Guido Michelini showered in the basement of Grand Central Station. Two quarters in the turnstile for a torn towel and a piece of soap with hair on it.
He wasn’t a bona fide bum. The night before he had $400 in crisp new $100 bills in his wallet that he had just withdrawn from an ATM. Alas, his last. He lost them to a black whore in the Cavalier Hotel on East 36th Street. A black python of pure sex. She charged him $100 for a blowjob, and while he was still recovering, she lifted the crisp new $100 bills from his wallet and skedaddled out of there. He heard her yelling “Taxi!” on the street below. That’s when he looked in his wallet. She hadn’t taken any of his ID and had left him with a few $5 and $10 dollar bills, which he thought was very thoughtful.
It turned out to be a damn expensive blowjob, but almost worth it, in fact he’d say it was worth it, as he showered in the basement of Grand Central Station while men crapping in toilets without doors looked on. He had to laugh.
He had no credit cards with anything left, but he had girlfriends, and when he was cleaned up and was back in his Giorgio Amani suit, he phoned one of them collect in Los Angeles. He told her tearfully and with appropriate desperation that he had been robbed by a couple of thugs who held a knife to his throat and took his $400 in crisp new $100 bills.
She said, “Oh, baby, come on home,” and said she would put an airline ticket to L.A. on her American Express card. He used part of the cash the python had left him to take a cab to LaGuardia. Then he was on a plane heading for the City of Angels. Oh, baby, come on home!
Guido had several such “homes.” He was a loser, but in many ways he was a winner.