My name is Karl Mikael, 42; I'm what, in professional terms, you'd call a 'loan shark'. You might think my "favorite smell is money" and all that TV crap, but if you want to know, it's not. I like the smell of my wife, her breasts when I come home, I like her noises, I virtually crave them... the work I do does that to a man.
It's a business run by men on their toes for people desperate to find their feet, of making them need me, just as much as I need them. After that, I go home and do the same thing with the lights off and the covers on.
But rarely do I sleep. At night I slip from bed to walk, down past the Blue Room - the blackjack tables, the slot machines, the hoards of men, and I, later to convene - to stand beside the pitch-black river, just me and it; things seem a bit clearer somehow. A few more closed deals and I'm on my way out for good. I'll break even, earn a bit of money in an office somewhere, then take Sarah and the kids out of here.
What really keeps me up at night, what pulls me down to the river's edge, is worry; worry for losing love, of letting it go. You see, I never meant for this. I shook hands with Sarah's father at the wedding, I met up with her an hour before and fucked her, I smiled at the vicar, repeatedly. Part of me even feels guilty for loving her as much as I do; it isn't easy keeping it from her all the time, explaining where the spasms of money come from, then where they go.
But before you start thinking I'm some sort of "thief", let's get one thing straight now. I don't steal. I for one have never seen a thief in a six-hundred-dollar suit.
Anyway... suit on, tie straight, I've got money to collect.
TEXT by Luke Allan + IMAGES by Ursula Cheng