The endless river of headlights and taillights flowed through the night.
Connor visited with the girls, griping about vacuum cleaners and bosses who went for blowjobs but not from him. Carlotta was right, it really was a slow night. Babs got called out and left. The little girls wandered off on the arms of some young men out slumming, one wearing his college letter jacket. Connor didn't move from his streetlight.
"You gotta dress hotter," Carlotta said. "Nobody wants Mr. Ikea in this neighborhood. You need a look, baby." She took a long drag on her cigarette, her Adam's apple moving when she swallowed. "Something sexy and slutty, something that says you're the hottest piece of tail on the block and suck better than those shitty vacuums you can't sell."
The red Corvette passed again but slowed down curbside this time. The tinted passenger window lowered. A man's hand, holding a hundred-dollar bill between the index and middle fingers, beckoned. "You, boy," came the low voice from inside it.
"Go on, baby boy. Make the rent." Carlotta waved him into the car as Connor hesitated. Something felt wrong, although he'd done this exactly the same way a dozen times before.
He had to keep living indoors, and this trick would help. Connor got in the car.
-- from "Out of Options" by Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks