She used to walk up and down North Avenue every night. Like it was her calling. Black chick with a blonde wig. She stood out from the rest of them. And tall, she could’ve played forward for the Bulls. Red lipstick.

I watched her from Friar’s Grill on Milwaukee. It’d be around two, just after a night of drinking. Everything looked good. Or, it was all so ugly, I found a beauty in it.

Surrounded by the night’s finest. TV whores, pushers, twinks, junkies, BMW’s cruising down North. Looking for a taste of the night. Some country song playing as I ate my liver and onions. A buck left in my pocket.

Heard she had her regulars. She didn’t just do it with anybody. The most expensive girl in Wicker Park. Men would drive by in junkers, beaters, she shook her head to all of them. Watching behind glass, I could see her saying no. She still maintained the same pace as the cars. Slowly moving. But, she looked straight forward. Never at them. She was a heart breaker.

One night she wasn’t there. Then one night turned into a month, then a year, then forever. Word was she cleaned up her act. Quit hooking it. Got rid of the wig and the platforms. They said you wouldn’t recognize him anymore. Said he was still in the neighborhood. Just no longer wore a dress.

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