Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Blowjob Date



One day I picked up a hitchhiker.

I was driving into Portland, Maine, from where I lived outside the city. You come into town through this rundown section, cross over some railroad tracks – the freight trains stop traffic there sometimes – there’s a payday loan place, a McDonald’s, some cheap retail stores. 

The County Jail is near there, and then the Greyhound bus station. Vagrants and various down-on-their-luck types often blow into town on the bus.

It was raining out, a steel gray rain typical of Portland. Makes everything look like shit. A young woman stood by the side of the street, her thumb out, hitching a ride. She wore a pair of jeans and a gray hoodie sweatshirt. 

What I figured was this: it’s cold, it’s raining, and she needs a ride to the other side of town – where the homeless shelter and the soup kitchen are. It happened I was going that way. My gym’s over there, in another bleak wasteland full of junkyards and parking lots.

I pulled over, just a little past her.

She walked to the car, opened the door and climbed up inside. She was soaked, her clothes saturated with the rain. She took her hood down, releasing a blondish ponytail, and I realized she was a lot older than I first thought. Maybe 50, but an old 50. Fifty hard years, like 50 going on 100. 

Then I looked again. Every time I looked at her I saw something different. The woman was like a mirage in the desert, a shape-shifter. This time I guessed 27. It was impossible to tell. The face was young, but pale and too thin. The eyes were old.

Old.

She paused to light a cigarette, cupping the flame in gnarled hands. Her fingernails were dirty and chewed down to the skin. She didn’t ask if I minded.

“Where are you going?” I said as I pulled out into traffic.

“I’m looking for a date,” she said.

I was busy watching the cars ahead, too busy to focus on what she was saying. “What are you looking for?”

“A date. I’m looking for a date.”

I’m slow, in the sense that my brain seems to work slower than other people’s brains. I hear slowly. People say things and I have no idea what they’re talking about. Don’t tell me a joke. Five minutes later, I get it. It’s a common thing with me.

I puzzled over what she’d said. So she was out in the rain, looking for her date. Maybe he had ditched her, stood her up. Now she planned to… what? Find him?

Well, I wasn’t about to drive around looking for him. I wanted no part of that. I had things to do.

“You lost your date?” I said.

She turned and stared at me. We were stopped at a red light. I looked at her. I almost asked how old she was, but she talked first. She spoke in slow motion, so even someone like me could understand.

“A blowjob date,” she said.

“What?”

“I’m looking,” she said, even slower this time, because now she realized she was dealing with an imbecile, “for a blowjob date. Is it you?”

I sort of laughed. It was more of a snort. “You want to give me a blowjob?”

“Exactly. Not for free, but pretty cheap.” She nodded to herself. “You’ll like it.”

I looked at her again, really seeing her for the first time. I couldn’t begin to guess at her age. And I couldn’t think of much to say.

“You were hitchhiking.”

She shrugged and smiled. “That’s what I do.”

Thoughts flooded my mind. It was like complex math. Blowjobs, money, promises made, promises broken, undercover cops and diseases, all added up, subtracted, divided and multiplied by the square root of sweet nothing. In a few seconds I had my answer.

“No thanks.”

Now that I finally got it, I acted. I didn’t ask any more questions. I didn’t try to tell her about Jesus, or about serial killers. Maybe I should have. Instead, I pulled the car over to the side, reached across her and opened the passenger door. She didn’t move. It was raining harder now. 

"Get out." I said.

“What?” she said.

“Get out of the car.”

“Really? You’re sure?”

“Oh yeah.”

She slid out into the cold, dirty, New England rain, and I drove away. When I glanced in the rearview mirror, she was still there, standing on the corner. She already had her thumb out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why do people let the government treat people with pain like drug attics if we had any brains we would tell gov. to stay out of our Drs business and spend all the cash we got to help the real drug addicts instead of hurting people with real pain were a bunch of idiots