Here’s a repeat from at least a decade ago with lots of juicy stuff about cab-driving, bar-hopping and the escorts I found along the way when I wasn’t actually looking for them. Enjoy!
Years ago when I was in my twenties, an old high school friend and I would voyage to Soho bars on weekend nights to troll for chicks. Ya know…totally normal stuff for regular dudes tryin’ to get laid. And for a hot minute, I found a good-looking girl from The Upper East Side who took a shine to me – mostly because I was marginally in the music business. I wasn’t really clear on why she liked me – or even who she was as a person. I just knew that the girl looked good enough for some carnal fun. So I went along with the program.
We even got as far attending a family dinner – complete with her six-year old son coming along. But still…I didn’t know who the hell she was. There was something vacant about the girl I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Then one day I got the picture when Pat gently told me she was in the business of running ads in SCREW Magazine, and that she and her old boyfriend did couples for money! Whatever! I wasn’t in love with the girl. I didn’t really care.
Then one night the phone rang and she said “I got a guy coming over for an hour. Take Chris (her son) in his bedroom and play monopoly or something. I’ll be done quickly.” It was all cool. But soon thereafter, when she asked if I wanted to do couples with her, I knew it was the beginning of the end. Pat said it would be easy. I just had to watch her fuck a guy…maybe suck his dick for a few seconds…and get paid! Uhh! Sorry, honey. I don’t think so! A little over the top! Soon thereafter, the relationship (such as it was) ran its course and that was that – or so I thought.
A couple of years later, we ran into each other at a different bar and became acquaintances and almost friends. Pat had a new boyfriend who seemed decent enough and we became bar buddies with no sexual tension among us. But as bar friends do…we faded away organically. And that was my “hello” to the world of escorts. I remember my sister-in-law asking me when I was going to settle down and marry a girl like Pat to which I answered “Ya know…if you knew what that girl asked me to do, I don’t think you’d want her as a sister-in-law!”
Then when I became a cabby, I REALLY got a bellyful of “the” business. Street hookers were easy to spot. But escorts weren’t as obvious though over time, once I’d honed my radar with virtually everybody I picked up, I could tell when girls were going and/or coming from companionship dates.
One woman who let me know in no uncertain terms just how mentally incomprehensible an escort can be – and just how frustrating my future employment could get – flagged me around 3 AM at Houston and First Avenue. She was a not-that-attractive black girl going up to 58th and Second. Now anybody who’s driven Manhattan knows that First Avenue has a light series that allows a vehicle to travel at more or less 30 miles per hour. If you speed up, you’ll hit a red light. So what’s the point? Driving like AJ Foyt wasn’t gonna get us there any faster.
So we’re trundling along maybe two or three seconds behind the very front of the series when the girl starts complaining that I’m going too slowly. I explain to her about the series and speeding up isn’t gonna get us there any faster. And what does she say in a very spoiled and derisive tone? “If you speed up, the lights will change faster! You’re making them turn slower.” In retrospect, I cannot tell you exactly how illuminating that one statement was! I was completely baffled. How could I possible reason with an idiot of that magnitude?!?! So I sped up to obey my passenger’s wishes and of course – quickly caught a red light. “Ya see what I mean?” I proclaimed triumphantly. In response, she said nothing. Just a little grumble. Oh well! I made my point even if it felt like I was bouncing a ball against a blanket hanging on a clothesline.
On a lighter note, there were the two bellicose chicks I picked up at Columbus On Columbus, a famous Upper West Side Bar which often had celebrities as its patrons. The first dropped her friend at CPW and 64th, and then directed me to an address (92 Thompson Street) in Soho. When my fare revealed that she didn’t know the cross street to help me find the address, I decided “this is an escort on an outcall.”
Upon arrival, the girl paid the fare and requested that I wait five minutes as Ms. Honey wasn’t sure if she would be staying. Once again….more confirmation of her mission. So I agreed and took the break to take a leak by a dumpster (nothing like constructive use of time). Once relieved – and returning to see and hear nothing from her, I fired up the yellow beast and was a second away from taking off when I heard her plaintive cries:”No! Don’t go. I’ll be down in a second.”
