It is always interesting to me how real life differs from preconceived notions. Each time my imagination is off the mark I am reminded of my need to remind myself that I don’t always know what I am talking about and that ignorance might be deadly. For example, I thought quitting–anything–was difficult bc the mind fixates and it is necessary to break the fixation. If obsessions were easily mastered they wouldn’t be called obsessions.
I was wrong
I did not know that going cold turkey from alcohol can kill. It is really sad that people end up unwittingly killing themselves when they are struggling, and suffering, to do the best thing for themselves and their health. Cold turkey is total abstinence, zero consumption. When it comes to alcohol, that shock to the body is too much. In fact, once a person is physically addicted, withdrawal always involved physical suffering. People say opioid withdrawal won’t kill a person but I would best that more research will show that’s not true. When a person gets so very sick it is the body screaming for help. Is there a solution?
Some think suffering through withdrawal is good. It is not.
People have said suffering is a fitting punishment for people whose addictions have caused so much suffering for other people. They deserve it, those addicts. Besides, maybe if people know about the withdrawal they won’t start using. In truth the only thing withdrawal hinders us the willingness for the addict to attempt sobriety. Absolutely no one thinks their using will get out of hand. Everyone plans to keep things under control and not get physically addicted. That’s always the plan. Pretty much does not happen. If addicts had that kind of control there’d be no addiction. There is no need to suffer. A doctor who does not view addiction as a sin that deserves punishment will direct the addict to the proper medically assisted detox. I repeat: No addict has to suffer to achieve sobriety. Do not listen to anyone, no matter how medically qualified, who frames detox as a form of penance.
Find a medical provider who does not view addiction as a sin and suffering as well deserved penance and start medically supervised detox. You don’t have to suffer. It might kill you.
Losing everything could be tragic or freeing, depending on what you have to lose
Doing whatever the hell you want with no one to get in your way. And the thing you want to do is within your reach. Every day, when you are using you get to have the thing you most want. How often do regular people get to day that? When do their dreams come true?
In a way addicts like me, the kind of people who are all in, are like very wealthy people. By giving up on everything we have nothing in our lives that stops us from doing whatever the hell we want. It is easy to say this in retrospect, when I know that using drugs would cause me to lose everything in My life except the parts of my character that can’t be removed. For example, thinking skills learned through education are in the brain to stay. A sense of purpose is something that a person can lose and I lost it. All if the material possessions–gone. The capacity to earn back material possessions has disappeared too. What’s left. No money, no stuff, a generally adequate ability to think logically. Never had a family. The potential to get a husband is gone bc no one wants someone with my background. It all seems very sad but there is an upside. No one to care about and no one who cares about me means there is no pressure, no one wanting anything from me, not even wanting to know where I am. But wouldn’t that have happened anyway, me being alone bc I cannot get along with people. I have always been ashamed for people to see me all alone. I hated people knowing no one wanted me. I see now that using drugs has helped me not to care about the isolation that has been my fate since I was old enough to notice that I was never a part of a group. Some people would say I created this reality. By expecting to be alone. But I really thought I was hoping for live. Had I given up on being lived and loving someone without knowing it? Hence the willingness to try this thing bc I had nothing to lose that was worth fighting to keep.
Today is Friday September 24, 2021. This is the second week of the big policy initiative that requires Hawaii residents, at least in Oahu, to show proof of vaccination or a very recent negative COVID test. As you know if you are a faithful reader (welcome if you are a newcomer to our site!) I chose vaccination not bc I am convinced it is safe but bc someone had to try it so we can find out if vaccination works. If I wait to see if others have bad reactions it would be the same, I believe, as saying I want other people to take the risks and I will wait to read the benefits after all the kinks are smoothed out. I did not like what that thinking said about my character and trite as it may be I wanted to be the change I want to see in the world. Besides, I spent years on the streets of Honolulu, not really contributing to society but feeling like I had the moral high ground over other addicts who stole from people. After all, I reasoned, people give me their money and do not want it back. Society should have more addicts like me. That was my thinking twenty years ago. Today I want to make more of a direct contribution.
I was never asked to show proof of vaccination
Not once. I went for a minor matter to one of the magnet hospital’s emergency rooms. They did not want to see the card or make a record of it. I went to the law library in Hawaii’s Federal District Court. No one asked, again, not one of the armed security guards wanted to look when I offered the card. Supermarkets had no one at the door the way I expected. Same with Walmart. I had a friend tell me a restaurant would not allow him to eat outside bc he is not vaccinated. I never went to a restaurant, unless you count McDonald’s at Fort Street Mall where no one was posted up like I had anticipated.
What do I know about adequate public health measures?
I have a layperson’s understanding of what we are supposed to do during this crisis. COVID case numbers are declining, meaning, I think, fewer people are officially designated as newly infected every day. The numbers are still much higher than when Hawaii was locked down so are we basing policy on science and data? I don’t know. Just trying to do my part. Things are improving in Honolulu, I am told, though I still have not had illness as a part of my life or anyone I know, thankfully. I don’t think I deserve any credit but just know au have done my part! Only thing is, no one seems to care. Makes me wonder what measures are truly in place, policy notwithstanding. Why are things really getting better?
