Forty Second Street, 9 a.m.

by Huck Pilgrim

I slipped through Grand Central crowds, heading west. Night job finished, I dodged the beautiful people heading to their day jobs. Something hot rolled in my loins, like a shot of whiskey, or that first dip on a rollercoaster.

Early morning was the best shift. You never knew what you might find. I’d seen a fat woman once—sweaty, heaving layers of flesh. Too big for the booths, she sat on a stool in the narrow hall.

I liked girls my own age best—especially the new ones.

On a tight budget, I’d buy tokens for a girl in training. Two, three dollars. Take the phone in my hand. Watch her eyes as I’d whisper, unzip my fly.

If I saw fear, I’d try to be calming. Sympathetic. “You’re beautiful,” I’d whisper.

If I saw shock, I might snort. Say something vulgar. Sometimes she’d hang up, and then I’d jack my cock and laugh, the phone still tucked against my ear.

Sometimes, though, I’d see shame. Rosy cheeks. A tilt of the head, darting eyes.

And then my breath would catch. My mouth’d go dry.

And I’d watch her.

Stroke myself.

Say nothing. Nothing at all.