Life is a good news bad news story. The good news is you can get used to anything. But you know what the bad news is? You can get used to anything. The once unimaginable, the once inconceivable, can become routine. The thought of something used to horrify you, and now you can do that very thing without batting an die. I suppose it is necessary to adapt in order to survive. but it could easily happen that the very adaptation that enables you to survive in the short-term hurts you in the long-run. Sometimes we have to keep the horror of a bad situation alive, if it is within our power to change the situation. Acceptance may be the key to solving most problems but not all problems. Be careful what becomes acceptable to you, and question anything that was once out of bounds but you now consider alright.
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Imagine being an addicted street level sex worker. I never would have been able to as a young woman unless I had seen an informative HBO special. Even then I would not have related to the subject matter and more than I related to my beloved nature documentaries. Fascinating show–right? I’m doing these things but not really, not likes the other women and men dressed as women. They look like they were born for the streets. Not me, obviously, I would reassure myself. I will hang out for a while and, I’ve got it!–do some Anthropological research that will one day make the acquaintance of a university press. “One day” was a bustling time, full of plans. “One day” was also comfortably vague enough for me to settle in and not pay attention to the growing number of years between my real life and this temporary transition to–I knew not what. Without realizing the moment things changed I recognized that my real life was not in my future but in my past. I was a has-been rather than a gonna-be.
No matter what a person’s opinion about prostitution, few would deny the desire to be desired. Certainly it’s nice to imagine that someone would take one look at your beauty and start thrusting high denomination bills your way, if only for the privilege of gazing upon your loveliness. I have enjoyed this very treatment. A half hour after leaving a man who gave me $300 just to look at me, I met another client who pulled up in a limo. He was a black man who did not smile when he saw me. He gave me $2 and instructed me to go you the 7-11 where we met and get him a soda. When I walked away from the limo, the driver peeled out of the parking lot, tires squealing. I called the would-be client and said if he was any kind of man he’d tell me why he dismissed me. After a brief hesitation he said “Frankly, I was expecting more,” and hung up. I had $302 so I headed for the apartment of one of the five men who gave me a place to stay in exchange for drug money and reflected on the lesson learned. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder–I tried not to don’t take anyone’s disdain of my appearance affect me personally. After all, maybe in his subconscious he is looking for his grandmother, I told myself at the time of any rejection. But I was an accomplished narcissist and everything was about me, including being chosen or passed over by would be dates slowly cruising the mixed residential and lightly industrial Kukui Street. I liked the overt admiration,and had never been so lavishly praised by so many different people. I always wished I had been admired for my looks so in a bizaar but real way, one aspect of prostitution became a dream come true. I started to feel incomplete unless someone commented on my looks. I did not know then that a woman in her early 20’s is just about always pretty, even when she isn’t. I traded more on my youth than my good looks but I believed I made $300-$500 a day in downtown Honolulu because I was special and pretty. Only later did I discover that men looking for sex are not picky. The #1 most important asset a woman has going for her in this arena is simply being present and immediately available. The lure of having to look no further was powerful enough to cause men to screech to a halt within one minute after I stepped onto Kukui Street. I could have been anyone. Maybe the subconscious needed to turn the humiliation of doing…no, I cannot discuss it in detail…doing things…into an ego booster. What would have happened to my heart if I was standing on the street and felt the shame of what I had become instead of feeling I was on a model’s catwalk instead of the ho stroll, the track?