Mexico City spewed nicotine colored haze into the air as the sun began its descent toward the horizon. I pictured the ladies of the night who would soon appear. Clad in bright skimpy costumes. Designed to amuse, and entrap, they would slink from the moonlit shadows.
As I reached the inner city, children in rags begged on street corners. Clothes hung tattered from skinny limbs. I covered my nose with a white handkerchief and breathed in the strong smell of eucalyptus oil while holding the other protectively on my pocket. I would need identification, a passport, money. I waited.
"What you want?" said a loud voice. Too loud and too deep for the small body.
"I get you any."
I frowned, puzzled by the strong and strange dialect.
"I get you anytink. What you want?" He persisted as he opened his dirt streaked hand and pointed to his palm. "Cheap. I get you what you want cheap."
"A blonde." I leaned forward still covering my nostrils. "Do you know where I can get a blonde? She must be young. You understand?"
"Yeah. Blonde." He said as he swiveled his hips and with his hand outlined his young boyish body showing curves where there were none.
"I show you. You come."
We rounded a corner. He stopped and held out the grubby hand once more.
I reached deep into my pocket and pulled out coins and dropped them into the outstretched hand.
"More." He said frowning.
"When I see her." I put my hand protectively over the pocket.
He nodded as if this was expected and continued down the narrow street.
"Come. Quick." He whispered and gestured with his hand. He peered around the corner.
"Blonde. See." He pointed. "I go now." He held out his hand again.
"Wait. I need to know."
"Blonde. Young. See." He moved closer. "You pay me."
Yes I could see, my eyes adjusted to the darkness and a blonde woman appeared in the shadows. A tear slid down my cheek as I watched her move her hips the way the boy had shown me. He looked at me confused.
"You pay me." His voice was agitated.
I placed more coins into his hand and heard him scurry off as the young woman approached me, sultry and street wise. The blonde hair was matted and dirty not like the hair I had touched gently when I kissed her on the forehead, not like the hair that her mother brushed. She stopped and smiled. The smile of a princess.
"Daddy" She whispered. "I knew you'd find me."