How Do You Get Paid to Take off Your Clothes?
This story takes place after I had been on the street in New York for a couple weeks. How I ended up there is complicated. I left Kentucky to get away from the repeated institutionalizations I’d undergone (and would again). It was almost my 28th birthday. I had been taken under the wing of a drummer who played in the subways and streets of Manhattan. A section of this larger piece has been published at The Nervous Breakdown.
Photo by alberth2.
Ayan was really attractive for an older guy, with dark skin and a kind of hangdog expression. He’d been playing drums with breakdancers for a long time and trained and took on bucket players, sharing the wealth and making noise. Ayan said he had a 19-year-old girlfriend in Las Vegas. She was a prostitute, a cute but chubby prostitute, apparently, and it was turning out that the legal (or legal-ish) competition in Las Vegas was a little stiff. Her trip wasn’t as profitable as she’d hoped. They’d talk a couple minutes here and there.
He said he was her pimp. I never saw such a nice pimp depicted anywhere in popular culture. There was never any implication that I should sell my body, too.
I’d run into him in the subway on an early morning reconnaissance mission, loose from the bus station where another nut watched over my bag and his own. I’d met said nut on the bus in, and we’d been taking shifts ever since. This would be his last shift looking after my stuff.
Ayan and I would sleep in a hotel one night, not sleep a day, then find somewhere else. I had boot-rot because I hadn’t been able to take my boots off for almost a week until then. I was hobbled. He bought me some clean socks and cheapo tennis shoes and made sure I had enough to eat. I collected money and proffered his CDs when he played.
For my birthday, and also because we needed a break, he said, we went to Atlantic City. It was a short and cheap bus ride. When we got to the hotel room, I immediately got in the bath. He said he’d be back and left his drumstick bag, which held several one dollar bills.
I was exhausted. I nodded off in the hot bath and soaked, refreshing the hot water and dragging it out. When I got out, I put on dry clothes and turned on the television and fell asleep with the lights on. I woke up a couple hours later to some back and forth Ayan was having with a woman who, when I opened my eyes, appeared to be a prostitute. It seemed they were on coke or crack or something speedy. There was a flurry of activity, mad scrambling and searching — probably for a little money for more. He left.
In the morning, he still wasn’t back. We’d stored our bags at the coat check over at the Trump Casino. The doorman and Ayan had a deal, Ayan paid above the going rate, and stored his dolly there, piled high with drums. My duffel bag was there, too. Once checkout came and went, and the hardasses at the desk wouldn’t let me hang around even an hour more, I went out onto the catwalk that bound the second floor rooms. I stood, looking at a white, cloudy sky, feeling cold, holding Ayan’s stick bag and my camera bag and thinking where to go.
I decided I would go down to Trump and leave a note for Ayan and try to find a way to meet him. As I started down the stucco-walled stairs, a chubby older guy strode out in front of me. He was dressed in a plaid shirt with a thermal vest, was round-cheeked, with a full head of white hair. He had an odd gleam, and an oblique perverted way that any other pervert can recognize.
“Hello,” he said to me.
I thought it was odd, but then got a good look at his face and knew what was coming. He asked me if I needed any money.
“No.” I said it in a matter-of-fact way. My neighborhood back home was full of whores, and any woman walking alone was approached with regularity. At least I was: on my way to the store for cigarettes or walking to the grocery store or to the bar. Once I’d even realized that a hooker was staring me down as I waited for a ride outside my apartment because she thought I was cutting into her turf. When even the hookers think you’re a hooker, you can’t waste energy getting offended.
“Are you sure?” he said. “I’ve got a room just over here. How much do you need?”
I shook my head. “No, man, no. I don’t do that.”
“Alright then,” he said. “Good luck.”
I walked down to the casino and left a note, hanging it on Ayan’s drums where he’d be sure to see it. “Leave me a note and let me know where to find you. I’ll check back later.” I took the cash and bus tickets out of the stick bag just in case they’d disappear there. And I figured I could use a little of the cash and give the rest back to him later.
