I was having another long, disjointed night, which is normal when you drive a yellow cab in New York City. But this night in particular it seemed like everyone had sex on the brain -- at least a little more than they usually did. Early in the evening, I got hailed by a 60-something-year-old woman on her way home from work. She seemed in a good mood, fresh out of the office, and wanting to talk, so we chatted while I drove her home. Somewhere in our conversation she revealed that she was a business manager for gay porn film companies, and when I asked how she got into that line of work, she replied, "Just lucky, I guess."
Then she added, "I mean, I got into it the same way any 63-year-old straight woman gets into this business -- by chance."
We started discussing how watching porn all day could really kill a person's sex drive. "To be honest," she said, "it doesn't really bother me at all. I just woke up one morning and realized I wasn't interested in sex anymore. And you know what? It was a great feeling." She paused to think for a second and said, "Of course, my husband wasn't too happy with it."
I said, "Yeah, I can't imagine he'd be thrilled. How does he deal?"
I could see her eyes squint into a wry smile in the rearview as she explained: "Every now and then I give him a token, you know, to keep him satisfied. But other than that, well, he's got two hands -- he can take care of himself. Besides, he's 65 years old! How much sex does he really need anyway?"
On the other end of the spectrum, I picked up two teenage girls who gabbed about boys the whole way home. After they got settled in the back, one turned to the other and said, "Okay, so who do you like more -- Simon or Andrew?"
The other girl replied, "Well, Simon's cuter, but... I don't know... Andrew's cooler." Then she continued, "Oh, and fuckin' Gabe! I found out he does like me. He is SO annoying."
They continued discussing the ever-important boy situation until I dropped them off at their Upper East Side apartment building. By the end of the trip, it sounded like Simon was coming out the winner.
As the night wore on, the club business increased. I picked up a guy in the West Village going to The Eagle, a gay leather bar in Chelsea. When we started talking, he told me he worked for Virgin Airlines as the guy who listens to your phone calls when you hear the message that says, "This call will be recorded for quality purposes." How random. But I was thrilled to know that someone really does listen to our phone calls when we talk to these companies.
As I dropped him off in front of the dim red light bulb that marked the entrance to the bar, I imagined him sitting in ass-less chaps with a telephone headset listening in on all of our conversations about delayed flights and e-tickets.
A few hours later, pushing on 2:00 a.m., three drunk idiots hopped in the cab and, naturally, wanted to go to a strip club. But, not just any strip club. After taking a million years to get settled in the backseat, they addressed me, saying only two words, "Scores West."
I wasn't sure where it was, and when I asked if they could direct me, they just stared at me and kept repeating "Scores West... Scores West " over and over and over again, as if that was gonna make me suddenly know the address.
I kept telling them I didn't know where it was and they persisted. "Scores West! It's a strip club!"
I replied, "That doesn't help me. Do you want me to take you to a different strip club?" I could've taken them to a thousand others, including the Scores on the East Side, but they were set on Scores goddamn West .
Finally they discovered this amazing thing called 411 and they got the address. Turned out it was on the same block as The Eagle, but I had been oblivious to it earlier.
I delivered the drunks to their fill of tits and ass and spent the rest of my shift marveling over all the different places and ways to score in this city. It was only 2:00 in the morning. I could only imagine what was in store for me next.