It’s been a rough go of it for our hero, who is, for the sake of argument, me.

In Baltimore last week, I viewed exactly three apartments.

There was the semi-basement unit with 7 foot ceilings, a window at knee-level to passersby on the street, presumably to maximize the ease with which a fiending junkie can break the pane and slip into the bedroom, where the only window in the joint is. The response to every question I asked the honest landlord was, “Terrible.”

“How’s the parking?”
“How’s the heat?”
“How’s the neighborhood?”

Then I was taken to one of the most beautiful apartments I’ve ever seen. A 15th floor one-bedroom with parquet floors. Wall-to-wall windows that face and oversee the entire city of Baltimore. A swimming pool in the back that lights up and turns into a 40-foot fountain every night at sundown. A dishwasher and a dispose-all. Central heat and air conditioning, included in the rent. Four blocks from campus, with two full-time doormen.

One of the only hard-and-fast rules to live in the building is, you must have income equivalent to times the rent every month. With tuition remission, I more than make it. Without it, I fall a bit short.

So it’s looking like, I don’t get to live in one of the most beautiful apartments I’ve ever seen. Which would have been useful information to have before I was subjected to one of the most beautiful apartments I have ever seen. But you gotta pick your fights, I guess.

Apparently, I’m going to live in the guts of Charles Village, in one of those poultry-box flats with paper-thin walls and an “electrical unit” in the window that both heats and cools the apartment, from the living room and the living room only. With the electrical bills, the rent at this building is almost guaranteed to cost more than the rent at one of the most beautiful apartments I have ever seen. Fuck.

A few times last week, I found myself on “The Block,” a strip in Baltimore that is literally next to a police station. The Block is where the strip clubs and the whores are. Also, there’s a Subway. It’s hilarious. Now, I don’t know what I was expecting, so in retrospect I’m not sure if I was disappointed or just kind of astonished. But man, whores in the inner city are kind of ugly. So there goes that James Joycified aspiration. I've always kind of wondered about the ethical implications of whoring around for somebody like myself: avowedly atheist, generally free of commitments and responsibilities, more or less emotionally vacant, devoid of the ability to feel human empathy, much less a human connection. But The Block actually makes renders that argument meaningless, because if there's one thing I can say with total certainty, it's this: I’m not paying for no ugly whores. (I'm totally kidding. I'm just kind of broke.)

Holy shit, I'm having a terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible couple of weeks. Be nice to me, yeah? Come, loyal, tenacious reader, send your good wishes, thoughts, and prayers through the ether to land on my whore-contemplating doorstep so that I can feel awesome and not know why.

Also: from wikipedia’s entry on The Block: “It has been accused that the Police, who are located literally next door to the Block choose to contain the prostitution and drug dealing in that small section of Baltimore rather than combat it, as rampant prostitution occurs inside the strip clubs despite the heavy police presence.”



SenorStephenUrkelDaedalus said...

I like it when the Police and other public institutions are "accused" of things everyone knows they probably do, while at the same time everyone acknowledges it is a pretty good thing they are doing it, even though there would be a shitstorm if they ever actually publicly acknowledged that they are, in fact, doing what they are doing.

I think I'm still too tired to write sentences that make sense. (yes I know, I'm always too tired for that). Have fun pitchforking at Chickago.

Anonymous said...

today the Block only stretches about 2 blocks long from South Street to Gay Street.

Pollack Johnny's sausage restaurant was a local landmark of the Block into the 1980's.

what, what.

nick said...

You could always just pull a Holden Caulfield, and philosophize awkwardly with your whores. Other fun things too: Make your prostitute cook you dinner and bring you drinks for your paid hour, or perhaps have her run errands for you. The whore is a very flexible service, you just need to be creative.

PS: when do you move, and what's your apartment complex?

D said...

Steve - for a second, when I read your comment, the capital P led me to believe you were writing about Sting. I'll see you next week.

I feel terrible about missing out on Pollack Johnny's.

Those whores are going to get on their hands and knees and scrub the tub before I'm done with them. I'll probably end up in the Marylander, and I'll probably leave the first week of August? God fucking knows, man.