18 Dollars

December 2003, Rochester, NY. After dropping a friends off, I had pulled up to a red light at the corner of Alexander St. and Monroe Ave (about 2 blocks from my apartment). I looked over to the Arby’s to my right and took note of 5 foot snow mound that built in the parking lot. To my amazement, I saw woman dressed my eccentric Jewish grandmother (in animal prints and a pill hat) making her way over the snow bank. Then she made her way to my car and knocked on the window. Shocked and bewildered by the oddity of the experience, I forgot my urban survival instinct and rolled down the window. She told me car was stuck in the snow and she need a lift home. My car had been stuck in the snow earlier that day so I totally emphasized with her. Plus, it was my gentlemanly duty to help a lady in distress, so I let her in.
She thanked me for giving her a lift and told me her name was Candy. I told her my name was Ben and it was my pleasure to help. Candy asked if we could the heat up some more and I explained it was already all the way up. The she started rubbing her cold hand on my shoulder, “to get warm” she said and asked if mind. No, I didn’t mind, it was pretty cold out there and she was just trying to warm up. The she started rubbing my inner thigh and asked, “have you ever slept with a black woman before?” Again bewildered, I responded, “Well, it’s on my list of things to do but I wasn’t planning it tonight.”

The clues began to sink in. Her name was Candy, she wore animals, she proposition me for sex. I had prostitute in my car. I mean, who is at an Arby’s at 4 in the morning. I kindly explained to her that she wasn’t going to get what she looking from me. She didn’t seem to understand. “I’m not going to pay you have sex with me.” I felt bad for calling her as a prostitute, I mean, I wasn’t sure. She could have just be a very friendly lady. I said I would drop her off and forget the whole thing. It was gentleman thing to do.

She said it was to bad, we could had some fun. I told her, “All I had was 18 dollars and I could afford her even if I wanted.” She said we could still have fun for that. Now, I know that I am not experience on such things but I am pretty sure the going rate of prostitute is higher that 18 dollars.

We drove until we got to the end of Alexander St and asked her how much further and she said “oh, just keep going” and she keep grabbing the inside of my thigh. I was like, “uh, it’s a bit difficult to drive when you do that.” She said, “Oh, I am sorry. But I bet you really big down there, I can tell.”

Well, this lady is obviously an expert in what she does and who am I to disagree with her. Then we got a little more familiar. She told her real name was Kelly and I was little sad that I didn’t realize Candy was a fake name. She then told me had three children and a son my age but not to worry because got a c-section and offer to show me the scar as proof. I politely declined.

Kelly/Candy then asked if she could smoke in my car. I told I would prefer if she didn’t because I had allergies. She said, “what if I roll down the window?” And I was like, “ah, it’s snowing.” “Well, can I smoke hash?” And I was like, “wha?” And I guess, wha in prostitute speaks means “yes, you can smoke hash in my car.” Because the next thing I know she takes out her hash pipe. While doing this her knife falls out of her pocket and quickly slips in back explaining, “a lady gots to protect herself.”

This is when it gets weird, she starts telling me to run stop signs. Stop on yellows. Speed up, slow down. She couldn’t make her mind up. Then realize, it’s 4:45 in morning during a snow storm, the only people out are snow plows, prostitutes, and the police. What if a police officer saw me let Kelly out of my car? What am I going to tell them? “I was only giving her a ride.” That didn’t work for Eddie Murphy it wasn’t going to work for me. I asked, “where do you usually get off?” “Oh, it’s coming up soon.”

Soon? Soon!? I snapped. And with the rage of fury said... “oh well, actually I’m kinda tired and I need to laundry in morning. So, soon will be good.” She said ok, and told me to pull up around the corner.

We pulled up to the corner. I apologized for send her out to the cold and explained age I was tired. And she was pleasant, and thanked me for letting in out of the cold. She took off her seatbelt and open the door... then pulled out her knife and told me to give her all my money. I was stunned. I said, “I told you, all I had was 18 dollars.” I took my wallet out and open it up to show her. She just grabbed the money out of the wallet and ran. I closed the door and slowly drove home. Best 18 dollars I’ve ever spent.