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Harm Reduction in Honolulu

Honolulu community outreach workers give advice to avoid celeb-style overdoses. See link

Michael K. Williams died of accidental overdose that included fentanyl, cocaine https://www.newsbreakapp.com/n/0c7BtMBR?&share_destination_id=MTU5ODM3MDA2LTE2MzI2MDQwNjgzNDQ=&s=a99&pd=0AoeuE7z&hl=en_US

In Honolulu “Harm Reduction” is the controversial policy


Harm Reduction concedes the impossibility of harm prevention

According to my inexpert understanding, “Harm Reduction” is a policy based upon the theory that people are going to do what they want no matter the danger, no matter the educational efforts, no matter how bad it is for them. No one knows why people do things they know will hurt them–why do we start in the first place and why don’t we stop? Even if we do stop why is it so very difficult? What we know is people engage in behavior that is pleasurable but risky, as d when continued changes from merely pleasurable to compulsive and destructive. We cannot stop people. Therefore society might as well help them do what they do safely bc bad outcomes in one segment of society will effect everyone. One controversial point is: harm Reduction is not the same as encouraging people to do something, but accepting the inevitable reality of free will being the most important factor in behavior. What does this policy look like in action?

It means teaching teens how to obtain birth control bc no matter what anyone says they will not all be abstinent until marriage (is anyone?).

Honolulu Harm Reduction

In Honolulu Harm Reduction means stationing outreach workers in a van downtown on most weekdays for the purposes of exchanging, but NOT, distributing clean needles to iv drug users, giving away free condoms, passing out informational pamphlets, etc…. Everyone thought diseases like AIDS would stay confined to the population that did things society opposes–promiscuous gay sex, shooting dope, prostitution. But AIDS did not only target the “bad” people. It turned out, to everyone’s genuine surprise, that people do t necessarily have complete double lives. Sometimes they just dabble in something. They step into the scene then step out, real quick, so they are barely there. They are not full time gay, they are men, who now and again, pick up a transgender sex worker. No one would ever guess that the forbidden thing that almost never happens is actually the norm. Hence, diseases that are spread by doing something, whether it is once or as a lifestyle, these diseases travel from “them” to “us.” We don’t care about them–let the addicts kill themselves. But we care about ourselves, and it turns out we have addicts in our midst, or we engage with addicts working the street now and then. Disease outed people more than any shift in society’s attitude could have.

No one would ever guess that the forbidden thing that almost no one sees going on is actually the norm. Plenty of publicly “normal” people do the “abnormal” just a little , privately. I write this blog to show people they are not alone.

Caroleena’s purpose for the blog as it relates to harm Reduction.

People Use drugs alone–and die

Because if the stigma attached to using drugs, people do it in secret. If they overdose these us no one there to help them. They die needlessly. Articles about celeb drug overdoses, like the one linked to this post, do not say if the person was aline but they must have been bc there is always a mystery about why they were found dead. Later, the truth, or what we are told us true, us revealed. In Honolulu outreach workers have a stated goal if getting the anti overdose drug to as many people as possible, users or not. If anyone happens upon a scene where someone has collapsed and us not breathing, a good Samaritan can administer the drug as a nasal spray and simply save a life. Certainly the people hanging out with users can do the same.

Don’t use drugs alone.

Honolulu Community Outreach workers

The controversial summary: people will use drugs no matter what. Surprisingly, everyone is affected because disease does not stay within a boundary. What’s more, you might think you don’t know anyone who goes to sex workers (fir one example). Little do you know, you are probably wring, many times over. Caring about “them” means caring about ourselves.

Do I believe all if this? Would I say, rapists are going to rape anyway. We might as well help them pack a quality rape kit (the name of the supplies assailants carry with them) so that the plastic ties are not too abrasive to the skin of the person bound and gagged. What about giving burglars gloves to keep them from being cut when they break glass to force their way into a house or car? Are these extreme examples very different from giving condoms to middle schoolers? We could not do this bc harm prevention us, kind if, saying, we approve, albeit reluctantly. We would not give the arsonists fire proof gear so he can escape unburned. Would we? There are no easy answers, except one: Harm Reduction really does reduce harm.

Do we want that?

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My Background Reasons to blog

From elite to Honolulu’s streets-who am I and why do I write?

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.