During my young adulthood the only thing I knew about cars was to try to catch the eye of the driver to see if he would stop for me. Cars were what I looked at when I was looking for someone who was looking for me. And oh yes, the four police stings I was involved with in downtown Honolulu began with me getting into a vehicle that was driven by an undercover police officer while other officers watched and followed us. Twice I escaped arrest, twice I did not. I learned much from these experiences and I am sharing those fascinating times from Honolulu at the turn if the 21st century. However, none of those adventures taught me anything about being a grown-up who owns a car (legally!). This is what happened today:
This is my Google Review posted Friday September 18, 2021
I went to Servco Toyota because this is the first time I have ever owned a vehicle and I do not know all the little insider bits of wisdom a person accumulates through experience. I thought the dealership would be the most legit, it would have the parts, and be competitively priced. When I told people my reasoning they laughed. ” Don’t you know the dealership is the most expensive? If you’re under warranty it is fine but if not don’t go there.” Another person said, “I go to Servco for maintenance, Lex Brody for brakes and tires, and I found place on Queen Street for Toyota.” I hoped they were wrong. I dealt with Vince who was very nice. He even waited to see if I was coming to pick up my car but exigent circumstances prevented me from picking it up the same day. I was able to leave or overnight for free. I suppose it should have been free sine they did not do anything. The parts were not in stock and it will take 7-10 days to receive them. What was this $140 bill paying for? The response: diagnosis. That was the cost for them to look at the car and tell me what I had told them when I brought the car to them in the first place. I paid $140 for nothing. Does everyone get treated this way? My paranoia is kicking in and I feel I must disclose to you, my valued readers, that I tend to be unreasonably suspicious and feel insulted over nothing. But that does not make me wrong when I think I detect a rip off. Or does it? Is it reasonable to pay $140 just to have the car looked at? Another friend concluded: “that’s why you support your local businesses, not the big national chain stores. Cross your fingers snd hope the neighborhood mechanic is not a tweeker. You should be able to get a much better deal from a local mechanic who is not on the pipe.”
Late Lessons from this experience
Whenever you are choosing to do something you are choosing not to do something else. I said “yes” to drugs and “no” to adult behavior that involves the acquisition, maintenance, and storage of things like cars. I am over 35 (this is not a math lesson, I will not say how many years stand between 35 and me). I own my first car. Here is what I did not know:
1. Mistakes like parking too close to something, are easy to make, easy to repeat, and get expensive quickly.
2. I knew people would want to use me for rides but I did not expect the persistent efforts to separate me from my car, permanently.
3. If parking is scarce, expensive, far from home, or unsafe, you might decide the problems outweigh the benefits. If you decide to keep the car new heretofore unknown pressure will become part of your lifestyle. Examples of pressure include but are not limited to: the stress of worrying about your car, or the anxiety about oversleeping and the car getting towed from street parking at 6:30 a.m.
4. People do not like to see you make progress. Not all people of course, but more than I would have imagined. Even if what they have is better, they resent you for getting a 16 year old used car with 170.000 miles. The will do everything from look the other way when the car is vandalized, to vandalizing it themselves.
5. People who let me know they need a car will get angry with me for not giving them the car–for free. I know more than my fair share of criminals who would rather take the car (or whatever) from me at no cost to themselves. This is true even if I was willing to work out a shared arrangement.
6. Because you never owned anything, experiences that are my Dane for others will produce feelings if joy and triumph and you will be constantly reminded of how far you’ve come in spite if the sabotaging efforts if others–and self! Every time you change lanes you will feel like a kid on Christmas and you might say aloud, in an empty car, “Caroleena on the go!” And you’ll laugh.
I have been part of an elite sector of society–during my days as an undergrad at Harvard. My graduation from the college with high honors (Magna cum laude) will always be an accomplishment I can appreciate–as do most people in regular society.
But there is an “irregular sector of society and I belong there too. The world of the outcast is the existence defined by lack of acceptance by the mainstream bc you are considered inferior. You might be an outcast bc of who you are, like being the wrong race in the wrong place. Or you could be an outcast bc of what you do, like people looked down upon bc of drug addiction.
I know what it is like to travel the road from professional to pariah when shortly after my graduation from Harvard I was amazed to find myself dependent on something I had never physically seen before–illegal drugs. Things became even more unbelievable when I changed from a person who never missed an in time payment for anything, ever, became jobless and homeless in Honolulu, where I survived by hustling money to get drugs to gain entry into the apartments of addicted men. I went between 10 or 15 different residences. Leaving personal possessions here, stealing stuff belonging to another similarly situated woman, there, I managed to get through life without a job, a residence, or a bank account. I was totally off the grid. How did I pull off this feat?
Men. I made use of men. It was easy to do in Honolulu at the turn of the 21st century when there was a street well known to locals, where people, men and women, traded sexual favors for money. Or if a guy did not want favors but companionship, these people would provide their time in exchange for money. Some of these men I saw on a regular basis for years and a few became friends, the kind not acknowledged in public. I met the guys in the area with apartments who had addictions but also a steady source of income not dependant on current achievements. The majority of them were retired military, many were Vietnam vets who only hung out with other vets. I formed deeper relationships with them because I spent more time with them. I was usually one of several women who dropped by bearing gifts in order to be allowed in to shower, change clothes, sleep, dye their hair. The things normal people do not do when they visit friends bc they do them at home, those were the necessities that motivated me to find indoor locations.
For years it was easy. It took under 10 minutes for a guy driving by to stop for me. Ten minutes or so later ,I would have a sum that ideally was around $100 but honestly, often fell quite short. I would be dropped off close to the person selling what I needed. Once the purchase was made I had to decide where I could go. Which guys had I alienated with my difficult personality and incessant tendency to tell the truth? Which guys endlessly harassed me, demanding more of everything even after I had paid the entry fee? Those were but a few of the considerations when choosing where to go for sleep and hygiene and even companionship.
I was in my 20’s, many considered me beautiful. I did not know enough to use my looks to secure a husband and a future–pre-feminist style, I know. I used my looks to secure adventures. Meeting new guys every day, going to their places in far flung parts of the island of Oahu, well, you can imagine the good and bad times I experiences. These experiences took my mind off of my lack of family and various heartbreaks. I was busy but not productive. I thought I could go on like this forever.
Nothing is constant but change. The guys with the apartments died or became homeless. Honolulu responded to community pressure to clean up downtown by interrupting the demand side of the street trade. Female undercover cops posed as working girls and men were arrested. That was not the deterrent. The deterrent was the possibility that if a guy got arrested for solicitation his picture might appear on the news. Guys turned to a tool rapidly increasing in popularity–the internet. There was no longer guaranteed money in minutes when a woman walked to a certain street. Another factor contributing to change was incarceration. I went to a place where more women were younger than me than older. I was aging without even a stable address on record to show for it.
Circumstances allowed me to get a place. Cutting off downtown people enabled me to keep the place. If I never did anything adventurous (or stupid) again, I would still have thousands of stories rattling around in my head. Maybe I had something to teach. I knew I had tales to entertain. Thus, out if a sense of not wanting all that time spent on the street to be for absolutely nothing, I began to record my experiences in this blog. This is the short version of how I came to know what I know and why I have written the words you now read.
I think about what I am trying to do with this blog, this writing project. Since 2017, I have shared my story in an admittedly disjointed way that one reader likened to “stream of consciousness.” My story–what is that? If I am asked to give an elevator pitch describing my story, how would I define myself? Of course I could not tell the absolute truth since I would be talking to someone so I would automatically create the most positive image of myself and when that is done you know you cannot be cringingly honest. Can you? Could I? Could I share the vulnerability that makes me who I am and think you will want to read it? My superficial, appealing (I hope) elevator pitch of my story, this blog you are reading, would be: “People have told me I should write a book that is different from the tourist brochures of Honolulu’s Waikiki tourist track. Downtown Honolulu is a few short miles but a world away from the wealth of Waikiki. It is one of the centers of street life powered by drug addiction and maintained by street prostitution, theft from stores, and drug dealing. As a Harvard grad I started off in Hawaii as a researcher studying a subculture. But I surprised myself when something I knew nothing about called “addiction,” carried me into the streets where I lived a life that was at one time unimaginable. I did things, saw things, and got to know people I never would have met in my former existence.
I learned that everything I thought I knew about sex, gender, taboos…that list is too long.! Everything I thought I knew about everything needed adjusting. What I can tell you about the forbidden world of sex and drugs is endlessly educational for the scholars and entertaining for the voyeurs.”
That’s my too-long elevator pitch. It is all true but not exactly honest. Let’s try for more honest. See below.
My Vulnerable Truth in an honest elevator pitch about my story
I write to harvest the wisdom from my experience because I am still seeking success as defined by society to validate me. After a childhood enduring racism, foster care, and no friends, I thought Harvard would prove my worth to everyone, including me. But the problems I thought a high status accomplishment would solve were still with me. After graduation I was still alone, without family, invited for Christmas dinner by a kind person who included lonely people for the holidays. I felt betrayed that success had not healed my heart or changed my isolated reality. I was offered drugs in a Manhattan bar. I said yes to I knew not what, other than drug use was a rejection of the conventional values that did not heal me. A move to Hawaii resulted in me taking my problems from New York to paradise. Then came full time addiction, joblessness, homelessness, prison. I had become everything I used to separate myself from with scorn, everything that was like my family of origin. I found freedom from judging people bc I understood how a person can fail and still be human. Yet the knowledge that the world still judges me motivates me to use what I have in search of success. All I have is fascinating stories of taboo street life, hidden sexual realities, and secrets people share with hookers bc who could we tell? I hope these stories will reach a broad enough audience to generate income and justify my life choices so I won’t be ashamed to be in touch with people from high school. Success still pending.
I can be more vulnerable and in time, as we get to know each other I will give more of me. Since 2017 I have shared events but not myself. Change is coming.
