True Story: The Hustler

[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.]

He wanted the money. At least that's what he told himself, but maybe there was some strange fascination also. Boys of 15 were often easily fascinated; besides, his friend George had done it--Bill, too. And there'd been some talk that the black kid who worked at Starbucks had also gone. It was a quick $100.

"What am I supposed to wear?"

"I don't know." The voice on the other end of the phone laughed. "It's not a date."

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"What'd you wear?"

"Are you shitting me? Jesus, Terry, I just wore what I had on."

"Did you shower?"

"Look, wear whatever you want. I don't think he gives a fuck."

Terry threw on a pair of dirty blue jeans and a sweat shirt; he didn't bother showering--the old creep probably liked it dirty.

"Hey, Mom, could you give me a ride to the mall? I'm meeting the guys at the movies." "Did you clean your room?"

"Yeah, I took out the trash, too, and fed Roger."

"You know you really should walk him more--he's your dog."

The drive was silent. The older he got, the less he wanted to talk to the woman who cooked his meals; and his father--he couldn't remember the last time they'd done anything together. He jumped out of the car, dodging a quick on-the-cheek kiss, and ran across the street to the mall. He was supposed to wait by the bike store; just stand there, and he'd come. He walked past the Game Stop and did some quick math to figure out what he could buy with his pay.   "If a man traveling to the mall at 25 mph gives you a headjob for five minutes, and games

cost $40, how many games can you get for $100?"

It wasn't long before the man showed.

"Are you Terry?" the man asked.

At first, it looked like he was in trouble--the man who approached him was no creep, but more of a schoolteacher type, reminding him of his principal at school.

"Yes, sir." His parents had taught him to be polite to strangers, and it wasn't wasted here. "Great," the man said as he looked him over. "They said you might be up for a job. You wanna take a walk?"

He followed the man to the alley behind the theater. They walked down the steps toward the exit doors. It smelled like piss and somebody had been drinking. He leaned against the wall and waited.

"Let me see what you got, son."

This was what he'd been told--his cue to pull his pants down. He unzipped his jeans and waited. The man got on his knees, grabbed his waist and put his mouth on him. It was wet and different. It felt like he had to piss, and then he couldn't hold it anymore--he let go. It was quick and less than painless. The man stood, wiped his mouth, handed him a $100 bill, and then he walked away. It was easy money.

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