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Financial assistance

Occasionally a working girl gets a sponsor

https://expertescort2018.com/2021/09/01/working-girls-and-from-certain-men/

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Addiction and Prostitution in Hawaii

The Experience of being arrested for Honolulu street prostitution

https://expertescort2018.com/2021/08/01/the-experience-of-being-arrested-for-street-prostitution/

Follow the link for an intellectual account of an experience not normally associated with cognitive analysis. In this post you can see the benefit of an ivy league educated person experiencing something uncommon to those in that elite club. The translation of street life into academic research provides a unique account you can only get here in this corner of the internet.

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Embarrassing secrets Self Analysis

Prison in Hawaii Showed me the real me in how I coped

I was in prison in Honolulu, Hawaii during the early years if the 21st century. Life behind bars challenges you because you have no stress. Stress can be a good thing when it is in the form of challenges you have the power to conquer. Stress is harmful when you are powerless to control your situation. Of course, you are powerless to free yourself, that is the big picture. Our lives are full when we have lots of “small picture” challenges. We have no obstacles In prison. All of our basic physical needs were met in a no frills fashion. There is nothing we have to do to survive. There’s just a vast nothingness between the present and our release date. Boredom due to the lack of stimulation is soul crushing. Imagine being stuck at the first level of a video game forever. We move on to the next level BC we want to introduce moderate stressors into our environment. In prison we could spend all day staring into space and we will still be fed, sheltered, clothed. Little was required of us inmates in Honolulu’s only prison facility for women. Prison is for people who have been sentenced to over a year incarceration for their crime (s), whereas jail is at the county level, or island level if you are in the Hawaiian archipelago. Each island has a jail for both men and women. Jail is for people who are sentenced to less than a year, along with people who are legally innocent but cannot make bail. Prison is place where people stay awhile and have to figure out how to deal with what cannot be changed. Unlike other prisons, no one at the island of Oahu’s women’s prison, the Women’s Community Correctional Center (pronounced Double U triple C) was required to work or take the very few classes the prison offered. Little was required beyond standing for headcount nine times a day. When you are overwhelmed with stuff to do as a free person, you imagine how nice it would be not to be stressed out all the time. In reality, when you get to the place where there is nothing to do, you could slit your wrists from desperate boredom. If we women were to have any stimulation we had to make our own fun. When I was in prison for 20 months I reminded myself that “bored people are boring.” I created writing projects by interviewing the other women about the circumstances that brought them to be with me in prison. I offered my services as an educated woman and former middle school teacher by teaching GED classes. I helped the other women with their paperwork/grievances and did not ask them to give me a portion of their commissary. I re-read some classics, and found new faves. I reinforced my love for “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and discovered “Gone With the Wind.” Both books were so great I experienced a bit of mourning when I finished them.

Prison in paradise hides a woman from the world but it reveals her to herself. Expert escort 2018 dot com slash prison

Another copng strategy was to constantly look for any injustice committed by staff, or mistake on their part. I pounced on the misdeed with written grievances and once, a lawsuit, determined to right the wrong for myself and the women who would come after me. The corrupt prison system provided me with endless battles to wage. I had a reason to get out if my bunk, leaving the hard plastic mattress-type pallet behind for a spot at a stainless steel table and stool. The weapons of my warfare were scattered around me on the table top—law books, paper, pencils. The familiar items gave me comfort.

I wanted to improve conditions. This motivation was genuine, but it was only part of what drove me.

I was bored.

Moreover, I was ashamed of wasting the education that college classmates said I only received BC of affirmative action. I hated myself for proving that every resource it took to allow me to earn my prestigious degree were resources best used on someone else. I was desperate to demonstrate that I had belonged at Harvard, no matter how grim my present circumstances. I called myself an inmate advocate to show a world that was not paying attention, that I could still use the gifts other black people had died to give me. Besides I had a mean streak a mile wide that I liked to express. I became a bully the only way a friendless nerd can—the mighty pen. My personality was an odd mixture of bitterness, negativity, a tendency to complain without ceasing and a heart to help anyone who needed assistance without losing patience and without mentioning what I had done for them. I never understood the mystery of how to get along with others and I am sure people would be surprised to know as disagreeable as I was a lit of the time, I pined for friends. Perhaps my good qualities kept me from making enemies but they were not strong enough to outweigh my unfavorable traits. I was as alone as I had always been, be it Harvard or handcuffed. People did not seem to hate me or love me. Even in prison I was forgotten by my peers and clung to my novels as I had in middle and high school. My life in prison was defined by anger, boredom, and obsessive focus on solitary projects of my creation, especially writing and exercise. Other women occupied themselves with new same-sex relationships. (I never had a girlfriend. Maybe lesbians also found me unattractive. I am not gay but the occasional flirtation would have broken up the monotony!) My coping methods to deal with life behind bars looked different from my fellow inmates but underlying my incarceration-activities-of-daily-living were the same pain, shame and isolation from which everyone suffered.

