The following short story is an excerpt from the e-book “Ninety-Nine Stories” by Barry Fiegel (292 pages, available on Amazon for $9.99). This short story, “An Experience in Los Angeles,” is but one random sample out of the wide-ranging topics covered so uniquely in the 99 stories therein. (See ad on this site, right column.)
An Experience in Los Angeles
by Barry Fiegel
Rusty was once on the road, working, doing sort of a sales job, and he saw fit to take a few days off, and he was drankin’—he was drankin’ in his hotel room (he was payin’ a visit to Lady Liquor and the Whiskey Man)—and when he became high he saw fit to wander around on the streets a bit, and so he was just walkin’ around on the streets like that, barefoot, just trippin’ on reality, drunk—but he wasn’t so drunk that he was slurring-his-words drunk or staggering-around drunk—and he saw this real pretty gal, and, because he was drunk, he approached her and started a conversation with her, and then he said, “Hey, you can come with me to my hotel room nearby and have a few drinks with me if you want”—actually, this took place within a mile of the LAX airport in Los Angeles, circa 1993 or ’94, although Rusty never has been able to figure out why they call the Los Angeles International Airport “LAX,” or vice versa—“I’m in the Such-and-Such Hotel, right over there—wanna come?” And she said, “Well-l, okay-y, I’ll come with you. I’ll do that.” Real pretty girl. Very beautiful young woman. So they get in Rusty’s hotel room, and everything is perfectly normal—she is perfectly normal—and she says, in a normal way, “You know what’s going on, don’t you?” And Rusty says, “Going on?” And she says, “Yes, going on. I mean, you do know what’s happening, don’t you?” And he says, “Happening?” And she says, “Happening, yes. You do understand what I am and what I’m doing—don’t you?” And he says, “No, I don’t. Can’t say I do.” And she says, “Well, you understand I’m a prostitute—don’t you?” And he says, “Prostitute? You’re a prostitute? No, I had no idea you were a prostitute. Wow.” And, he did have cash money in his pocket at that time, and he’s not a prude and doesn’t have any moralistic hang-ups about that kind of thing or anything like that, but part of the deal is that his own self-image has always been that he’s a super-stud, sort of like Paul Newman and Steve McQueen combined, and, in that regard, he thought to himself, “Holy cow, am I going to pay money for sex? What the fuck?” So, long story short, this was embarrassing and awkward for her and for Rusty both, and he was ambivalent about whether or not to engage her in her profession as a sex-worker, but he finally said to her, “Ah-h, nah-h, I can’t really do that. Thanks just the same, though.” So he thinks that she was disappointed, and he was disappointed too. If he had it to do over again, though, he thinks he would have engaged her and partied with her a bit, and paid her x amount of cash—whatever was a reasonable amount of cash for that kind of thing, all things considered—mainly just for the life-experience of it.