I was incarcerated in Honolulu for possession of a prescription pill. Addiction fuels the state economy in a variety of ways. Most incarcerated women had been on drugs. Ironically there was no sustained supply of illegal drugs. The women were too eager to tell on each other to curry favor with staff, many if whom were friends and relatives in the islands. Inmates were stuck with pharmaceuticals that doctors give people with addictions. The best you can get is something that will make you sleep. Sleeping is the best way to pass your time. The only drugs that will put an inmate to sleep are in the antipsychotic class. I guess psychosis was not really being treated as much as tamped down. The number 1 choice…drumroll, please…Seroquel. That is one drug with ugly side effects. Fifty pound weight gain in under a month. “Sleep eating” similar to actions caused by a drug unavailable to inmates—Ambien. Inability to concentrate on any reading whatsoever. After a couple of months the med turns on you and keeps you up, especially if you miss the “window” or time of feeling drowsy. If you do not get to fall asleep during that 15 minutes, oh well. But in the beginning the drug can get you 18 solid hours of unconsciousness. It was the drug most likely to be carried back from the med line the way a mama bird carries food in her mouth back to the nest. Women who could not convince the psych they were psychotic by saying “I see voices,” traded commissary items to women with more recognized mental illness in exchange for smuggled bits of that drug. Between the rice, bread and generic psych meds, no wonder women left prison overweight!
I have a friend who is still in the street. She does not stay with me probably BC that’s just too much of me. But she hangs out with me when I am downtown. Last week she showed me a text from a guy who she thought was her friend. It turned out that any bit of kindness he showed her was entered into his records. It was clear he had given each kind action a sexual equivalent. Based upon his calculations he had done so much for her she should happily throw herself at him and let him have his way with her while she did his bidding. Of course he was quite vulgar in the wording of his expectations. I am putting an intellectual spin on his foul mouthed diatribe. And what were these acts of kindness? Asking her if she wanted a soda. Checking on her at the homeless camp near Safeway by the Pali Highway. Nothing like giving her a place to stay or taking her to the doctor. Nothing that would make a true difference in the life of a homeless, addicted woman. Nevertheless she had believed she had a friend. So all those times he checked on her by the homeless encampment…All those times he he brought her a can of soda…those were just manipulations in a long term plan? He cared nothing for her? I feel bad now that at the time she shared the text with me I was focussed on what scum I thought he was rather than her hurt feelings. I will try to make that up to her.
Some People Are Ungenerous
There are people who keep a running lists of everything they have ever done for a person. People who think of themselves as generous see no contradiction between their self image and their belief that people owe them for their good natures. I hate that. The people who adopted me were like that, the lady, really. She was always complaining that I was not grateful for food, clothing, doctor visits. My view was that I never asked to go there and that is the deal they signed up for. I had no say in the deal. I would never have consented. I got out of that house the first chance I got. I left with a lifelong aversion to sudden demands of gratitude for what was “freely” given. My friend situation was not unlike the one I had been adopted into. She did not know she had entered into a contract. I know she can be selfish but addicts typically are selfish about dope. I am sure she did not want to share dope. Who does? I concede the point that she might have been a taker, although I have no direct knowledge of this opinion, but owing sex is not something I buy into. Little did she know he had tabulated a sex…ledger. Disappointing but not surprising. He did what a lot of guys have done in my experience. Not only do they equate certain sex acts with, say, beverage offers, they laughingly try to make us jealous. They mention all the women who would happily do what they want. Please go find those women eager to disrobe and throw themselves, legs akimbo, at your feet. Save us the hassle!
Anyone who works at a job would be quite annoyed if a so-called friend tabulated favors and came up with the number of free hours we owe giving them the benefit of our professional expertise. Working girls hate to hear they have sex debts and they would just as soon the guys go elsewhere. Keep in mind he is not offering her anything but the chance to enter into sexual slavery until he is satisfied he has been compensated. It would be different if the guy had been upfront and approached with money and asked if she would. Hey, people on the street know how money is earned. But to feign friendship in order to turn affection into guilt and then demand sex, that he won’t pay for BC of her sex debt…that is just sneaky. Pervy. And far too common.. Maybe men and women cannot be friends. Maybe when a man is friends with a woman he thinks he is the one taking a loss. Is it possible that a man feels insulted when a woman calls him a friend? Maybe. I will ask around. I do know that people who fake affection and later reveal their true motives come off as traitors. We try not to have feelings, and we certainly do not want any feelings that we cannot quash to be hurt, but for people who strive for indifference, we women on the street are especially sensitive to rejection.
Do dolphins debate human capacity for intelligence?
I watch the show “I Survived” which features people telling stories if survival from horrendous situations, including specific explanations of injuries. It is pretty intense. It seems to me the categories of danger are: extreme weather, crazy assailant, car/boat/plane crash, wild animal, injury during solo activity. At times they show interviews with different people from the same mass incident, like the Columbine shootings. You only see the survivor talking to an unseen person, with snippets of reenactments from the incidents. At the end show’s end each survivor completes the sentence “I survived because…” Survivors mention family, inner strength, you know, what you would expect to hear. There is one unexpected response. Everyone who spent time in the ocean before the Coast Guard rescued them all gave credit to dolphins, like they would at an award acceptance event:
I want to thank the dolphins. They came and watched over me. They drove away the sharks. If it hadn’t been for the dolphins I would not be here.
