It's a hot August morning. I'm waiting at the bus stop where Warsaw Avenue meets St. Lawrence Avenue in Price Hill.
A young girl walks up to me and pulls up her low-cut blouse to show me the rest of her breasts. I'm not that surprised. I've been warned it might happen.
"Wanta think?" she asks.
"I think you should pull your shirt back down," I say, smoking a cigarette and forcing a smile. "I'm not into what you're selling."
She gives me a crazy look that I would come to know is her normal look.
She's wearing a pink blouse, blue jean shorts and white sneakers with no socks. Her hair is short and brown, and she has some kind of tattoo on her right arm -- but I'm not looking at the girl long enough to figure out what it is.
I can't say she looks all that pretty in pink, but she's not bad looking either. She continues to look at me with crazy eyes.
"Give ya a blowjob for 10 bucks," she says.
"Sorry," I reply, "haven't had my coffee yet."
Her mouth flies open.
"Smart ass," she says walking away.
She joins another lady on the bench at the bus stop who's older, heavyset and barefoot. They start talking, but I'm sure the girl in pink isn't finished with me yet.
I came up here to the Alpine Laundry in Price Hill on this Sunday morning to do laundry. I can't seem to find laundry facilities downtown, and Price Hill is only 15 minutes away by bus.
I don't mind the neighborhood at all -- a mixture of black, white, brown and everything else in between. I guess that includes prostitutes at 9 o'clock in the morning.
I'm finished with my laundry, and I'm waiting on the No.
33 bus to take me back downtown to my apartment.
I was warned about the prostitute by a friend who lives in Price Hill. My friend says this girl can be aggressive at times.
Two young guys are walking up Warsaw Avenue. She spots them and yells from across the street "I know ya both got a hard on, I know ya both got a hard on" with that crazy look on her face. The two guys pick up their pace as they turn the corner.
She gives them the finger, but they're not looking at her.
Both she and the other lady on the bench are drinking something out of a CVS Pharmacy bag. They pass it back and forth. I'm guessing it's beer.
The older woman doesn't appear to be drunk, but I think the young girl in pink is. Crazy Eyes yells over at me.
"You don't have much of an ass on ya, but I like your hair," she says.
"Thanks," I reply, now starting to feel annoyed about how badly I've mistimed getting to the bus stop. I have no idea when the next bus is going to arrive.
An older blue Chevy stops at the red light at Warsaw Avenue. The girl starts screaming, "Hey Danny! Hey Danny!"
She almost gets run over by other cars coming down Warsaw as she runs across the street. She goes up to the passenger door on the Chevy and starts pulling on it.
"Let me in!" she yells.
The man inside the car looks shocked. I watch him quickly lean over to the passenger door to lock it. The light turns green, and he and the Chevy speed off.
I watch the girl shrug her shoulders from across the street. She yells over to the woman on the bench, "Guess it wasn't Danny."
This is beginning to feel surreal. I fake looking at my watch. I don't want the girl to think I'm watching her -- but I am.
She crosses the street and walks over to me again.
"Come on, baby," she says, getting a little too close, "Sunday morning special. Ten dollars gets you off behind those bushes."
I look at the bushes behind the bench, then at the girl.
"I'm really not interested," I say looking into those crazy eyes of hers. "I'd like to be left alone."
Crazy Eyes looks at me and says, "Prick."
She spots two more guys across the street. She doesn't say another word to me as she runs over to them.
The two guys stop and talk with her. I watch her pull up her top again. One of the guys touches her breast. The other one dips his hand down into her shorts.
The three of them start walking, and I watch them turn down a side street off Warsaw. I take another cigarette out of my pack and light it, thankful the girl has found something else to focus on besides me.
As I stand there smoking, I think of her crazy eyes and that pink blouse she's almost wearing.
Where is this girl going to be in 10 years or even next week? What kind of life is she living? Where's her family?
I see the No. 33 bus stopped at a red light a few blocks up but approaching Warsaw Avenue. The older woman on the bench gets up, takes out an empty Miller Beer can from the CVS bag and crushes it flat with her bare foot on the sidewalk.
She walks by me and throws it in a garbage can. She smiles and shakes her head.
"That's my crazy daughter for ya," she says as I hop on the bus to finally get me the hell back home.