeling experience. With Mariano by my side, I felt less like a fraud.

We stopped on the way to pick up the photographer and his bulky shooting gear. Then, we rode along the coastal road to a secluded area. A tiny alley led to a big metal gate with a security guard. He lifted the gate with one hand, while holding an automatic rifle in the other. The driver showed his ID and parked the Jeep inside, on the grass. We walked into a luxurious mansion with a private beach, a pool, and direct access to the ocean. I could get used to that.

The girls gave us our first assignment. We wore clothes and pretended not to pose. The main challenge was the light. With the sun in the zenith, there was too much reflection. The driver was walking in front of us with an aluminum umbrella, reflecting the sun straight into my eyes. I could not stop the tears, remnants of she-who-must-not-be-named perhaps. The driver gave up and folded his umbrella; time to try something else. The girls gave me sunglasses and the photographer changed his angles. A whole team was attending my every whim. I felt like a real model.

The photographer took forever to tweak his gear. Meanwhile we, poor models, had to withstand the heat. I got bored and started fooling around with the skateboard, sweating even more. Mariano waited, patient, pretty and still, like a Greek statue in an empty museum.

After a few rounds of skating, I was completely drenched in sweat. The shorts they had given me were wet too. I went inside to change and saw an old man talking to the girls. He looked rich. Bold, he had a blue linen shirt with a golden chain shining on his chest. The perfect cliché of a wealthy man in a poor country. I passed them and entered the bathroom to change clothes.

Who the fuck is that?” , I heard him say through the door. He was not convinced by the girls' pick. She justified her choices by the lack of options. We were their only choice in El Tunco, and she had to get the pictures ready on time. Hahaha so much for my narcissism. The man yelled and we resumed shooting at a faster pace, with winter clothes this time.

The winter collection was not planned, but the old man's security guard was giving orders now. We finished shooting, got paid, and returned to El Tunco. I was still bragging to Sandra and my boys in the group chat about being a professional model. The guys called me puto, spanish for faggot, and Sandra advised against using my new model pictures on Tinder. “You look way too fake” she said. It was true. We faked talking, walking, even laughing. It was all fake, fake and brainless. The life of a model.

Thank you LULO for the money and experience. It was the easiest $100 I ever made. As we posed like brainless statues, I reflected on the importance of being intellectually challenged. On that day, there was no thinking involved, no problem-solving, nothing. That's how one turns stupid.

I would probably do it again...on occasion. It's nice to feel pretty once in a while.

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