Multiple Survivors of disasters crediting dolphins for saving them.
I have heard this expression of gratitude too often to think it is meaningless dolphin behavior that happened to help. The dolphins acted with deliberate purpose–I believe. We humans think we are running the show and never imagine other animals are evaluating us, thinking of our needs, intervening when they feel the need.
Addiction in Dolphin Eyes
What must they think of addiction, assault, war? They might understand war since they fight the sharks. Surely they have fights over mating rights. But self destruction?
Dolphins must say to each other, ” They seem intelligent, but their self destructive behavior is unique in nature.” Another dolphin might mention lemmings “They follow each other off cliffs.” They might say anyone can follow a group down the wrong path. Male spiders who go into mating only to be eaten by the female? Maybe he doesn’t know what’s ahead. Even if he dies, he is going out the best way possible. Makes sense. But destroying yourself, by yourself, when it dies not foster belonging or get you sex? Incomprehensible.
What kind of animal is a human to veer so sharply away from normal self preservation?
https://wp.me/pakr2b-1ZA. Thus is the link to the above entitled post by a fellow wordpress blogger that inspired this author.
Sex, Drugs, Money
Not Just Sex and Drugs
Addiction pushes people to do things that they might nit have been completely opposed ti, but never saw themselves doing. In theory a woman may believe prostitution is a personal choice but there’s no way in God’s green earth she would ever make that choice. After addiction takes hold and the brain and body shout “Need drugs, need drugs!” a woman finds herself doing what was since unimaginable. Not only is she doubt it, but it becomes routine, ho hum. She’ll see a car up over on her side if the street 10 feet in front if where she is standing on the sidewalk, and she will have the near by drug dealer on her mind. She will say to herself “I will just do this date real quick and get something frim the guy before he leaves.” She dies not lime the work nor does she anticipate the task in advance. She focusses on the reward and that s a fantasy she will happily replay in her mind after she gets out of the car, task complete. Very few things in life, while using or sober, provide the elation she feels as she race walks to the dope man, clutching three twenty dollar bills. Three hard earned twenties that will be gone in an hour. It is common for people to get addicted to the drug and addicted to the rush of anticipation. Since dugs are inexplicably bound in that streetlife ritual, one would assume if the woman had dope or got clean she would not engage in prostitution. You would be wrong.
Conversation is a Mutual Reward
People seldom act out of one simple motive. There are the obvious goals in street life.
Logically the two people never need to speak to each other. Politeness would not matter Neither hooker or trick would contemplate if they like the other person in the temporary contract. Yet, they do like or dislike the other person. They look forward to seeing them again or the join up grudgingly when there are no other options on the street. They both appreciate the diminished risk of rejection BC they both know their personalities are of secondary importance
Sobriety is all about retraining your brain. Presenting yourself as what you are not what you offer to do is one of the most frightening adjustments. People who never realized prostitution created a social safety zone are astonished to find themselves missing it when they are no longer pursuing (or being pursued by) an addiction. Recovery is difficult when a person is unaware of the many payoffs of using.
Ironically, rich people have the same concern about people wanting to use them. Who would believe people in the highest and lowest social castes would have something so deep in common?
Hygiene lessons are supposed to be taught to a child before he will be separated from his mother for hours and must cate fir himself with the help of a caregiver (pre-school/kindergarten teacher) who must split her attention between him and a small group of other children. Little kids are not solid yet with bathroom skills and hand washing but it is assumed, usually accurately, as they get older and acquire more skills a little kid will develop into an adult who can keep himself neat, clean, with no body odor or bad breath. The cleanliness standard is high in the United States where people must maintain themselves so that no one would guess that they sweat, use the bathroom, eat food, or get dirty in any way.
Challenges of Homelessness
In order to maintain yourself so well that no one would think you have to maintain yourself at all, you must have equipment. All of the equipment relies upon running fresh water that is constantly replenished. Homeless people can be dirty and smelly in part BC they do not have access to running water, sinks, toilets. In Honolulu people discovered that a public source of running water will draw the homeless. There are no outdoor sinks, drinking fountains (even before COVID caused places to close drinking fountains), or toilets. Businesses and restaurants that used to provide bathrooms to their customers do not do so anymore and there are reasons that this article wi address. Here is a list of what NOT to do when you are “out there.”
1. Lingering. If you find a bathroom that is open to the public do nit do one of these things people hate. A. Do not take up a lot of time by occupying the space longer than 5 minutes. Whatever you have to do, do it fast or rhe proprietors will deny access. I have known a few people who stayed in bathrooms at state parks for hours, like 3 -4 because they were using the sink to bathe and hand wash their clothes. Or they were in the bathroom getting high and did not want to leave a place where they can lick a door between themselves and the world. A public bathroom is nit for your leisure. It is nit a “rest” room. Get in and out abd do not make people knock on the door to hurry you along.
