Do you guys remember the show called Loveline on MTV from [a very long time ago]? A caller to the show shared this story about him and his sister, which evidently made an impression on me deep enough for my brain to retain it for like 20 years. This is my attempt to inhabit that story and make it my own.
In high school I began to learn the value of sex. Not in terms of its value to me, but more in a marketplace sense — as a form of currency. So, while I have have never exchanged sex for money (nor have I exchanged money for sex ha ha) per se, I have, however, quite transparently traded sex for services; bartered sex for goods; offered sex acts as incentive; used my so-called sex appeal to gain favor with store clerks, county clerks, any kind of clerk really; and rewarded good deeds with sex.
Over time it became my first option for getting anything where men were remotely involved. This method of mine led me to some smashing victories. And some seriously humiliating defeats.
It also led me to my Tow Man story.
My brother and I were at this dinner thing with our parents. I was a freshman in college by this time, and my brother was a junior in high school. He and I drove separately from our parents. It wasn’t black tie, but we did have to dress up. And we weren’t happy about it. I, of course, pushed the limits with my dress and had my parents’ friends gawking at me all night. The bartender was also kind enough to serve me drinks while I was there even though I was underage (he was easy).
We made it through the awful dinner and the super boring speeches, and finally we got the signal from our parents that we could take off. In the parking lot, I told my brother to light up the joint that he had been holding for me. He was happy to oblige as I was his only source of pot in those days.
Our collective mood improved until we screwed up the joint pass — completely his fault! Anyway, the joint fell between the seats and I freaked out…and jerked the wheel, running us into a curb at like 40 miles per hour. Thankfully we were not hurt (and we found the joint!), but the front right tire was trashed, so we weren’t going anywhere.
We had no cell phones then, so at first we waited. And waited. After maybe an hour “we” decided that my brother should try walking to the gas station (which was closed) that we saw a few miles back to see if there was a payphone he could use to call road service. So he left. Perhaps not the wisest decision to split up like that, but were stoned, so…
Enter Tow Man. He must have seen the flashers and pulled over. I told him we had a flat, about my brother, and that we needed a tow. He said he could probably replace the tire tonight if we went back to his shop. And then we could just drive home from there.
From what I could tell in the poor lighting, Mark (according to his name tag), was a big guy. Tall, heavy. But not sloppy. His hair was dirty blond or brown, and short.
“We’ll get you hooked up here right after we get the paperwork sorted out.” Ah, yes, paperwork. This was going to cost money, of which I had none. I was so out of sorts from the incident that I hadn’t been thinking like my normal self. I should have been all over that guy. But life’s all about second chances, right?
He stepped down out of his cab with his clip board, and I got into character. I told him I didn’t have any money. He stopped in his tracks. I was young enough to be his daughter, I thought. He suggested I call my parents, then. And I told him that wasn’t an option. He sighed, and I knew I was going to make this work — one way or another.
“Maybe we can work something out? I mean, instead of money?” I kept my gaze on his eyes and walked over to him. “I don’t have any money to give you, Mark.” I reached out to touch his arm. He smelled like metal, and his hands were stained black from grease. From up close I got a better view of his face — stubbly, nice chin, kind eyes.
“Why don’t you hook up the car and we can go find my brother, OK? Then when we get back to your shop…” I just left it at that, not wanting to be too specific.
Mark’s face changed. He leered at me, which I kind of liked. Those nice eyes of his were still there, but they were now reflecting something different. He engulfed me with them. After another sigh, he told me to get in the front seat of his truck. His nice eyes were back — score!
The cab of the tow truck had two bench rows. The second row was more of a throw-in it seemed, and was mostly full of random tools, etc. That’s where my brother would be sitting. I sat in the passenger side as instructed, and Mark went about getting the car ready. Once the car was up, I made a split decision to slide over into the center of the bench so that I would be sitting right next to Mark. I thought maybe I could make the ride more fun?
To be continued…