Today I escorted a stranger's wife in her quest to purchase pornography.

Began on 8th Ave and 40th St. Was smoking a cigar, leaning (somewhat) shiftily against a wall, mostly trying to finish it without ashing on some poor hapless tourist in the throngs which cover the sidewalks in ceaseless queasy motion.

"Pardon me, but do you have a light?" A fair question. She's perhaps five foot five, expensively (if subtly) dressed, and she's holding an unlit cigarette between the second and third fingers of her right hand, which is encased in a nice leather glove.

"Oh...yeah, sure do, one sec." Rummage through pockets, retrieve (new) lighter from beneath coat, offer a quick silent thanks that I've practiced lighting it (side-mounted bar mechanism) and flick it on. She places the cigarette in her mouth, cups a hand around my wrist, and holds my hand (and, perforce, the lighter) to her cigarette until it glows. Released, I snap the lighter closed. She drags, once, ensuring the light.

"Thank you."

"You're most welcome." Put the lighter away. She's somewhere between my college neighbor and the Oriental supermodel I have Suzy Rottencrotch dreams about, but my voice is steady and my smile only slightly ironic.

A beat.

"May I ask you a favor?"

"Well..." - take a drag on the nearly-gone cigar to stall for time - "...sure, I suppose."

"Will you come into this store with me while I shop?"

Brief confusion. I turn around and look up at the sign.

ADULT DVD EMPORIUM, it says. I choke slightly on the cigar (a decent Maduro Fonseca) as I turn back to her in surprise. "Why?" Not the smartest response, dipshit.

"I just don't want anyone to hassle me while I'm in there. If they think I'm with you, then..." She shrugs, acknowledging the stereotyping unapologetically.

"Um..." dummy. "Okay."

She smiles, once, economically, and swings into the viewblocked store, leaving me to stub my Fonseca and follow.

Surreal experience...several envious looks from other men in the store as they look over my companion (the only woman here) and then to me, as she holds DVDs in front of me and asks my opinion in bright tones.

"How about this one, hon?" ASSWOMAN DOES TOKYO, says the case.


"Or this?" (WHORIENTALS! almost makes me choke in laughter).

"Oh, yeh, that one looks good."

Several DVDs later, she heads for the cashier with me in tow. Arriving, she turns to me and says "Why don't I get these?"

"Okay, dear." Hah. Two can play that one.

Outside, I manage to speak first.

"What's your name?"

"I can't tell you."


She pulls off her left glove to show me the ring. "I'm married. I'm sorry."

"Where's your husband, then? You didn't just drag him through a porn shop. Can I buy you coffee?"

"He's...not in town. Thanks again. Here." She hands me something. I look down just long enough to register that she's handed me a porn DVD. I look up. She's gone.


I sigh, stuff the DVD in a pocket, and head downtown. I've been used, but at least I got an $8 porn DVD out of it. And a daylog entry, I guess.