She’s freaking out because I went down to Tijuana with El Chuco and fucked a bunch of street whores. Get tested, she tells me. Sent me an article where six per cent of them have HIV. Well, I like those odds. Plus, they’re fastidious about condom use. They’re fastidious about every fucking thing; blowjob is extra, getting them to take their god damn top off is extra. Otherwise they just awkwardly jerk you off until you have a half pipe with enough structural strength to get the jimmy on, and crouch on top of you in a full sweater set. They don’t want to look in your eyes. You have to hold their face to get a glimpse of what you assume will be despair, and it turns out they’re trying not to laugh. They’re all nineteen and they all have kids. My baby is six years old and he learn to play the guitar. Good, I tell her, good. Get him started this young and he’ll be great when he’s older. Que? I realize she only has one English sentence memorized to tell Americans. Why make it about your kid then.
It was a Tuesday night and the red light district was dead, just us and a couple other American jerkoffs getting buttonholed by everyone on the block. Hey mi amigo, let me take you to the one hour massage, 40 dollars for the full hour, they got the best girls, mi hermano you need anything else let me know, the coca, the meth. A woman asks if I want to adopt her puppy. No thanks. How about a blowjob for ten then. She’s about forty five years old and standing behind her is a row of fresh faced teenagers in hot pink yoga pants and lucite wedges going “ch ch ch ch ch” who will fuck you for twenty. She goes around all night asking people if they want to adopt her dog and then for a blowjob. Who accepts?
I feel bad for encouraging human trafficking, but then, I paid some indigent broad’s rent and bought new guitar strings for little Pedro and I genuinely believe that none of them give a shit. They say to johns: don’t you know the hookers all hate you, but that’s giving me too much credit. They either don’t give a fuck about me or they love me because I’m a walking pile of money. The only girls I feel bad for are the plum ugly ones. Sandwiched between a girl who looks like Selena Gomez and a girl who looks like Michelle Rodriguez will be a fat potato-headed Aztec getting ignored, being reminded over and over and over that she’s got no hope. Basically the way I feel in a nightclub.
Chuco bought a tote bag from an eight year old girl who was out panhandling. As soon as she got the six bucks two men emerged from an alley and hustled her off down the block. That’s when I felt something. What the fuck was going to happen to her. Why couldn’t she just hand them the money there. Why did shit suddenly turn into The X Files as soon as she had the price of a hamburger. How soon would they turn her out. She’s eight years old so right now her pussy’s worth the price of a house. Then it goes down and down and down until she’s a legal adult and it’s twenty for her, six for the room. Ten years of that and it’s you want my dog, how about a blowjob for ten.
And it’s this way because I pay for it, I tried to think. They’re all chasing my American money and so there’s this machine that grinds up human beings and gives them AIDS and leaves them toothless sucking smelly frat boy dick for heroin money. It’s my fault somehow. I tried to make myself feel bad but the economic paper trail got too complicated. It’s actually some pimp’s fault or her dad or something and besides, these girls all have kids and families and are probably happier than me.
Other than the whores I loved it. Huge piles of trash in the streets, mongrel dogs with intact nuts running free, cops with mac 10’s hauling around legless drunks chained together in the backs of pickup trucks. We had hotel rooms high up and you look over the city and it’s all tin and cardboard; you can tell that if a big earthquake hits it’s all gonna be gone. This is a dopey thing to say but it just felt more alive. America is cold and sterile and full of people freaking out about sex trafficking. Here, I kept waiting for people to hate me for being a sex tourist but even the kindly old man wearing a big crucifix at the border crossing just laughed and said “yeah, the girls are great, aren’t they.”
Get tested, she tells me. And behind it a little bit of how did it feel to be a walking pile of money, how did it feel to get smiled at because they want to hustle you and steal from you; how did it feel to feed a machine that chews people up. How did it feel to make some girl born in dirt hustle to sell you her pussy for your almighty American dollars.
Well, I hate to say it, but it felt great. I’ll do it again.