The last few weeks were nothing but a blur both at and away from work. Most of the fares I took had something to do with the holidays, whether it was taking shoppers and their purchases home, picking up workers staying at the offices late, or the occasional Santa who dressed up for the purpose of letting it all go and getting drunk. There were a few exceptions to this and one of them took place a few Mondays ago late at night.
I dropped off someone in the Meatpacking District and decided to turn uptown to see if anyone was still coming out of Penn Station. Someone hailed my cab and after letting him in, things took an unexpected turn:
“Happy Holidays! Where to?”
“East Side, 3 Ave in the 30’s.”
“Sure thing. How’d your night go?”
“Not too bad but you know how it goes. Tried to get my rocks off and that didn’t work. Heading home now.”
I’ve had these types of people before but not on a weeknight and certainly not anyone that came out and stated that right off of the bat. I didn’t even mention my work situation or how I owe a boatload of money on my student loans but out of nowhere, came this question that hit me like a ton of bricks:
“How would you like to make $10,000 tonight?”
“I beg your pardon!”
“I’m being serious. I’m offering you $10,000 in exchange for recording you getting off and I’d only film you from the neck down.”
“You see, I’m a producer of porn. Even though I’m gay and you’re cute, you’re not what I’m after. Well, in terms of a romantic relationship. But you’re the kind of person I’m interested in for the market.”
“The what?” I was amazed that I didn’t drive off the street but getting crosstown was never so difficult, even with a light amount of traffic.
“You heard me. Most people think that porn stars have these great bodies and tons of stamina but in reality, what sells now is average. The average body and look. Most people who want to watch others fuck are looking for those that remind them of themselves. That’s what’s popular these days.”
“That’s good. I’m having a hard time fully seeing you but it’s dark out.”
Sure enough, I turned on the dome lights and let him get a good look at me, even though I had no idea what he was thinking. I let about 30 seconds of silence go by before he spoke again:
“So, are you average?”
“Well, I’m not quite sure what you’re referring to.”
“I can already tell that you’re not interested.”
Needless to say, it was at this point that the cop cars and armory vehicles that were forcing me to take a detour because of the Charity: Ball came into play and threw a vehicular monkey wrench into this conversation.
“You’re getting quiet.”
“That’s because 50 cabs are trying to converge in front of the Armory here and I’m trying to get around.”
“It’s alright. I can tell that you’re quite scared to do this.”
“Whatever gave ya that idea?”
“I can see your look through the rear-view mirror. You’re too hesitant even after what I offered you.”
“It’s new to me. What can I say?”
Of course, not much else. Eventually, it was one in a ton of fares that seemed right out of a bad sequel of Scrooged.
And sure, I could have used the money. Would I really do that, and risk my reputation? Have a copy floating around the internet? Start a more lucrative career whoring my body out for anonymous masses to get off to?
You already know the answer, but the people I picked up from the Ball later that night didn’t. They were complete opposites of Mr. Boogie Nights and part of the reason why I couldn’t leave the job I love, even if it would take months before I’d make $10,000.