2. Leaving a disgusting mess. People might take a long time in their own bathrooms but I am sure that people who trash public areas would not treat their own space that way. Flush the toilet. Wipe up water on floor and sink. Moat public restrooms are not made for what people in Honolulu call “birdbaths” which is bathing by using the sink. Water splashed around does nit go anywhere until someone cleans it up and that someone needs to be you. I have been with people who are doing well in life and people in the street. No matter who U am with there’s always a woman who will leave used feminine products in plain sight. This form if nastiness appears to cross class lines. A homeless woman cannot afford to do this if she can find an open bathroom. And most importantly do not leave drug paraphernalia.. It is both disgusting and horrifying to find used needles.
3. Overdose. Several years ago I read an article about how places on the mainland that had since been 24 hour temporary sanctuaries for the public, like churches, and libraries, had to close at night or completely deny access to bathrooms because too many people were overdosing on heroin and dying. Some church officials were heartbroken to have to turn people away but finding one dead body is the stuff of nightmares. When you start talking more than one dead body, people will take swift and radical action to try to keep any hint of death out of their reality. If there’s one thing Americans do not want to see, talk about, or be aware of, it is death. Americans cannot even tolerate genuine expressions of grief; displays of strong emotion make us supremely uncomfortable. American culture demands that death not intrude upon life. I have heard other places are different..
It is really best nit to take risks that could result in people finding your body and that s what you’re doing if you do drugs although no one ever allows themselves to think about this truth. If you’re sneaking drugs into someone’s space do not over do it. Note: I am not advocating doing drugs in someone’s shower. I am addressing reality.
4. WASTING OPPORTUNITIES. I know of at least two programs that provide showers fir homeless people. You might have to wait in line and adjust your ways fir others. People will refuse to be seen going into one if those places out of pride. In truth, people know you are out there. You’re not fooling anyone the way you think you are. Your face is familiar and recognized as one of the area’s homeless. Accept any inconvenience to use facilities that allow you access. Same rules apply. Leave the place looking like you never entered.
5. CONTROVERSIAL OPINION. If someone else leaves behind syringes, for example, consider picking them up BC there will be no investigation for the perpetrator All homeless will be blamed. “See how they are,” is what will be said. The willingness to keep the facilities open will diminish with every incident until its the last straw. Besides, its nice to show gratitude to people who are helping you. Moreover by doing something nice they will never know about, you keep your spirit bright.
6. HOARDING. People who want to help the homeless often hand out supplies. Now and then a small group will come downtown and pass out sandwiches. If you have the chance to get soap, feminine hygiene products, by all means take them. But only take a few. Do-gooders feel taken advantage of when one person snatches a bunch of items. And they winder if they are not helping to perpetuate a mentality that promotes taking at the expense of others. Do-gooders need to feel they are doing something good. That’s their payoff. If you rob them if their payoff and they believe they have done more harm than good they will lose motivation.
7. DO NOT TELL ANYONE. If you find an out if the way bathroom tell no one. People wi ruin it. Sad but gruel. The proprietors would appreciate your silence.
8. CREATING POSSIBILITIES. You might get a date who takes you to his place. That occurrence is not unusual in Honolulu. Or, you might find yourself in someone’s apartment, usually another addict. Carry your shower stuff, always. Ask to take a quick shower no matter what you’re there to do, with your own soap and towel. Plus a plastic bag for your dirty clothes and wet towel. Five minutes–say it and mean it. Make sure you clean the tub. Ideally you’ll leave the bathroom better than you found it. Do not think you should not clean up if your host is messy. They tolerate their mess. Not yours. And they will notice your mess, even if they have a pile of dirty towels on the floor. The host will remain open to the person who comes after you. No matter how humble your circumstances you can do something to benefit another, s life affirming action.
Public Bathroom Summary
In short, a bathroom is supposed to look like no one uses it. People are grossed out by evidence that a bathroom is used, even if they also use that bathroom. Do not think other homeless people will be ok with a discarded needle on the floor or water everywhere. They won’t. They will be as disgusted as the people who cross the street to avoid a homeless person. The sad thing is that most homeless people do their best to keep areas clean. It is a case where one person can truly ruin it for everyone. Do not be that person.
This blog began as a discussion of addiction as it manifests itself in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. Addiction is a process that puts a name to the changes in the brain that make people think they must have something in order to live in spite of catastrophic consequences that end when the thing needed for life ends up being the thing that ends life. Addiction, no matter the object of the obsession, causes certain personality traits such as 1. denial, 2. self-centered entitlement, 3. Risk taking, 4. Shifting standards so that once unacceptable behavior is embraced, 5. Inability to empathize and 6.unwillingness and inability to change mentality due to the mistaken belief in the perfection of one’s mindset regardless of all evidence to the contrary. These thinking errors become habitual just as obtaining and ingesting the object of the addiction becomes a habit which is why people can have “addict behavior” while practicing abstinence. Recovery is giving up the obsession AND the thoughts and behaviors created anor reinforced by addiction. The thoughts and behaviors are summed up in more casual language like this: addicts think only if themselves and elevate their desires to the level of necessity. Addicts are their own gods and they matter to themselves but they do not show caring for others. Addicts believe they are right and quite often think they are superior to others. They believe they should have everything and people should give it to them, or at least not be upset when they steal. The problems they experience are attributed to other people or circumstances and they resist the notion that their problems are of their own making. “I’m right, everyone else is wrong.” Or “all for me and none for anyone else.” Or, “everyone is picking on me, I don’t do anything wrong.” Or “I’m the smartest person out of everyone I know and possibly in the whole world.” Or “I will do anything to get what I want. Finally , “It’s not my fault.” Addicts operate under one or all of these guiding principles with individual variability of course. This mentality is at odds with other people which is why addicts become outsiders rejected by a society that has rules they cannot or will not obey. I understand addict thinking and therefore can predict behavior.