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#expertescort2018.com #LinkstoMyBlog Addiction and Prostitution Alienation Comfort Zone coping skills Fear of Rejection Honolulu Insecurity Recovery Rejection Social Anxiety Street life

The Fear of Rejection Is a Motivating Factor for both sex worker and client. (Inspiration Post: Fear of Rejection: 3 Simple Tips to Overcome)

https://harvardxhookrinhi.wordpress.com/2021/03/25/prostitution-can-be-a-subconscious-solution-to-social-anxiety/

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coping skills Health Homeless Hygiene Honolulu How To Solutions Street life

Hygiene Advice for Homeless Women, adapted from fellow blogger’s Post: 10 Good Hygiene Habits you Should Teach your Kids

Linked article from WordPress.com: https://wp.me/pakr2b-1ZT

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.

You have surely discovered that few if any people case about you. You may have adopted the attitude of indifference. When it comes to being clean while being homeless, it is worth your while to care about others.

Homeless Hygiene Tips

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.

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Secret sex

Harem Anime-Is There Happiness in Group Intimacy, Like Threesome’s? – Home Page: Everything Red Light Hawaii2000

https://harvardxhookrinhi.wordpress.com/2021/01/31/harem-anime-is-there-happiness-in-group-intimacy-like-threesomes/

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abuse, Women's health, Safety Addiction Autobiographical blogs

Violence and Threats Did Not Come My Way for One Reason

https://harvardxhookrinhi.wordpress.com/2021/03/11/women-need-a-crazy-vibe/

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#expertescort2018.com

Controversy Warning: Unity Among Men Not Women, others with minority status

Beauty+Breasts+Idea=Blog Intro that sparks interest

“Bro’s Before Ho’s” means guys ought to be loyal to each other, prioritize other guys, over women. Women are reduced to “Ho’s” and men are elevated to brother status. I would go as far as to say that men’s superior status and unity, especially white men, is reinforced when the chance to join white men is the ultimate accomplishment. Men truly back each other up, while women don’t even seem to like each other. (More on the subject of male unity and female disharmony to come). In our society, women and minorities are praised for getting away from their own kind. Don’t believe me? Haven’t you heard praise for the first female in a male dominated profession, or the first black in a white dominated profession? There’s no praise for the first male nurse, for example. Basketball fans will remember Larry Byrd, of the Boston Celtics. He wasn’t honored for being successfully assimilated into a largely black sport but he was encouraged to maintain a separation from the black players by being called “The Great White Hope.” In a skit performed by comedian Dave Chapelle, Chapelle says you know a black guy is successful when everyone and everything in his life is white.” You don’t see white people living in all black areas unless things have gone wrong for them. I think those of us who are members of groups without unity whose members are always trying to be among white men should take our cue from the Chinese immigrants who stuck together and supported each other in countless “Chinatowns” throughout America. How about the Jewish people who have a strong history of nonassimilation and still maintain traditions thousands of years old. The Chinese and Jews have economic success that we women and blacks do not emulate because we don’t work together, stick together. We are so eager to show how different we are from people who look like us. We “aren’t like those bitches” or we are “one of the good ones.” I wish to be in a group!

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Escort Answers

Criminal Christmas in Paradise–A Snapshot into Local Culture on the Other Side of the Tracks

Honolulu, Hawaii, Christmas 2019

Potluck meals are a staple of Hawaiian culture. The shared meal made up of different dishes provided by the individual members for consumption by all bonds the group family style. It is not necessary for everyone to contribute and no one keeps track of who brought a dish and who did not. You do not have to bring food in order to eat. If an unexpected person turns up, that person is welcome to eat too. Usually people will insist that she join the group. Local people believe it is very bad luck to argue where food is being prepared, set out, or eaten because the spirit of dissension can go into the food and spread to the people sharing the meal.

