True Story: The Hustler

Categories: True Story

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Jack Grisham
[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."

"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.

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