By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
"At night," she says, "we go to a hotel."
"A hotel? What about the kids?"
"Babysitter," she says.
"I don't think I have that kind of disposable money."
"Oh, please. You use a kid. You pay them eight bucks," she says, like I am a total yuppie dum-dum.
"I use a kid. I pay her eight bucks. I still can't afford a night at a hotel and a babysitter. A hotel is like a hundred dollars."
"No," she says. "You do the short stay. Right on Hamilton Avenue. Forty bucks. You bring your stilettos. My husband likes the stilettos. You get the job done. Four hours. You go home. Whole things costs $72 including the sitter. You don't have that kind of money?"
"But I don't save," she says.
"But I don't have nothing for the future."
"Me neither. How much rent do you pay?" I ask.
And this is when Diavanna explains the mystery of Carroll Gardens. Diavanna lives in the apartment her mother grew up in.
Diavanna pays $125 rent.
At the end of the month, Diavanna has more money than I do. Of course Diavanna and her husband fuck like bunnies, they go to hotels, they have a washer/dryer. I curse my life. I'll never get that kind of deal. And I'll probably never have the money to own a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights either. Then I remember: Small, attainable goals. A $600 washer/dryer . . . to fuck on and be fucked on . . . that seems within reach.