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Smoke row

(A Civil War story they would never tell)

Nashville, Tennessee, in 1860, near the river, resided in a district known as Smokey Row, which was four blocks long and two wide, where the prostitution industry thrived – eight full blocks of houses and houses of disrepute . If you had asked the Nashville sheriffs at that time for the federal census of these business women, they would have told you that they counted more than two hundred, included in such an occupation, but surely there were more, the unlisted list, mostly white but almost a dozen mulatto women were on the list, a large number were illiterate, about two dozen widows. The youngest in her teens, the oldest in her early sixties. Among the many, a dozen were from Kentucky, Alabama, Ireland, and Canada, the rest from Tennessee. The most used, or were known by common names.

On North Front Street, there was a large mansion, almost thirty people lived in the house, among the prostitutes were several children and a black man in his twenties, Tom Dimple. And the War between the States began. Forth Sumter was hit, bombed. In 1863, Brigadier General RS Granger, commanding Nashville, tried to get the vile women out of the city on a steamboat, but to no avail, they all crept back to the city in even greater numbers.

One hot afternoon Tom Dimple, in Nashville, sat high on the roof of this great mansion on Front Street, where he worked as a janitor, looked over the rooftops of the city; the chimneys that rise to the sky. After dark and the street lights came on, the soldiers began to arrive as usual at the disreputable house, by this time there were almost as many bare-faced black prostitutes marching through the streets as freely as the white people, even in public squares, day and night. The newspapers complained about this, and the commanders of the troops complained about the black women, but with the war going on, the sexual need of the soldiers allowed the influx of black women into this sinful business, if only to ease the burden. working of the whites. females.

People could hear Tom Dimple aching in pain on the rooftop and sometimes on the balcony, and tonight it was no different, tonight he was on the rooftop with the cool, cool breeze on the warm night, again in pain. Also, those who knew him had a joke about him: that he was the best friend of the black women in the house that they once had (and perhaps some of the white women) being simply a janitor. And she called him in whispers, Enema Hoyuelo, and not in his face, because of his anxiety about having sex with those women there, three or four times a day, but because he was constipated most of the time. Because it was so tight, he had to hold on tightly to the toilet seat each and every time, if not for the burning sensations in his penis, then for the release of the rectum, this time he felt so cramped, swelling, spasms and cramps. , peristalsis, they put him on crutches. Also, he came in due time, he became more of a patient than a janitor in the house, but anyway, everyone liked Tom.

So there I was sitting high on the roof tonight, a skilled janitor and a young sex addict and skilled in the art of interaction.

Before he went back down to his room tonight, it was dark and silent on that ceiling, and he was in so much pain, so much so that he wanted to jump off the ceiling and commit suicide, even though he knew women wouldn’t understand. and being grateful to the establishment of the house, he felt that this was not what he should do, and perhaps he would put it off: his spine and penis ached, and he had not had a bowel movement in seventeen days, not a check-up . for a doctor once, and for that he prayed with pious ignorance: “Oh Jesus”, he cried “if you would only listen to me, I would mend my ways this very day, help me in this difficult moment, take away all this pain – please, oh for Please, please, I beg of you, I will be a new kind of young man, just heal me. I will do whatever you ask of me, I will leave this house of renown and I will be a good boy like my mom told me to go, and go to church. every Sunday “and lo and behold, in the blink of an eye, everything returned to normal. His pain dwindled to nothing, his penis back in good working order. As a result, at that very moment, he had to run off the roof and take a big turn in the bathroom, and his spine was back in good shape, like iron. After all this, he went to bed to sleep well and without pain. The next morning, when he sat down and had breakfast with everyone, he didn’t say a word of his promise. And he just went back to working normally, in fact, he went back to doing what he was doing before, with even more enthusiasm and enthusiasm.

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