Alright. Since we're talking blow, Baltimore, and guys from Jersey...
So, some years back, my ex-wife and I decided to treat ourselves to a long weekend getaway.
Now to be fair, just like OSJ, we were staying at a very nice hotel in the Inner Harbor. We took the ferry from Cape May to Delaware and drove the rest of the way. Stopping only to eat at a Hardee's. I was so excited. We didn't have Hardee's in Jersey, and when I was in Sophomore year at U of L, it was my favorite. I ate breakfast at the one right off campus whenever I could afford it. Which wasn't often, since I had quit bagging groceries part time at the Kroger and supported myself through poker and the fact that I'd drive to the bad part of town to get booze. It was a disappointment. No, it was a disaster. I had hyped it up to Marsha, that's the ex..obviously, and it was just shitty , messy, burgers that had an aftertaste of crumbled Delaware Meth teeth.
After arriving in Baltimore we went to check into the Hyatt, I believe, and when we went to our room, it wasn't the queen sized bed we reserved. It was two doubles. After nicely pointing that out to the desk clerk, she sent us to an other room, which also was two fucking doubles. At this point, I was ready to just give in and say "Fuck it." But not my ex, she wasn't taking this shit. She went almost full Marsha, (Its a thing), on the clerk and we got our room. Oh, we got it, but after a two hour wait that we spent drinking in some bar at Inner Harbor. By 10 pm we were just getting lubricated and Inner Harbor shuts down. So, of course... we walk into the city proper to find a bar. We find one that was calm and not a total dive. Marsha deescalates via Goldschlagger.
After I tuck her in back at the Hyatt, I'm still awake and wanting to hit a bar. The only bar at the hotel was ultra ritzy and not for this Deadhead on vacation in Baltimore. So, I went back to the first bar, hung around for a bit, and watched some basketball . I got bored and left, and I was pretty drunk. There was nothing but dark streets all around but in the immediate distance I saw a glow of neon. I figured, "Hey, gotta be something going on over there. What could happen? I'm just a drunk white guy wandering the streets of Baltimore."
That's when I discovered "The Block."
The Block was, and probably still is, this condensed area of sin, vice, danger, and Chinese food . There were two adult bookstore/ jack shacks across the street from each other and what had to be 23 strip clubs just jam packed into two city blocks. It was a full on party in the streets, or that's what it felt like, and I was the only dopey white asshole there. I was having a smoke when this dude, who obviously was some criminal of status, came up to me and asked me for a cigarette. I said, "Sure thing, man. Here ya go." and also lit it for him. I was drunk, not stupid. We started chatting and hit it off. That's when it was confirmed to me that he was a pimp, as he brought over his two girls and asked me if I was interested, assuming that's why I was there. When I told him that I wasn't, and that I was here with my wife but I just wanted to get out of the hotel..he adopted me? Look, all I know was that he told me to have fun and I saw him signal dudes keeping watch on each corner that I was "OK." So, I knew I was under some kind of protection.
So I bought a gram of blow and did it in a jack booth at one of the adult bookstores. It was the only sensible place. I wandered in and out of various bars and the Chinese place, and then I gained a pal. A crack whore, who looked like skin stretched over a skeleton. I don't use the term "crack whore" disparagingly, it was her job description. She approached me and said, "Want Yo dick sucked?"
I said, "No, no thank you." Seriously.
She said, "You sure? I'm good!"
I replied, and this is the truth, "I'm sure you are. I'm happily married.", while coked out of my gourd. Somehow, this made her my sidekick. She just followed me around as I wandered The Block. The Pimp asked me if I wanted him to get rid of her and when I answered, "Nah, she's harmless.", he looked at me with a look that made me realize that I was totally safe in the middle of all this despair, weirdness, and chaos. After awhile, coked up Yogi and crackhead Boo Boo saw the only other white guy on The Block. He was about 59 and was leaving the adult bookstore from the other side of the street, in a fucking trench coat, I kid you not, head bowed down in shame. Boo Boo looks up at me for approval for some reason, I give her a nod, and she scurries across the street and they disappeared behind a dumpster. True love.
There's a lot more to this story, But the kicker is, around 2 am, two cop cars appear at the end of each block and they announce over the cop speakers/ megaphone shit.."All right, that's it." and everyone either disappeared into the alleys or into the restaurants. It felt like the attitude was "We're gonna ignore the open drug and hooker market as long as it stays in this block, and it ends at 2." So then coked up me goes back to the Hyatt, knowing that I'm never telling Marsha about this, but also knowing I didn't do anything all that bad, I just watched. It's a cop out, but it worked for me.