I was out on a hard night’s drinking with a married friend. If you have any friends that are married, or have kids, you know that quality time, which is to say adolescent drinking binges at seedy bars with $2.00 Budweisers, is not an easy thing to come by. I suppose my friend didn’t want the night to end when the bar closed, or maybe he just wanted to top off a good night with some good sex, or maybe he just wanted to fuck. Whatever the case, he wanted to get laid and not with his wife. He lacked the skill and foresight to pick someone up at the bar. He didn’t have any old friends or ex-girlfriends that would have been receptive to a drunk married guy banging on her door at 4 A.M. with bad breath and an enormous erection poking out of his jeans. The only recourse was professional help.
“Take me to a whore.”
“I’m too drunk to drive you home, let alone to the West side.”
“Take me to a whore. A big, nasty, fat-assed whore.”
“Shouldn’t you think of your wife? You know… AIDS, hepatitis, crotch rot?”
“I want a whore. A snaggle-toothed, crack-addicted, track-marked prostitute.”
“What if you get arrested? Wouldn’t that be embarrassing?”
“I want a whore. A whore with yellow eyes and shit stains in her underwear. A harlot, strumpet, streetwalker… a whore!”
“You aren’t Henry Miller and this isn’t France. Let’s go home.”
Three and a half seconds passed. “Okay, let’s go.”
I know I should have refused. I liked his wife, and his kid was less aggravating than most. And of course, if he did catch a disease I would be partly culpable. The comic value was too tempting though, and opportunities like this don’t come along very often. We got into my car and swerved and staggered to the west side.
Whores are like girlfriends. They’re always around when you want them least, but when you have sex on your mind they’re nowhere to be found. If you drive down Cicero Avenue on an average night you are guaranteed to receive several propositions. If you are lucky, you’ll even see some tit. On this particular evening, however, there was about as much action as a church picnic. After a long drive we saw one, but she wasn’t right. I’m not sure why. What criteria does one use to judge the desirability of one whore over another? It’s not like you’re going to find Julia Roberts or Heidi Fleiss down on Cicero at four in the morning sucking dicks for a twenty. Four limbs, no penis—what more could you ask for? Regardless, we ended up driving for over an hour, passing up three or four Whores that somehow weren’t up to snuff.
Then he found her. Like star-crossed lovers, ships in the night, or something like that: a drunk married guy and a dirty prostitute. She was six feet tall at least, in a dirty tattered pink slip dress that showed off her hairy legs and chocolate skin that managed to be both ashen and greasy. We pulled up to the curb and she approached. Yep, my friend sure did call it; yellow eyes, rotten teeth, you could even smell the shit in her underwear when she leaned into the window. All he had hoped for. She should consult with San Diego dentist to take care of her dentures.
I’ll admit I’m not all that streetwise and I never thought about what I would say if I ever had to proposition a whore. I would expect some witty repartee, each party trying to get their intentions across while avoiding entrapment. Instead, my friend, who obviously had given this more thought than I originally assumed, said, “you a cop?” She responded, “no, get in back,” then climbed into the passenger seat. She directed me to a residential side street and, as we drove, explained her pay structure. Twenty dollars for the orifice of his choice in the backseat of my car.
In an admirable attempt at time management and market efficiency, she even tried to seduce me into employing her services by rubbing my crotch and calling me “baby” a lot. “You shy?” she asked. “Yeah, I’m shy.” It has nothing to do with the fact that you are a dirty, scabby, filthy whore, I’m just a little timid. We pulled onto the side of the road in front of a small bungalow. She threw her hammer-toes over the seat and got in backwith my friend.
I tried not to watch. Partly out of politeness and partly because I was on the verge of breaking into maniacal laughter. I would have thought that in a situation like this I would be either very uncomfortable or very disgusted. Actually, I was very entertained, especially by the alternating sucking sounds and “come on baby, come on baby!” I turned up the radio to block out the noise so I would not break the romance with my laughter. That’s when the car started rocking. It was either one hell of a blowjob or something crazy was going on, but either way I had to look. Sure enough they were pressed into the corner of my back seat in the throes of a not very passionate embrace.
The only word to accurately describe what they were doing was humping. Fucking or screwing would imply too much meaning in the act. Either he was humping her or she was humping him but humping it was, and in the back seat of my car. They didn’t even lay down a towel.
I stopped watching and turned up the radio. I guess our whore hadn’t joined the alternative music revolution because without missing a hump she stretched her arm over the front seat and turned on WGCI. Let a little Luther Vandross set the mood. All right, a little rude, a little tacky, but she had probably been out all night humping her little heart out. She probably had a very difficult life, maybe physical or sexual abuse. She probably grew up poor. Now she had to hump to feed a tragic crack addiction. I gave her one song, it was the least I could do. After Luther finished I changed the station back in time to catch the Bangles classic, Walk Like an Egyptian, and thanks to Susannah Hoffs, experienced a bonding moment with our whore. Despite very different backgrounds, cultures, occupations and interests we found unity in the Bangles. She once again stretched her arm over the seat and turned up the radio as if to say “sing with me, rock with me, we are one.”
The power of the Bangles to unite cannot be underestimated, and soon our little party grew. Attracted by either the music or by two people humping in front of her house at daybreak, an old woman came out, wagging a broom yelling, “Do that in front of your own house!” I wanted to explain that if a person could do this at their own house there would be no reason to be in front of hers. Instead I drove up the block. That’s when I met her pimp.
Before this evening I thought pimps had gone the way of Iceberg Slim and Rudy Ray Moore. After the equal rights movement and an increase in gender equality in the workplace you would assume that your average crack addict would have enough confidence and entrepreneurial spirit to strike out on her own. But there he was: big, bad and black in a big, bad, black Cadillac. He blocked me in.
“You’re not gonna kill me. Not now! Not after Luther, after the Bangles! I thought we had something!” He made a gesture and then backed up. He just wanted us to move. As every shrewd businessman knows, positive community relations are an essential ingredient for success. It’s no good offending the neighbors, especially when they can sick the Man on you.
We turned into an alley full of potholes. The Whore simultaneously gave me directions and performed fellatio on my friend, quite the professional. I followed her directions while the pimp tailgated me. I wasn’t going as fast as he would have liked, but considering the potholes, one wrong move at high speed could have resulted in a bite-down tragedy. Despite the opportunity for a truly legendary story at the expense of my friend’s genitals, I fought temptation and drove slowly.
My friend didn’t bust. Twenty dollars… ten packs of smokes, nine pounds of ground beef, a CD, a good meal, four six’s of Coors Tall-Boys, he didn’t bust. I could have busted on two drinks and a quote from Sartre, but then again I wasn’t the one who was married. You couldn’t help but feel bad for him. Like all things wonderful, this fine ride had to come to an end. Besides, the pimp made things a bit quirky and I was falling asleep in my seat.
My friend was having trouble coming. I didn’t ask, but I don’t think the whore was getting her rocks off, either. It seemed the only thing that was coming was the inevitable “adieu.” The whore stepped out of the car without even an apology. We headed east.
With the straightest of faces he looked at me and said, “I would have bought you one if you wanted one.”