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A notebook entry.
Last night I met a trick rider from England, a wiry, athletic man who thought I might have a British accent for a second and got excited, but I was sorry to disappoint. Here in the land of la baguette and la grève we are different kinds of strangers. He told me there were a lot of prostitutes where he lived, and that they were always too expensive—one hundred and fifty dollars for just half an hour.
Is that a lot? I asked.
Yes, he said. That is a lot. It was too much, and for only half an hour!
I said there were lots of prostitutes where I lived too, near a street famous for prostitutes, the rue Saint-Denis. It’s an old street, named for a saint who was beheaded and then decided to carry his own head up the nearby hill of the martyrs to die there instead, because—I don’t know, but why not, if that’s an option? It certainly has a better view. On the rue Saint-Denis now there are always career prostitutes, even in the daytime, and I said as much, and the trick rider wanted to know how much they cost.
I couldn’t tell him.
I don’t know how much it costs to spend time with these silver-haired major generals of the sex trade, the sexagenarian filles resplendent in stilettos and fur coats, the patron saints of the neighborhood, head or no head. It is not a service I’m familiar with.
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