Anyone with questions about addiction, especially as it applies to someone they love can contact me and I, Caroleena, as a person who has been down that road and who has seen many addicts, can provide advice. One goal of this evolving blog is to make it a how-to deal with your beloved addict.
Thanks for sharing this part of your life with me,
I have had a chance to see non-monogamous arrangements. I have also had a chance to talk to other people who have also seen intimate arrangements that involve more than one intimate partner with another intimate partner. One thing is needed to keep these arrangements happy: indifference. Yes, indifference. Not fairness, or respect or rules or any of the things people think are so important. In order to have peace about your partner being intimate with others you have to not care about what people ordinarily care about. One of the easiest ways to not care is to deliberately turn a blind eye and not know things.
Women with multiple men
For example, when guys have girlfriends or wives who engage in sex work the guys do not ask their women about the dates. When you see this arrangement in downtown Honolulu, most of the time the women are working to get money for dope for the both of them. The focus is on the mission, which is always about drugs. The guys know the women cannot wait to get away with as much as possible in order for them to get high. He understands that she does not care about the trick. When she shared the money the sex work becomes a joint endeavor that expresses her loyalty to her significant other. The boyfriend is not a traditional pimp in that she is not expected to turn over 100% of her earnings. The boyfriend, as an addict, would love all the money and dope but he knows she is also an addict and will spend on drugs for herself. He’s happy when she comes back.
Secret Insider’s View
The drugs of choice in downtown Honolulu are crack cocaine, locally called ma’a (which I have heard means “rock” in Samoan), chrystal methamphetamine or “ice,” and black tar heroin or “boy.” Some people also drink. Few people do only one drug. Most do two, a small number will do both ice and ma’a along with boy but it’s usually ice or ma’a and boy. One of the main forces driving the drug economy is street prostitution. Many of these sex workers have significant others who make it a point not to know the specifics of those private encounters, nor do they attach any significance to what she does because it’s all for the dope.
Now that I think of it, if an addict is willing to give up money that could be used to get high, that really is a powerful expression of loyalty.
It used to amaze me when I watched people, older men, allow themselves to be “used.” I have seen men put up with working girls who stole from them, without even trying to hide their actions. Or maybe they lived with the older man but could not resist the call of downtown Honolulu (locals call the are “town”). There is something addictive about entering and returning to drug hotspots. Merely approaching the area can cause butterflies in the stomach, almost like a nervous feeling. I’ve watched older men drive around the area where the girls go to “catch a date,” because they know the woman they took off the street will be there or will return to get more money.once a man stopped me to ask if I had seen his girlfriend. I had not. Would I have told him if I had? Some people think there should be a code of silence and others do not care and hope to get a financial reward. My thinking was maybe I could get him interested in me. I wouldn’t run off with his money, I lied to myself. But no, he was interested in her. His regret was that try as he might, he couldn’t keep up with her habit. Why did he want to fund her habit? Because she was the only person who sought him out. It’s a powerful motivator–isolation, that is–and people will go to great lengths to matter to someone for any reason. He was ok with being “used” bc they used each other, needed each other, mattered to each other. There are many people who would love to be rudely interrupted when they talk just to feel like someone wants them to listen. I never knew how common loneliness is–even for married men. In my opinion, loneliness is a close second to sex drive as a motivating factor to participate in prostitution as a “trick.”
I have been saying this very thing but he says it better. Addiction is a response to human suffering. Not only does he dismiss the idea of addiction as a moral failure but he does not embrace the idea of addiction as a disease. I wrote, within the last month I think, that every addict I know has experienced a childhood of abuse, abandonment, or absolutely no consequences (or “spoiling”). These conclusions are based upon my observations of addicts, my self-analysis as an addict, and I am able to assemble my views into a coherent ideological framework thanks to the world class ivy league education that I had hoped would heal my soul. My schooling did not heal my soul but it gave me a great vocabulary and the ability to use those words to convey thoughts to others. And that’s a very big deal. My experiences in and around Honolulu Hawaii’s ground zero from the early 21st century until today January 3, 2021 are what makes my site original. I know what I am talking about and I want you to hear what I have to say because people in your life, maybe you, suffer and compound the suffering with the response to pain. I simply could not let you miss this YouTube talk. You’ll be glad you followed the link!
I invite you to take this new year and really engage with me. Tell me what I am doing right, or wrong. Let me know what I should stop altogether, or what you want to see more. Tell me if I am as witty and intelligent as I promised I would be–I am often mistaken about these assumptions (lol).
