On the 4 train yesterday, two hookers got on at 183rd in the Bronx. Fifteen dollars for a blowjob, and twenty years of smoking crack. The shorter of the two, peroxide and missing teeth, seemed especially edgy---dressed like a teenager with skintight straight leg jeans and gold high top sneakers. They kept using the phrase "save a 'ho, save a 'ho," then laughed and laughed.
At 86th, two Russian women got on the train, a mother and daughter. They tried to squeeze next to the 'ho's. Big mistake. Peroxide with missing teeth was like, "Bitch why you pushing up against me?" A wiry black man, who seemed a bit crazy himself, jumped up to give everyone more room.
But Peroxide wouldn't give it up, "Is you got a problem wif me?" The mother tried to explain that her daughter didn't speak English, "She no understand, she no understand." Peroxide was on her. Meanwhile two teachers had gotten on the train. One of them, a Latina, in her mid 30's said to Peroxide, "Let it go. Leave her alone."
Peroxide turned on her, "You a fucking teacher, don't try to teach a ho, I ain't one of your fucking students." Soon Peroxide jumped up, got right in her face, started grabbing her hair. The teacher was screaming, "Call the police." Other people began to intervene. It got ugly, tense. Peroxide wouldn't back down and neither would the young teacher. Why was she pushing it? The hooker had obviously been raped and beaten not just once, but many times. She had nothing to lose.
Finally 14th Street, Union Square. The two self proclaimed ho's got up to leave. Other women crowded around the Latina teacher. I heard her say: "There's a fine line between minding your business and being a human being." The ho's heard this, threatened to stay on the train, and kick some ass. I thought, that's where I got to get involved.
Can you imagine it? The whores against the teachers. Who would win? Luckily I didn't have to join the fray. But the woman's words echoed in my head--- once I witnessed baby gang bangers beating up an elderly Asian man on a stalled R train. I kept my eyes averted, my head down. I didn't want to be next.
When is it cool to save your own skin, and when is it just selfish?
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