As I grow older my memory seems to constantly be letting me down. Just today I had an experience which I am already starting to forget. Strange how this happens- all while we are awake. Slowly time just seems to disappear. I guess this is why I write. To remember. I want to have stories to tell my children when they are salivating in their cribs. If I don’t write it will all vanish like a cloud of dust.
Again this morning, I decided to take the day off work. I just received a moderate paycheck so I had a few bucks to blow. I went and studied with my meditation teacher for an hour or so and then went to the bookstore where I purchased Roberto Bolano’s epic novel, 2666. As I was driving my car which runs like an old man with one leg, I saw out of the corner of my eye a very attractive prostitute walking down the street. I was not feeling particularly horny, but something deep in my gut told me that I should pull over and see if she was in her hour of need. On my radio I was listening to Some Kind Of Blue. The cold rain was coming down in puddles and I thought that being a helpful fellow human was the least that I could do to compensate for all my sins.
I did quick u-turn and drove past her at a slow pace. I waved and directed with my aging hand to meet me around the corner. I was still a distance away from her, but from what I could see she looked untethered by the tempestual hard life of a whore. She was wearing a short black skirt and a tight t-shirt that said Oakland, California on it. I guessed that she felt a sense of pride wearing the cities name on her breasts.
I pulled my car into a tight spot on a small tree lined street. I unlocked my passenger side door so she could climb in. The moment she did so- I noticed her nose was bright red and her nostrils were inflamed. I know that being sick and phlegmy is all part of being human- but for some reason I was instantly turned off . “How are you doin baby?” she said with a glib look upon her face and used tissues in the palm of her hands. Her voice sounded like chirping birds and I could smell the cinnamon in her mouth. “I am fine,” I said looking at her legs which displayed restraint when it came to eating lots of fatty foods. “What you looking for,” she said leaving out the are. For a moment I considered maybe asking for a quick look at a breast, but my degeneracy was not showing up. Instead I felt strangely empathetic. She kept sniffling and blowing her nose, and frankly all the sound affects were taking the erotic out of prostitution. She looked at me with a guilty face and said, “I know, I am a sniffling whore.”
I could not help but let out a deep laugh. I appreciated her self deprecating humor and felt relieved that she was intelligent enough to satirize herself. She laughed as well and then asked me if she could smoke in my car. We both understood that nothing kinky was going to take place at that point. “Can I give you a ride somewhere?” I asked. “It’s freezing cold outside you know?” she said while lighting her cigarette. “I do,” I replied. “Well if you would not mind giving me a ride downtown to the bus station, I would appreciate that.” The bus station was only a few miles away and I asked her if she was leaving town. “No,” she said, “it is just a place I can sit and get warm and let the sniffling in my nose dry out. You know having a sniffling nose ain’t good for my business.” I laughed again and told her that I thought its got to be rough having a cold and being a whore. “It could be worse,” she said. I asked her if I could bum a cigarette and I turned the heat up for her. We drove toward the bus station and on the way she said “you sure I can’t give you a blow job while you drive?” I was sure.
This is why I write. It is moments like these that I never want to forget. I want to tell these stories to my children and have them fresh in my mind when I am stuck in a bed or confined to a jail cell. Even though my memory seems to be fading away with each passing day, the experiences of my life can be preserved through the immortality of words. The one thing that time can not defy or colonize- the power words.