I needed to eat or have a drink at least. I decided to grab a greyhound at the bar. I spent the day in the company of an older guy who was happy just to have someone to talk to and took me to the buffet and bought me some drinks. He started talking to me when he saw me drinking alone. He told me about his family, his adult children who he hardly spoke to. His retirement was boring. His wife was dead. He listened to me and let me entertain him, laughed at my dirty jokes, and then he gave me his phone number and said I could count on him if I got in any trouble. I thanked him. He regarded me with warm and sorry eyes and gave me a hug. I hugged him back, but it was important that he didn’t feel sorry for me, that he felt like he’d done something good. I gave him an upbeat smile and left the casino.
I walked out onto the boardwalk. I hadn’t asked the guy for any money. He spent plenty on me and it didn’t seem right. The sand crunched under my tennis shoes. I was wearing the same jeans I’d been wearing for the last week and my leather jacket. My shirts underneath were unwashed and sweaty.
I saw the glimmer of the water and moved closer to the beach. I had a sudden sense of buoyancy at the sight of the turf and without thinking about it, I took the next ramp down to the sand. The waves made an electric static sound and the space of the ocean was dizzying. It was still gray and when I stepped off the boards, my weight sunk. I was surprised how much resistance the sand gave and how I couldn’t help my shoes filling with it.
Then I saw him. It was the same guy from earlier. I thought about my money situation. I had bought a pack of smokes and a drink and I had $15 dollars left: not enough to get a room that night. I knew he would bring it up again.
“How are you doing?” he said. There was something of the animatronic Santa about him. His nose and round cheeks were red from alcohol abuse and the wind. He had a small glass of red wine in his hand and offered me some. I took a sip. It was bitter and made me shudder.
“Not so great,” I said.
“I’ve got fifteen dollars and some beer back in my room,” he said. If you said yes earlier, there would have been more, but I can’t get any more cash.”
“No touching,” I said. “I will take my clothes off, but I’m not touching you and you can’t touch me. I’ll stay on one bed and you’ll stay on the other.”
“I might spank you or something, but that’s as far as it’s going to go.”
“I’d try anything once,” he said.
We walked back to the boardwalk then the blocks to his room, speaking airy banter. He had been all over the world as a merchant marine and mentioned that he had two adult children who lived in Maryland. I told him that I was going back to New York and that the next day was my birthday.
When we got to the room, I was afraid. My heart rate was high and I told him I needed to go to the bathroom and wash up. I wet a washcloth in the sink outside the bathroom, went in and closed the door and took off my clothes. I could hear him crack open a can of beer through the chintzy door. I folded my dirty clothes and scrubbed under my arms and at my crotch. I shook my head to myself after taking my hair down, opened the door, walked to the sinks and examined myself in the mirror. I looked better without clothes than with — at least the ill-fitting ones I’d been wearing. I rubbed at the corner of my eyes where my eyeliner had strayed and went into the room.
He was sitting on the bed closest to the door, naked. His body was pasty white and his chest hair was almost as white as the hair on his head. He had a round belly and doughy old man arms, but strong legs. He was sitting on the edge of the bed, facing the center of the room, and looked very short. He gestured toward a tallboy on the nightstand. I picked it up and cracked it open and took a swig. It was only mildly cool and had that sweetish taste cheap malt liquor does.
I got on my bed and backed up against the wall. He grabbed his small cock and started tugging at it, but I couldn’t see too well. I spread my legs and rubbed. It was electric. I was disgusted by him and myself and it was getting me too hot too fast. I tried to hold off, but my mind was saying, “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” I watched his hard on come up. I didn’t like the way he was doing it. He let his belly hang over, so what he had and what he was doing was more of a shadowed blur than anything. He bit his lower lip. I felt a deep contempt for him and came to a shuddering orgasm that I attempted to disguise. He didn’t seem to react. I struggled to keep at myself for the sake of show, though I was sensitive and then quickly, no longer aroused. It didn’t take long then for me to start losing patience.
