It's not quite the solstice yet but winter has snapped into place in Dorchester, Mass. Some people welcome the biting nip in the air while others, who enjoy being outside, dread the upcoming few months. Some people don't have a choice; their office is out of doors. The bitter cold has put a temporary halt to one of Dorchester's oldest professions after making chocolate. That profession would be: making whoopee as a livelihood.
I am not going to try to glamorize the life of a streetwalker. To be frank, it is no doubt a joyless job and I doubt many people would enter the field were it not the low entry skills required and the rather constant, inelastic demand. Practitioners do not need an engineering degree to master the mechanics involved. This really is a job in which showing up is the only critical qualification. That said, winter is a bad time of year to advertise available services on the streets in person.
I am not going to name the streets I am referencing. If you don't know them, the neighbors are just as happy not to have you driving slowly along them. The police are well aware of where they can find a hooker in the dead of night. In warm weather after the bars close until just after daybreak, you can find ladies of the evening strolling up and down the sidewalks, usually scantily dressed. I wouldn't say they are a Dorchester fixture, but they are around, as they are in every city with insomniacs driving around looking for something to do. Any port in a storm, I suppose.
To cut off any snide assumptions, in warmer weather I am on a motorcycle which doesn't exactly have the room or the privacy of a van, and I don't carry a helmet for passengers. In colder weather, I use a bicycle to generate my own heat. I am crisscrossing Dorchester usually to pick up a coffee in Andrew Square at one of the few places open at 4:00 AM. Being curious and in no particular hurry in the wee hours of the morning, I tend to take a circuitous route. That's what good reporters do.
At 4:00 this morning no one was walking the streets, male or female, business person or common pedestrian. It's just too damned cold. If the last two years are any guide, vice will not be visible to insomniacs for the next few months. At least it won't be obviously available to innocents such as myself.