Tales of a messed up existence Part IV (The final chapter?)
Seeing me hesitate his eyes excitedly met mine as he turned to face me and continued "Hey you looking for some girls?"
My heavy heart still couldn’t overcome my raging hormones at the time. "Yea sure" I said.
"Ok walk this way."
We headed around the corner to 43rd street, him an older Black man in his 40's who spoke just as fast as he walked. As he scanned the streets in a hyperactive fashion he explained the rules of the operation. I buzz the hotel and ask for room 16. Once upstairs I am entitled to one drink before I choose which girl I wanted of which they had Black, Spanish and Asian. I couldn’t bring any weapons upstairs nor could I use any sexual devices on the women such as dildos, anal beads or butt plugs. I would be searched before let inside. Cost of admission was 50 dollars.
Feeling bad for wasting his time, I explained to him that I only had 17 dollars, of which a dollar fifty of that was already allocated towards my transportation back home.
"Hmmm" he said "I like you..let me see what we can work out."
He led me over to a phone booth which an associate of his had converted into an office. I watched him explain my situation to this gentlemen who nodded and grunted between sips of his coffee and peered over at me from under his Kangol hat and dark glasses. Finally he took a scrap of paper from out of his pocket, scribbled something on it and handed it back over to the first guy who then walked back over to me. I was told that everything was cool and they would let me in for 17 dollars. All I had to do was hand the hotel clerk the scrap of paper his associate wrote on. Without hesitating I forked over my money and grasped the golden-hooker-ticket he held out before me, already mesmerized with the idea of loosing my virginity.
He led me to the hotel; a seedy looking one nighter practically in the heart of Times Square. Before I could turn around to thank him he was gone. Undaunted I walked up to the door and rang the buzzer, holding the scrap of paper up at the clerk so as to validate why a 17 year old would be buzzing the bell to a short stay hotel. Once inside I eagerly and nervously shoved the slip of paper through the partitioned glass and waited for him to point me in the direction I should go. Instead he gave me a blank look and passed me back the paper.
"Umm..I was looking for room 16" I said, just in case he couldn’t read the slip of paper.
The clerk by this time had resumed reading his magazine. "I don’t know what you are talking about." he says indifferently as I slowly realize I had just been hustled.
I stormed out of the hotel swearing my revenge on those who had taken advantage of my innocence and horniness. Not only had I been embarrassed, but I was still a virgin who now didn’t have any money to take the train back home. Things only got better when I got a ticket for jumping the turnstile.
Eight years later, I'm partying at the new China Club on 47th street and 8th avenue. It was a Thursday after work party and I had been there since 6pm sucking down half price margaritas and full price Long Island Ice Teas. I stumbled out of the club after midnight completely intoxicated, almost on the verge of getting the spins and emptying the content of my stomach. As I headed down 8th avenue towards the train with the cool air sobering me up slightly, I heard a voice from my past seemingly out of nowhere;
I drunkenly turned towards the voice and saw what appeared to be a disheveled 65 year old black man smoking a cigarette and looking at me like the mark he thought that I was. I had swore since getting ripped off years back that given the chance to confront the people that hustle unsuspecting Johns out of their hard earned prostitution funds, I would do so and make amends. It didn't matter that he wasn't the original guy that took advantage of me years before.
"Yea sure..where they at?" I replied.
He asked me to follow him towards 9th avenue while he repeated the spiel I had heard 8 years and lots of innocence prior. I nodded and grunted while we turned left and right on the chilly midtown streets while in my head I plotted what I would do once he tried to complete the ruse and ask me for money. In my drunken state though, I had no real plan nor an inkling of an idea as to what I was going to do. Part of me envisioned that when confronted with someone who revealed that he knew the scheme, he would beg for my forgiveness, hand over whatever monies I had been swindled out of and confess to harboring a lifetime of guilt for his unscrupulous ways.
We reached a townhouse on 10th avenue and walked in, heading up two darkened flights of stairs. On the second floor he asked me for the agreed upon money for access to the Brothel which he implied was in one of the apartments in the building.
At that point, my non plan swung into action. "Wheeeres mah money yo??" I slurred as I turned to confront him.
"You stole mah monnnney!" I continued while I attempted to grab him by the shoulders.
The man, probably a life time criminal who spent more time in Jail and on the streets than I had been alive seemed surprised at first. I really didn’t expect the old man to fight back though. With the pen that he used to write up the phony entrance ticket he began fending me off with several moves to my face and neck. I was grazed twice with the pen-point which startled and offered me the first inebriated realization of the night:
'He's not intimidated by me'
With my hand, I felt the side of my neck which was scratched and slightly bleeding. I was lucky my windpipe wasn’t punctured by this elderly pen wielding thug. As I'm feeling my abrasion and just about to come to my senses I was hit with my second inebriated realization of the night:
'This old man has a pretty good right hook'
He struck me flush in the side of my face which knocked me back against the wall and nearly put me on my ass. With surprising agility he took off downstairs while I struggled to gain my senses and follow him. I tripped my way down two flights and burst through the door holding the side of my face just as a police van pulled up outside of the apartment.
"Heeey..gett him" I yelled at the cops. "He stole mah monney when I wassss 17" I slurred.
The officer took one look at me with ink covering both my neck and swollen face, in a wrinkled suit stinking of alcohol and said "Get out of here before we arrest YOU."
Feeling defeated I slowly walked to the train station still rubbing my face from the shot I took from this senior citizen. I realized how dangerous my actions were becoming and how lucky I was that all I received was a swollen ink stained cheek and a bruised ego. Turning the corner I was about to enter the train station when I heard that all familiar cry;