Illegal Gambling Establishments, “Game Rooms”

I went to a game room in search of a story for this blog, although I do not remember exactly where it was. The same people were there playing electronic machines that remind me of unsophisticated 1980’s Atari video games. At the side of the room was a long table with pots of food, plates, forks, knives–a Christmas Potluck. At the game room! Every now and then Honolulu Police decide to raid the game rooms and shut them down, and after a few weeks or months they reappear in the same spot of a different spot. There are violent incidents because tens of thousands of dollars are gambled on a daily basis and people want to get their hands on that money by hook or by crook. If something goes down, the game rooms get shut down. The game room I visited only just started functioning this month. I don’t know if something bad happened there, but if it did, it happened when there wasn’t food being served because fighting in the vicinity of a meal is simply not done. Today, the gamblers and the staff members I was told did the cooking, were family.

Fitting in at the game room

I could have asked to eat if I wanted to and they would not have denied me. I did not want to stay long because people want you to spend money in their establishment and gambling is not my thing. I do not gamble because unlike when I was young, I now know I too could get addicted to the most uninteresting, unappealing practice, in a dingy setting where desperate people linger hoping to rob you. In my youth I would not have worried about my vulnerability because I thought I was invulnerable. I have spent most of my adult life doing things I did not even know existed in the world and had I known I would have denied any desire to participate. “Me? No way. Never.” That’s what I would have said about gambling. Now I side with the people in the 12 step meetings who talk about how you haven’t done something yet, but you might because yet stands for “You’re Eligible Too.” I avoid gambling and game-rooms because they suck a lot of people in, and it is the only addiction I have seen that is more expensive than crack. To be polite I put a $20 in the machine, and in less than a minute of pressing the button trying to shoot the electronic fish swimming on the screen, my turn was over and my money was gone. I did not try again. I imagine if I had won I might have been in trouble and decided to come back to do it again. I can say this, losing is not addictive!

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Escort Answers

My wish to understand the underclass was granted in the funniest way!

I wished to write about the “have-nots” as a progressive “have”

    

 Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it. I had a wish when I was a fresh faced 20 year college student in an exclusive  east coast Ivy League university. The closest I came to people called “prostitutes” or “escorts” or “hookers” or “providers” was when I took the course entitled “Poverty and the American Underclass.”  To be brutally honest with myself and my dear readers I was comfortably ensconced in a cushion of superiority. While studying how the other class lived I never doubted which side of the dividing line between halves belonged to me. Yes all people were created equal but through means not thoroughly understood, people did not remain equal. I was an idealist determined to help the less fortunate. Help, not mingle.  Noblesse oblige was my attitude–in other words the noble obligation to help the less fortunate that is the privilege of the enlightened “haves.” My wish was to delve, temporarily, into a world thoroughly apart from my own by securing a position as a prison GED teacher for inmates. How progressive of me! As a secondary agenda I would become one with the people, for the duration of my studies. You know, really get to know them, and later write about the world of the prostitute and similar ne-er-do-wells.  I was determined to represent the underclass prostitutes, addicts, homeless as human and very similar to you and me, even if the underclass representatives were unappealing and did not fit palatable stereotypes, such as the notion of a hooker with a heart of gold. I was an accepting person, you see. 

Be careful what you wish for, it may not turn out the way you imagined it would!

I did not just walk their path, I took off my shoes and put on theirs. Now their shoes are my shoes.

   I received my wish.  I got to know the underclass. I have been able to write about the underclass. I have embraced members of the underclass in my writings even if they were not especially appealing people but instead had many of the faults others assumed they had, such as laziness.  I had access to these people. The reason I understood the underclass was because I wasn’t specific enough in my wish to enter their world. I never emphasized to the wish granter that I intended only to visit, not to inhabit. I should have told the cosmic genie that when it came to “us and them” I was always to be considered “us” and the homeless, addicted prostitutes, were always “them.” But the joke was on me because I was granted the best point of view one can have when wishing to understand by walking in another’s shoes.  I was given the shoes and I am actually wearing them. And I thought I was only going to step in their footprints! Not make new ones. Ha! There was a truth I was going to learn about their shoes…to be cont…