[Editor's Note: Jack Grisham is an author, hypnotherapist, T.S.O.L. front man and all-around troublemaker. This column, True Story, may or may not be factual, with characters who may or may not be real.]
She was standing near the corner of Harbor and Garden Grove boulevards. A young, brown-haired girl, nondescript, student type, looked like she was waiting for a bus. It was beginning to rain, and I felt for her. I did a U-turn and pulled up to the curb, rolled down the passenger window and asked if she needed a ride. She smiled--cute, not pretty, but schoolgirl cute. She put her hands on the door and leaned in. She ran her eyes over me and the car--a quick check--and then she opened the door and slid inside.
"Yes," she said. "I'd love one."
I pulled away from the curb and immediately stopped at the red light.
"Where are you heading?" I asked.
She put her small hand on my leg and squeezed--her fingernail polish was chipped and dark, metallic green.
"That depends on you, baby," she said. "Do you wanna get a room, or are you looking for something else?"
I wasn't looking for anything. I was two months away from a divorce, still pretending to be married, and I'd never done anything like this before.
"I don't do drugs," I said. "I don't drink either."
"I'm not asking you to get high." She slid her hand between her legs. "I'm asking if you want some of this."
It took me a moment to answer. "I didn't know you were working. I just . . ."
"Randomly pick up stray girls and get hard when they squeeze your leg? Come on, dude, you're fucking cruising, and you stopped for me. Now, do you wanna pull over--I got a spot behind the market--or do you wanna get a room?" The light turned green. I accelerated and kept my eyes on the road, but my right hand strayed onto her leg and instinctively squeezed. I felt like I was loaded. A haze descended over my body, and I became a spectator of the exchange.
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"Pull over here." She directed me to an alley behind the shopping center. I pulled next to some trash bins and shut off the car. She lifted her skirt. She was without panties, and she lifted her right foot to the dashboard. She was wearing dirty tennis shoes, and there was a small tattoo of a heart on her ankle. "What do you want?" she asked.
I heard myself tell her that I just wanted to jerk off--thinking in some way that I wasn't unfaithful if I didn't enter her. I took my pants off, and she moved her seat back. I crawled over and knelt before her. I'm a big man, and the positioning was uncomfortable, but the struggle did nothing to disrupt the scene. I saw my hand moving, her lips slightly parted, the tip of her tongue whispering silently across her teeth. I was quick. I came, and a solid wall of guilt hit me head-on. I exploded into reality. I paid her without eye contact and left.