Vince Teninty plays the role of William McCaffee in A Girl With Sun In Her Eyes. The following is a story he shared during a rehearsal last week. –SEB
It was something like three in the morning when I got out of the bar where I was working. I walked to Damen just north of North Avenue and stood there. I was smoking a cigarette with one hand and hailing a cab with the other when a dark sports car drove up beside me and stopped. Not the nicest car I’d ever seen, but not a hunk of junk either.
The window on the passenger’s side rolled down, and I saw a guy and a girl—she looked like she was in her early 20s—staring up at me. I figured they wanted directions or something. I bent over enough to see both of them without leaning my head into the car.
As soon as I could make eye contact I smiled and said, “What’s up?”
“How can I help you?” she asked.
I was confused. “You guys need help finding a place?” Maybe it was naiveté on my part, but I’m the kind of guy who likes to help people when they’re lost or they need help.
“You want a ride baby?” The girl was in the passenger’s seat and did all the talking.
“No, thanks. I’m hailing a cab.”
“We’ll take you anywhere you want to go,” she persisted.
“That’s okay. But thanks.”
The guy behind the wheel said nothing but followed every word of my exchange with the young woman. I could feel him watching us. The longer I stood there the more I realized he could crush me with one hand. The guy was a monster. I mean, he was in this black leather jacket and was so huge his chest cavity almost touched the top of the steering wheel. Not fat, just big. “The Rock”/Dwayne Johnson Professional Wrestler Kind of Big.
“Honey, you need a blow job.”
“Wha-?” What did she just say? This threw me.
“Do you want me to suck you off?”
“I’m engaged.” I told her, as if it would matter to her. I don’t know why I thought it would, apart from the fact that it mattered to me.
“Well, this hot piece of property is taken. Let’s go!” Did I really think she’d say that?
Instead she just stared up at me with a blank expression as if to say, “So?” Then the final push.
“I’ll suck you off so good you can go home and please your woman. Come on and get in.”
“NO. Thank you.”
As the car wheels squealed and the car zoomed away, I stood there at a loss. Was that what I think it was? Did anyone else see that? Do I look that lonely? Do I look like the type that would say yes to a prostitute? These questions kept looping in my mind as I watched the taillights of the car disappear.
The scariest part was when I thought to myself, “What if? What if I had said yes? What if I had let my guard down? What if, for just one second, I had taken her up on her offer?” These were scary thoughts, none of which I would have acted upon; yet at the same time, they were there. Anyone who says he doesn’t have these thoughts is lying.
My gut would never have let me get in that car, but my brain played devil’s advocate with me afterward. I know that I would have been mugged. There’s no doubt in my mind about that. I would have probably been beaten within an inch of my life, stabbed, or even shot.
It wasn’t until the car had left and I knew I was safe that my brain asked “What if I had?” But as my parents always told me, “If ifs and buts were candy nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas.”