When you do what I did for the first time, it feels different; it feels uncomfortable, and surreal and unfamiliar. It feels cold and wrong and dirty and after it was over I went home to the couch I was living on and slept for days. Then I did a few lines, and took a shower. A long shower. A long, deeply cleansing, steaming hot shower. The kind where your skin gets really red and the water stings your face and you wonder if you should turn up the cold water, but you can’t, because somehow, this painfully hot water is purifying your soul. It counteracts what you’ve just done. What I’ve just done.
When I sold my body for the first time, I disassociated. Everything was happening to me, but I wasn’t there. I physically existed, but I was so emotionally drained, I couldn’t be present. The human mind is an amazing mechanism to be able to protect someone like that. I like to think of my mind as the cliché yet true analogy of a computer. When it detects a threat, such as a virus, it goes into safe-mode. He was my virus, and whatever sense of primal instinct I had retained throughout this ordeal was my safe-mode.
I wasn’t even having sex with those men. They were just blindly fucking me and trying to get off. The first few times I wasn’t even high. I was with bad people in bad neighborhoods way up in the Bronx that you don’t want to go into alone at night. Especially if you happen to be a 19-year-old white girl from a well to-do family on Long Island who has no experience with bad people from bad neighborhoods way up in the Bronx and who just needed a fucking fix.
Now I’m not saying that you should never do cocaine because a lot of people, most people, can sniff a line or two at parties and be done. DONE. See, that word doesn’t exist for me. “Done”. There is no “moderation” or “only on weekends” or anything like that because I was born a goddamned drug addict and the minute I found coke it was like a forbidden love affair. It changed me. The thought of being “done” terrified me. I didn’t even know what prostitution was until I was 16 or 17. I was so sheltered. It was really a disservice. Maybe I could have gotten this over with sooner.
When you do what I did you learn to forgive yourself. It takes time, because the first time you hug your parents after you do what I did, you want to melt in to their arms and start crying. They ask you what’s wrong and you’ll just say that you love them over and over again because if everything you learned in grade school about taking chances were true, you should’ve been dead by now. Yet somehow, that never sinks in for you, and you go, selling yourself short, once again.