{ Names and Descriptions of the Hookers Who Work the Corner Near My House in Uptown }
Rob Gebhart

uptown girls1. The Lady in the Green Dress
The Lady in the Green Dress is at least fifty-years-old and stands in front of the Fifth Avenue Market most of the day, wearing a green dress that fails to entirely cover her posterior. She's nearly six feet tall and thin, like a matchstick. I feel sorry for her because her bumpy face looks like it's been slapped a few dozen times in her life; of course, prolonged crack use can produce the same effect. Folks are always giving her a hard time as they enter and exit the store, but she doesn't seem to mind too much.

2. The Girl in the Sports Bra and Lycra Shorts
When I get off the bus, I often see The Girl in the Sports Bra and Lycra Shorts working the street in front of the closed Jewish school at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Miltenberger Street. Some days she looks sixteen, and other days she looks more like forty. She's only about five feet tall and always wears the same thing: a black sports bra and purple shorts. She's persistent; most girls ignore you once they realize you live in the community, but this one never gives up. Every time she sees me coming down the sidewalk she starts juking around, doing some sort of Nelly Furtado impression. It seems to pay off; I see her get more business than anyone else around.

3. Big, Sad Girl
Weighing in at nearly two hundred pounds, Big Sad Girl carries a big purse and doesn't always dress up the way the others do, so that a stranger in town could be forgiven for mistaking her for a civilian. Maybe she thinks her attire will fool the cops, but anyone who sees her walking around in sad little circles between Fifth Avenue, Forbes Avenue, and the Boulevard of the Allies at 2 a.m. can guess what she's up to. She works long hours, but I don't see her being picked up too often.

4. Even Bigger Girl
Even Bigger Girl has a rump that would make Sir Mix-A-Lot quiver with fear. She usually works early in the morning, standing on the steps of the old beer distributor on Forbes Avenue in a T-shirt and jeans. I've left my house at 6 a.m. and seen her standing there, running up to every car that stops at the red light, rapping on the driver's side window. Like all the girls, she'll proposition anyone between the ages of twelve and ninety-nine. At first, I couldn't fathom why she was working that early in the morning, but, if I had to guess, I'd say she's trying to pull in the cubicle workers as they commute Downtown.

5. The Man in the Dress.
Sometimes, I'll refer to this one as "Shim". Despite Shim's shoulder length hair and breasts, the attempt at sexual conversion is a dismal failure; Shim's manly bone structure and long feet reveal the truth. I often have the pleasure of Shim's company as I wait for the bus on Forbes Avenue, but we've never exactly conversed. Shim's too focused on the job at hand, which seems to consist mostly of climbing into beat Thunderbirds and Camaros driven by mulleted thirty-somethings.

6. The What
This What is also a transvestite, but has style. S/He wears a crooked wig that produces the illusion of a broken neck, and compliments a short black skirt with Timberland work boots. The What normally appears to be drunk and/or stoned, and to be fair, I should say I'm not positive that The What is even working. Maybe The What is just wandering around like that. Maybe none of them are working.

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