“Touch my balls,” he said.
“Fuck off. I’m not touching your balls,” I said. He was still at himself, something desperate about the rhythm of his tugging and it was obvious that he was nowhere close. For fifteen dollars, I felt I’d done as much as I needed to do, but his old man dick wasn’t cooperating with him. I felt somehow obligated by his piggish desperation.
I walked to the foot of his bed and told him to get on his hands and knees. I let him keep jerking off and told him to scoot back. His ass was fuzzy and round for being so flabby, and he shook the bed with his wanking. I started to spank his ass, but he winced with minor pressure and he said, “Touch my balls,” again.
“Say that one more time and you won’t like what I do with them,” I said.
I smacked him with some gusto and he collapsed forward. “No, no,” he said. “I don’t like that.”
I had no idea what to do next. I didn’t want to be there anymore. It’s hard when a man is in front of you showing you what he’s got. I felt this pressure to help him finish. Without touching him, I wasn’t sure what more could be done. I was bored, but if I showed it, it would surely take even longer. I sat down on the bed opposite him again and started touching myself. There was nothing hot about it anymore. I started thinking of him as a baby. It wasn’t hard, as red-cheeked and round as he was. He was now facing me, his legs bent and his feet, vibrating with his wanking, dangled inches from the floor.
I said, “I don’t know how much longer I can stay here for fifteen dollars.” I was angling for a little more money.
“I told you, I can’t get any more cash. Just talk to me,” he said.
Talking isn’t something I liked to do even with sex partners at that point. Sex talk was under referendum after some embarrassing quotes got thrown at me by a boyfriend’s neighbor.
“Uh, what do you want me to talk about?” I said, dropping the pretense of masturbating.
“Talk to me about big black cock,” he said.
“What?” I felt a jolt of offense. It seemed like an oddly racist request and made me ill-at-ease. I couldn’t imagine what he might want me to say, besides. “Ohhh. Yeah. Big black cock,” or “I like big black cocks,” or “Yeah, black cocks are sure big.” I thought about the men I’d had sex with and the idea of telling this guy about them made me scrunch up my face and laugh a little.
“Come on. Talk to me about big black cock.”
“Uh, I don’t know what to say. Why don’t you talk about it?”
He started haltingly as I backed up against the wall again, legs spread, feeling a little disappointed that my naked body wasn’t enough and watching him watching me as he kept pulling the pud and started to talk.
He sounded a bit like John F. Kennedy with long, flat vowels, which made the entire thing more surreal than it already was as he said, “Once, I was on shore leave. I was a little drunk and sitting in a park on a bench, and a black guy came up to me. He had a joint and he asked me if I wanted some. I said yes and he passed it to me and I smoked a little and passed it back. We got high, but he didn’t say a word and neither did I.
Then he stands up and he just stands in front of me and he unzips his pants and he just pulls out his cock. It’s huge. At least nine inches. He strokes it, but it’s already big and hard and he takes his other hand and he just puts it on the back of my head and pulls me toward it. It touches my lips and I just open up and let him. And I start sucking his cock, right there in the park, sitting on the bench. He said, ‘You like that, punk ass?’ I nodded a little but just kept sucking. Then he told me he was going to come in my face and he had a big load and I couldn’t keep it all in my mouth.”
At this point he came. I was glad it was over and got up to put on my clothes. I threw a handtowel at him from over by the bathroom and he mopped the front of his body with it. He gave me another beer and handed me the money. I was hoping to hang out a while longer. It was warm and I had no place to go, but he made it clear that I was supposed to get out. I took a long draw on the can of warm beer and stepped out into the Atlantic City evening and walked toward the casinos.
This post is the second of the Sex Writing Challenge. This challenge is more to myself than anyone else, but it’s also an invitation. Want to write about how sex goes in your own life? Comment on any post here with your own.