During my early days in Honolulu I had yet to learn about the drug scene in Chinatown, near the downtown business district. I checked Waikiki for cocaine since a world famous place usually had everything. I still had a credit card that I had not maxed out. With that steady stream of cash I was welcome to hang out in low rent apartments for as long as I wanted. In those days I had spent my life in school, U knew nothing about predatory men, street life, and the idea that I would ever be a prostitute was not a thought that entered my mind. In one of the apartments, on Cleghorn Street near Liliuokalani Street and Kuhio Avenue I spent time with a couple, a dealer and his girlfriend. I watched him jerk her around by using dope as bait. He would tell her to wait, or not give her what she wanted, or he would pay too much attention to other women. All of these actions were meant to aggravate her. She got her way by throwing toddler style tantrums, yelling, crying, stamping her feet. I watched them and I promised myself I would never be under a man’s thumb like that.
LEARNING THE GAME
Later I understood that some people got their drugs by dating and others made it a point to get with the dealer do they didn’t have to date. But they did have to deal with a man who has something women want. When a man has something women want he is prone to becoming sexually and emotionally abusive. My personality was ill suited for excessive displays of deference. I always kept my promise to myself to stay out from under any man’s thumb, and chose to get my money and buy my own drugs so no man owned me.
Some people say the trading of sex for drugs in different ways is prostitution no matter how you look at it, and the difference between dating different men and getting with the dealer is like saying “six in one hand, half a dozen in another.”. To me, these two were not the same. Even I could maintain a relationship for no more than a day and for usually a lot less time. If I had to be appealing to one man all the time–well, let’s just say I have never been able to keep a man’s long-term uninterrupted interest. If I had had to depend on one man I don’t think I would have made it, not in the drug world or the regular world