Sensuality is of particular interest to me in that I want to convey what keeps people coming back to the red light side of life. What’s so appealing when you look at people on the street? There must be something that draws people in. Tell me if I manage to sensibly put words to my opinion of the attraction of street life and those who dibble and dabble in it.
Someone said this site is confusing so I figured I’d add a purpose section to explain what’s going on here with these words from a former sex worker who is also a graduate of an Ivy League University.
This site is for people who want to see what it is like to be part of a subculture that exists almost out of sight from the mainstream, and that is the world of the drug user. When a person starts using drugs he or she does not imagine drugs will take over. The take over will be so complete that people don’t use drugs as much as drugs use people. In the words of Narcotics Anonymous everyone’s focus becomes about getting drugs, using drugs, and finding ways and means to get more. The drugs are intoxicating but so is the feeling of being part of a secret world that a person never knew was there all along! The singleness of purpose has predictable results the new convert cannot imagine happening to him. Obviously many others don’t keep jobs and end up turning to theft or prostitution or selling drugs themselves. These activities inevitably result in arrest because no one can be perfect all the time and one mistake will get a person caught. The new recruit had always held certain beliefs about this kind of person, and like everyone else who is prejudiced against people she has never met, it’s extraordinary to find out that people differ from perceptions.
There were people to meet that a person never would have given the time of day to before, but now! Conversations reveal that these people, who do this thing, they are very relatable. No family, no friends, abused, abandoned, perhaps once successful but now, homeless. The new user would never have spoken to a street person before, would never have imagined such a thing to be possible much less, desirable. But when you’re looking for drugs you come to a point where you do not care what you do or who you’re with. Even racism goes out the window if you need someone to get high. In an effort to find a safe place to use drugs you end up in places that were once unknown, like Single Room Occupancy (SRO) buildings, where each tenant has a tiny room and the entire floor shares a filthy bathroom in the hallway. The new recruit is not only excited but also appalled. The once inconceivable was becoming familiar and with a little more time, the once inconceivable becomes humdrum.
The Things You End Up Doing
It is understandable why sex and drugs would be paired together (I’m not sure about rock and roll). Sex and drugs are inextricably linked. Drugs make men , though not women, desire sex with strangers. Women, and men who take on the role of female in this context, use sex to get drugs. In spite of her best intentions to be different, addicted women do lose their jobs, their homes, and turn to the one resource they have to make money—their bodies. It does not take women long to learn that men who use drugs want sex and have no intention of sharing their dope. Sex with users to achieve a desired end is a waste of time. Women must branch out and ply their trade elsewhere.
Waikiki Working Girls
In the year 2000 in Honolulu there were two areas where men could find working girls right in the street like a farmers market. There was Waikiki, but not on the main drag with the most expensive hotels and shops, Kalakaua Avenue. In Waikiki the hookers were on the next street over from the beach, Kuhio Avenue, which ran parallel to Kalakaua. What a difference a block made. The hookers walked up and down in their glassine heels that were made to look like fish were swimming within the heels. These women were under the watchful eyes of pimps, who were black just like the stereotype. The pimps watched to make sure their girls worked from sun down to sun up and they were their to keep other pimps away from their girls. Most importantly, the pimps were waiting for their women to return with the $200 for each date, every penny. These women ordinarily did not do drugs besides weed. They had a reputation for giving rushed service because they had obligations to meet. Blacks and whites are both numerical minorities in Hawaii which is mostly Polynesian and Asian. But on Kuhio Avenue the women were black and white and only there for a few weeks before their group headed back to the mainland and another major metropolitan area with a public street serving as a “ho stroll.”
The working girls downtown were very different. They were permanent residents and every one was addicted to ice, crack, heroin, or alcohol in some combination. They did not look nearly as good as the Waikiki girls but they were a whole lot less expensive. The minimum they needed to get dope was $20 and although they’d deny it if asked, they’d do $20 dates in the car. In downtown many of the “girls” are really boys dressed as girls but not trying to pass for women because there’s a huge demand for men who look like women but are obviously me. They are called “mahu’s” (pronounced MA-who) and I apologize if there’s a new PC term I don’t yet know. Anyway, if you let the sex workers get high they weren’t in a hurry to go anywhere. It was surprising how many men would bring the women home, but it was quite common. Some got off the street, some disappeared, some had been out there since the 90’’s. In Waikiki the men were mostly tourists. In downtown the men were residents from all over the island from rich to just rich enough to spare $20. Everyone’s a resident and long term friendships with “regulars” is standard.
These Stories Deserve Excellent Writing
If you’re like me you’ve noticed that if a site is about sex the quality of the writing is poor and they rely heavily on dirty words to maintain interest. Not this site. Caroleena, the author, was downtown in the year 200, before guys found women online and the street was where the money was made. As an Ivy League grad Caroleena has the skills to compile her stories and put them together in an organized, well written fashion. The readers are people interested in this alternative lifestyle without having to live it. As you scroll down the screen you will see stories and links to stories about the life. You will also find stories that include hidden recordings that feature the words of people who had also been there. There are also writings about current events, which today is October 2020, and these are events seen through the eyes of a scholar who’d been an addicted sex worker in 2000.