Friday, March 9, 2012

Love for Sale

My college roommate was a hooker. 

I suspect that she would prefer I describe her as a call girl, but no matter how you try to sugarcoat it, she was selling herself for sex. I’m not quite sure how NYU decided she would be a good match for me; perhaps they read something in my application essay that revealed my propensity for no-strings-attached sex with inappropriate men.

I, of course, had no idea what was going on. My roommate, Melissa, looked nothing like how you imagine a call girl looks. I saw the Lifetime movie about the Mayflower Madam, and those girls were hot! Melissa, on the other hand, was five feet tall, 185 pounds, and in desperate need of a prescription for Acutane (seeing that men were probably mostly looking at the top of her head, I’m not sure that was a problem. She did have nice hair). Melissa was from Portland, Oregon. She was raised Catholic, had two loving parents, a boyfriend back home who professed his undying love for her on a daily basis, and had gotten herself a full ride to NYU’s business school. I, on the other hand, was raised in San Francisco by a single Mom who tried every religion except Scientology; had to work my way through college, and had a bit of a problem with the booger sugar. If someone had been taking bets on who would be the fuck up, the over-under was on me.

It's not really clear how Melissa got into the call girl business. I was pretty busy sleeping with various strange men for free, so I didn’t spend a whole lot of time in our dorm room, but about half way through the year she started to have lots of cash on hand. She said that she’d gotten a job at The Gap, but I’ve worked retail and as I recall I came home with more clothing than cash. Then she started to bring home men. At first I didn’t think anything of it. After all, it’s often hard to tell the difference between your average college co-ed and a hooker. I confess that I was flummoxed by the fact that she appeared to be more popular with the men than I was, but there’s no accounting for taste. It rapidly escalated to a different guy every night, and sometimes more than one guy a night. And a lot of them seemed to really like it when I was sleeping in the bed across the room while they were boning my roommate. I like a good porno as much as the next girl, but there’s a big difference between 20 minutes of Cinemax After Dark and several hours of my roommate faking orgasm ten feet from my extra-long twin bed. I invested in an industrial strength sleep mask and earplug combination, but Melissa’s antics rivaled those of Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. Melissa’s “office hours” really started to impact me; I was reduced to having sex with broke and ugly college guys just because I needed a quiet place to sleep.

One Friday evening, while I was taking advantage of some rare peace and quiet to enjoy a much-needed nap, the phone rang. In my half-awake state it took me a minute to process what was going on, but then I woke right up; it was a collect call from jail. Well, this was very exciting! I’d never been called from jail before. I love bad boys! Was this one of the guys I’d picked up sometime last week? Had I finally made a guy fall so in love with me he would call me from jail to come and bail him out? (I think we can all agree I have issues. I mean, a guy who really loves you would totally take you with him on whatever adventure got him arrested in the first place; duh.) 

The jail bird on the other end was none other than Melissa, calling to tell me she’d been arrested for solicitation. Apparently, she’d been working for an escort service that had gotten busted by the cops and now she wanted me to come and bail her out. All of the sudden, everything started to make sense: the cash, the men, the fact that she was probably making a pretty penny telling guys they were going to have sex while her roommate watched. And now she wanted me, the poor, unsuspecting roommate who hadn’t slept through the night in almost six months to drag my ass over to the Sixth Precinct, use my own money, and get her out of jail? While the thought of possibly getting myself a date with a cute policeman did give me a moments pause, for the first time in my life I actually wanted uninterrupted sleep more than I wanted a free meal and sex with a virtual stranger. So I told her she was out of luck and that maybe she should think about calling one of her "boyfriends". Then I hung up the phone and had the best sleep of my college career.

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