She descended and then asked to go to 77 Bleeker – which was almost walking distance. So I lit her up with the old “You had me wait when your next stop was like four blocks away? What the fuck?” She apologized and handed me two huge baggies filled with nickels and dimes (coin of the realm – not drugs) and said “This should take care of it.” Indeed! Whatever….I figured the prospective customer didn’t like her and either forwarded the baggies for carfare – or she simply stole them in anger on the way out. Either way…they were mine!
When we arrived at 77 Bleeker, the woman once again told me to wait – which I faithfully did figuring “I might as well mine this freak for all the ore she has.” Even though the baggies were only filled with nickels and dimes…I knew there was a considerable amount of money contained therein! Within two minutes milady emerged to say she’d be staying and if I were there an hour later, she’d need a ride home.
Slow night that it was, I actually rode empty for an entire hour and decided to call her bluff. And sure enough, exactly one hour later, she emerged to ride to The East 50’s. By that point, we were like asshole buddies – with the lady lamenting her chosen profession and telling me how reassuring it was to meet a a nice guy for a change (that would be me). And then she exited without paying for the last leg of the trip, secure in the knowledge that the change she’d handed me would cover the fare.
I didn’t hassle her though I’m sure I could have. When I got home, I counted all the nickels and dimes to discover that the total was……(drum roll and remember this was probably 20 years ago)….$110.25! Wow! Back then, most guys didn’t make that in an entire shift! “God bless escorts” was all I could think!
And one more story before I check out. Late at night, most hungry cabbies race up and down the avenues…pushing the series and jockeying for position hoping (their lips to God’s ears) there could actually be a fare somewhere in the big city. As you can imagine, I did my fair share of racing around Manhattan flooring it toward 2 by 4’s sticking out of a trash can thinking it was somebody’s arm in the air looking for a taxi. But even the most stalwart grow tired of that routine, and as I mellowed with experience and age, I opted to work the back of the light series, slowly keeping up with the greens while the lunatics raced each other two or three hundred yards ahead. The theory was that if somebody stepped out in those 25 seconds that separated me from the pack, I could effortlessly and deliberately pull up without all the fucking competition and danger involved in pushing light series. (As a cabby, I’d seen enough 90 degree collisions at intersections born of cabs pushing the lights.)
And when I did this, I’d actually have my head on a swivel. I’d be rolling along checking ALL the mirrors so if a fare jumped onto the street BEHIND me, I’d back up an entire city block to go get the money. And so it was one night at 34th and First that I was almost to 35th Street when I spied a lone Asian woman walking to the corner a block back. So I hit the brakes….backed up…and picked the girl up! Instantly, I knew she was coming from an outcall.
So anyway…she went crosstown a bit and when we arrived handed me exactly the $4.40 that was on the meter, explaining that she was sorry but that was all the money she had. I knew she was full of crap. What escort coming from an outcall has only the exact fare in her bag? Whatever! It was a slow week night and I was happy to have the four bucks and change. I really didn’t cop an attitude. But as I pulled off, I heard the cries of a doorman pleading with me to stop. Thinking that he had another fare for me, I hit the brakes and turned around to check out the situation.
Back then, a lot of us knuckleheads drove without a partition. And as many of the cabs were converted Midwestern police cruisers, they had bucket seats. The point is…it was really easy to see the entire back seat when I turned around. And what did I see? A doorman and a girl racing toward the cab…..a naked $20 bill decorating the back seat….and a green light in front of me! So what’s a guy to do? Let’s see! Escort who claimed she only had $4.40 and couldn’t tip me? Green light in front of me?
Can you spell “petal to the metal?” Fuck that bitch! I took her money. The funny thing is I was normally very good about returning property left in the back seat…especially when it was a wallet with ID. If that dope had given me five bucks for the ride and not lied about being broke, I’d have stopped and given her the twenty back. But since she was a lying whore, I gave her what she deserved – a blast of taxi exhaust in her fucking face. “Take that bitch! Fuck with a cab driver will ya?”
There were times I’d pass by black fares who I didn’t have the time to size up and then feel guilty realizing “That guy wasn’t so bad. I should have picked him up. He’s probably muttering to himself ‘that fucking white boy” right now!” But I NEVER felt guilty about taking that bitch’s twenty. Four-forty was all you had. Yeah, right!
OK! Enough with memory lane. It’s time to work Mammary Lane now.