How To Meet A Prostitute, Part Two

After your negotiations and your cab ride to the corner of 63rd and 2nd, you'll notice that the apartment building in which you'll apparently be having sex with a prostitute is also the home to a noted modern dance center. Perhaps you'll wonder if indeed the lady in question could be a part-time student at the school! That will turn out not to be the case. Through the window, the doorman might peer at you queerly. He's totally is in on what is going on. You'll call the number you were given and you will be told an apartment number. When you pass by, the doorman will be listening to death metal on an iPod mini.

Perhaps because of the proximity to the dance center, the hallways in the building will have framed pictures of ballet dancers in casual positions on a New York rooftop. Riding up the elevator, you might experience a pit in your stomach. You may even struggle with the moral narrative you're telling yourself. "Well, everyone's gotta try something once, or twice, or thrice," you might say out loud. Your stomach might be in knots when you knock; you may be irrationally startled when the door cracks open a sliver and a small blond woman peeks at you through the chain.

"Who eez theez?" she may ask. You'll tell her, and she'll say, "Come een."

The room would be a small studio. It is one of the apartments that the agency keeps around the city, mostly in Midtown East. Jane would be a short blond and might bear a reasonable facsimile to the picture you might have seen of her on Craigslist.

"I need to see your I.D. and business card," she might ask.

Looking at your passport, she'll look doubtfully back at you. "Are you a cop?"

"No," you probably should reply, if that's true.

"Are you sure?"

You should say yes. Then you might ask what you should do.

"Take off your jeans," she'd say, pointing to your corduroys. "Make yourself comfortable."

Taking off your pants, you might spill coins all over the carpet. It has an abstract print. Bending down to gather your quarters, you might notice a copy of Zagat's 2007 Restaurant guide and an old copy of Cosmo on the television stand. "Oh, that's who reads Cosmo," you might think to yourself.

While she's in the bathroom, you notice that the room has nearly nothing in it. It is painted an alienated shade of white. There's a bed, a mirror, a television, the stool where you threw your pants, and two nighttables. One holds Marlboro Lights and lubricant. The other one has condoms tucked away in it. On the television stand is an elephant shaped humidifier that perhaps you should stop by Target some time and buy. It may only be 34.99!

There may also be a folk art sign that says "Welcome" in that font with little balls on the ends of the letters. There's a scarecrow on the sign. You might remember that your aunt in Indiana has that same sign and wonder if she is also a whore, just as her ex-husband, your ex-uncle, says.

When Jane comes back, she'll ask, "Can I have my donation please?"

It might take a second for you to realize what she means. When you do, you'll rummage through your pants. You'll pull out a wad of bills, count them self-consciously and hand her fifteen 20 dollar bills. She'll lead you to the bed.

She might then hand you a bottle of hand-sanitizer. You might rub it on your hands to sanitize them. Would kissing on the mouth be allowed? Wasn't there some thing about that in "Pretty Woman"?

No. It is not allowed.

A bit later, you may wonder whether your donation entitled you to a set period of time, or if it was for a particular act. The answer is the former.

In the bathroom, there may be a photograph of a business man without pants on. It is framed. He's holding roses. You might look in the mirror and note that he kinda looks like you, except you don't even have roses.

"I'm just beginning my night," Jane will say. "I have a lot of other clients." She might let on that she'll be in that room until the early morning hours. How do they handle laundry? Do they change the sheets? She gently suggests you leave.

On the way out, you might notice that she's stuck a Post-It Note™ to the peephole. It says: "Who is this?" and "Come in" in English and in another language.