Smut Sale

Your internet buddy BlackJack hasn’t always lived in embarrassingly over the top luxury. No, before doing important literary work like writing about such intriguing topics as strip clubs and, uh, smut sales, I was a sad sack like you, going from shitty job to shitty job. That was when I resided in the San Juan Apartments.

It was a quirky little neighborhood, a block away from a busy Emergency Room that kept those lovable scoundrels the drunks roaming incoherently around day and night. The filthy little Korean grocery store helped matters by only carrying torpedos of cheap beer. They knew their customers and we felt a certain hominess as we purchased our torps, rubbers, and Spaghettios.

I’d routinely witness the most hilarious crimes. Drug dealing at the corner was commonplace. Buy a rock, get a free torp. While I saw guns drawn, I never saw one go off (chickens). That’s the kind of caring community we had: you do your murders/rapes behind closed doors like a civilized murderer/raper.

The building itself was somewhat better, yet fit in well with the neighborhood vibe. I was propositioned more than once by one of the building’s bevy of crackwhores. Unfortunately, I never did find the time to slow down and take one of the ladies up on their generous offer, but I’m sure it would have given me something I’d carry with me for the rest of my life. Ahhh. If you try real hard, you can almost smell it.

Perhaps the biggest event at the San Juan Apartments (at least in the brief five years I lived there) quietly started with the humblest of signs.

 

Yep. Ye Olde Traditional Smut Sale.

The words played in my brain like Lincoln Logs and muffins. “Courtyard Sale”, the sign proclaimed in big, bold letters. “Smut”, the largest word of all in, uh, kind of disgusting piss yellow. Tagged on, as if by afterthought, a handwritten cardboard sign, promising even greater treasures in an “Apartment Sale”. What wonders would the possessions of my hot-tempered neighbor yield?

I saw no evidence of this illustrious Courtyard Sale. Nary a maiden nor mage frolicked in the shoddy arboretum. I ran up to my apartment and quickly assembled a box of crap I’d been meaning to throw out, some dirty laundry, and a handful of well worn pornographic periodicals. Where was I to take my meager contribution to the Event?

The sign said Apartment 305. Glancing across the way, I saw the menacing form of the sole occupant having a smoke and muttering profanities to himself. The knife on his belt hinted that perhaps I should just go home, close the door, lock it, and turn off the lights. His use of the word “shitfucker” made me think that perhaps this wasn’t a book that could be judged by his cover. He was opening his doors to the neighborhood, allowing them to sink neck deep into his private smut collection. What could be learned by a peek inside this hostile mid-40’s thug’s deviant sexual fetishes? I shuddered at the thought, but my feet had already lead me to his side.

“What the FUCK do you want, Slick?” he spat. Not metaphorical spitting. Actual saliva launching from his mouth. He was already quite drunk.

“I’m here to participate in the community event!” I said enthusiastically, flashing my most-winning smile.

“You fuckin’ with me, boy?” he snarled, moving his hand to his knife.

I preferred the badass camaraderie of “Slick” to “boy”, but decided to let it go . . . for now. “No, no, no,” I stuttered, genuinely fearing for my safety. “I’m here for the Smut Sale. I, I brought some things I thought I could sell, too.”

He dropped his hand, relaxing his urge to murder me. “The Smut Sale? Shitfuck. That thing ended two hours ago. Sold out.”

“No Smut Sale?” I tried to say bravely, though my lower lip betrayed me with the slightest quiver.

“No, Slick. No Smut Sale. The manager bought it all sight unseen. I cleared almost twenty-five bucks,”

Damn this guy undervalued his smut, too. I’d really blown this one. I turned to trudge back to my hovel, but his words stopped me in my tracks.

“Stop. I’ll give you five bucks for the smut.”

I turned around, the brilliant smile hiding the single tear that gently rolled down my cheek. “Thanks, mister. You won’t regret it.” I held the box out to him?

“What the fuck is this fucking shit? Some dolls, a Star Track card, and half a bottle of root beer? Take this shit with you. I just want the smut.”

Greedily grabbing the dirty magazines from the box, I couldn’t believe my good luck. My Breathless Mahoney action figure wasn’t supposed to be in that box. Whew. I’d really dodged a bullet.

That was the last Smut Sale they ever had at the San Juan Apartments (at least until I moved out two months later). I never saw the Smut Sale guy again, or even learned his name, but I know I made a friend that day, and that friendship will forever be cherished. I hope you enjoyed the smut, my friend. I hope you enjoyed the smut.

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