Working the Plaza

In the winter of 2009 I left the Oak Bar to smoke a cigarette on 59th Street. I only smoke when I drink. One cigarette a day is enough. The wind off the park was smelled of the fallen snow. Only a few pedestrians braved the cold. An Asiatic woman with long hair approached me. for a second I thought she was lost, but she knew exactly where she was. Probably more than me.

“Hey, mister, you want sex?” She opened her fur coat. Her body was slender and she wasn’t wearing any underwear.

“Sorry, I’m not interested.” I have two wives in Thailand. Supporting them is hard enough without donating money to an uptown hooker, but there was no harm in being friendly and a prostitute has a keen eye for money, so I asked, “How’s business?”

“Horrible.” She tugged her coat shut and shivered, as if she hadn’t eaten all day. “I went to the St. Regis. Nothing. Essex House. Nothing. Are you sure you don’t want a blowjob? I’m the best you’ll ever have.”

“Thanks for the offer, but I’m married.” I flicked the cigarette into the gutter.

“All my customers are married.” She hoped this information might weaken my resolve.

“Yes, but I love my wife.” Both of them.

“Could you buy me a drink in the bar?” She wanted to get out of the cold.

“A beer and not a drink.” Drinks at the Oak Bar started at $18. A Stella Artois was only $9. I didn’t mind being a good Samaritan at that price. We entered the bar and the men sitting on the stools checked out my companion. She re-opened her coat as an invitation for more.

“You have any friends here who want some action?”

I didn’t get a chance to answer, because a businessman in a pin-striped suit smiled in response to her general come-on.

“You mind?”

“Not at all.” I had saved myself $9. She left 10 minutes later with the ‘john’ and I signaled the bartender for the tab. An extra beer was on the bill. I paid it with a twenty, because even good Samaritans get to be a sucker every once in a while.

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