“You wanna have some fun, honey?” the hooker whispered in my ear.
I started to answer her question in the most polite way I could imagine that one would turn down the advances of a prostitute. She interrupted me in a most surprising fashion.
She grabbed a handful of what my Dad gave me.
Time seemed to grind to a halt. The only people who had ever contacted my boys were either a doctor, someone changing my diaper or bathing me when I was a baby, or someone kicking me down there. I had no girlfriends during my adolescence and never made out with a girl at parties. This was uncharted territory; territory I looked forward to a young lady one day exploring, just not a twenty-something hooker working the streets of Manhattan.
Time quickly started in motion again. I pushed the hooker aside and shouted, “What the hell!”
The beautiful young woman’s demeanor quickly evaporated. She now looked like the angriest of people who was itching for a fight. “What’s the matter with you?” she asked. “You a fag?”
“No!” I shouted incredulously. Pure, adrenaline-fueled anger was the only thing keeping me from running the hell away.
“Yeah, you are, you queer!”
“I’m no queer!” My blood was boiling. It was difficult to tell which one of us was angrier.
This give and take lasted another minute as the two of us dropped F-bombs and made horrible accusations about each other before she finally started to walk away.
“You don’t want a taste of this? You gotta be gay,” she muttered.
“I’M NOT GAY!” I shouted one last time. “Besides, I don’t have any money on me, you whore!”
She looked back and laughed at my last attempt to end the argument. It was true, though. I had left my wallet, ID, and all of my money back in the hotel room. The only way I could have paid for a taste of that was with blood or an ass-whooping by her pimp, assuming she had one.
I turned the other direction from her and walked to the next intersection. I decided it might be in my best interest to get back to the hotel, for my own safety and to avoid meeting any adults from our group when I returned.
I looked back and could see the hooker standing at the intersection two blocks away. She was looking back at me. It didn’t take much imagination to figure what she was saying about me. I saw something else that put a huge lump in my throat.
There in all its glory was the giant Coke sign. The hooker was between me and the Hotel Edison. SHIT!
The two of us stood at our respective intersections staring each other down like a pair of cagey gunfighters in an old Spaghetti Western. I made the first move by walking across the avenue. She copied my move.
Without hesitation, I turned left towards the hooker as soon as I reached the far corner. She mirrored me once again. A trickle of sweat ran down the side of my face. She called my bluff I thought. What the hell am I gonna do? Without breaking stride I kept on going with my head held high, never taking my eyes off of her. She did the same. Damn it! I began calculating my chances of outrunning her. I was in tennis shoes and she was in heels, so I felt my chances were at least even.
We were about a block apart and just seconds away from another encounter when some guy came stumbling out of a doorway near the hooker. He put his arm around her, they made some small talk, and then they turned around and walked off in the opposite direction. I slowly followed them until I crossed the next intersection. As the two reached the corner of their block, the hooker gave me one more look before they disappeared.
I ran back across the avenue then headed back to the hotel. I checked the next street to see if the hooker and her new friend were still in sight. They were gone. I half walked and half ran the rest of the way back to the Edison.
The lobby of the hotel was still as empty as the streets had been. I made it back to the room without issue. The guys were sound asleep and undisturbed by any noises I made as I got ready for bed. Wait until they hear about this I thought as I finally drifted off to sleep.