Past, Over: How To Be A Whore

Rod Townsend (aka our commenter Momo), sometimes receives telephone calls from The Past, a mysterious entity that remembers where things used to be in New York before Starbucks and Whole Foods came to town.

"Hi."

"Hey there, nymphobraniac. I'm having such a bitchin' week! You won't believe it, but..."

"Sorry, but I don't have time for The Past right now, man. I'm on the way to the office, and I'm late already."

"Woo. An office? How lame. Dude, you should work from home."

"If stuffing envelopes would pay my rent, I'd totally go for that."

"That's not the kind of stuffing I was thinking of. Baby, you should be a whore."

"Did you just say...?"

"A whore. Prostitute? Oh wait. Yeah, I guess you'd prefer 'escort.' It's the easiest thing in the world if you're in the right location. And if you're not you can just move."

"I'm sure I'm going to regret this, but go ahead and tell me. Where exactly is the 'right location'?"

"No doubt about it. The Upper East Side. It's probably has the most in-call escorts per capita in the city. Shit. Maybe the most in the world."

"Are you sure about this? Prostitution just seems so very downtown. Or at least more West Side than East."

"Don't trust me, man. Check out transportation infrastructure and socioeconomic demographics, funkybutt. For the rougher (and hotter) tricks from Long Island, Queens and Bronx, the Upper East is conveniently located between the Queensboro and the Triboro. Add to that all of the frustrated married men with their frigid plastic UES bizarro wives. It's totally where the closet freaks are. The ones with money anyway."

"It's not like getting an apartment is super-easy."

"If you had a resourceful bone in your body you'd probably fracture it. See, there's this one broker in the mid-50s that all the prosties use. Especially the trannies. He's totally on your side and won't try to scam you. Just likes the concept of prostitution, you know?"

"A real saint."

"Totally. So he'll tell the landlord or the board or whatever that you're a custom jewelry designer and that you work from home. He'll even set you up with business cards and tell you where to buy some basic bead-stringing kits. It's a pretty common cover, but it works. It also explains why men are coming over to your apartment all the time. 'Consultations.'"

"About having all these guys coming in the apartment? It seems kind of dangerous."

"Heh. 'Coming in the apartment.' I love you sometimes. No, that's why you have to do a little scouting of your location. That broker? He found my friend Tia a great place on York and 74th. It has all the key features that you need. First off, it faces the street."

"So you know if the cops are coming?"

"Well, that's a bonus, but the real reason is so you can inspect the clientele. See, a doorman would inevitably catch on and either cause trouble or want some of the action. So you don't want a building with a door-jockey out front. And not only do you want to face the street, but you need have a view of a nearby phone booth. Even better if the phone booth is across the street from you. When your 'client' calls for an appointment, you don't give out your address. You direct them to the phone booth so you can give them a look-see before you let them up."

"Couldn't they just call from a cell phone?"

"A phone in jail?"

"Nevermind. But I get it. An apartment that faces the street so I can filter the freaks. But I don't think I can afford this. It's not like I could have a roommate if I'm going to do this and rent is so expensive near there. It's, like, two blocks from Sotheby's."

"It's not like you won't be working. Think about it. If you charge $100 for a session, you could easily afford your rent by just doing nine tricks a month. Hell, Tia got a two bedroom to keep the sex in one room and real life in the other bedroom. At most that's what? Fifteen sessions in a month?"

"Rent's gone up a bit, man, so it'd be a few more sessions than that. And I don't know about having an ad up in the back of the Voice. Someone might recognize me."

"You're so shy that it's almost cute. But actually, I think a better thing would be for you to set up a bordello. There's lots of them in the Thirties around Madison. First off..."

"It's going to have to wait. I've got a life-changing PowerPoint presentation to give."

"Power Point? Is that like Landmark Education?"

"Dude, I don't have time..."

"Whatever. Next week, kitten."