To encounter oneself is to encounter the other: and this is love. If I know that my soul trembles, I know that your does, too: and, if I can respect this, both of us can live.”
The words of James Baldwin are like keys to secret gardens, labyrinths of ideas, and on occasion they lead to those dark places of my mind.
I am sitting here listening to Maria Callas and looking at these gorgeous Black Dahlias. They are in bloom, and they are just so sexy. They sit on these high, thick stems like regal swans.
I have been very excited since I started writing to the editor about our project. He is deep like the Indian Ocean, and our topic has had me thinking on my life and the mystery, the beauty, the hell and the pain of it all. There are a couple of things that I wanted to address from your last e-mail. Remember; I was in my own prison, and couldn’t stop shooting up, and you said, “how can we stay in touch, how can I help?” and I said, “Let’s just write to each other beautiful stories.”
I do love this. I still find myself in this prison, darling, but no longer crazy about it. I was terrified coming back to LA, but I made myself a promise. That I was going to take care of myself better, and I had to come to terms with it all. I had to come to terms with the fact that I am a sex worker. I had to ask myself: why was I doing it so much – shooting up, up to five times a day? I was rebelling, darling, and I did not want to face the reality. Never in my wild dreams did I think I was going to end up like this. I should have known though. Ever since I was little, my body (the sex appeal that exudes from my pores and my looks) has tormented me and tormented others. Now that I have come to terms with it all, it is not so painful. It is like when we were at that bar in the neighborhood and I told you that “I always saw myself as Scarlett O’Hara.”
Yes, this has been one of my biggest crutches. I have idealized everything in my life. But you have to understand that this is what I did when I was a child sitting in the corner of the closet that we lived in. Or before, getting ready to go to bed I dreamed of a fairy tale world. A world where I was a little girl and I had a father and mother, and there was the castle with the prince with whom I would end up running away. When I was 10 or 11 I would even leave the house and tell mom that I was going to the park, but instead I would get on the bus and take adventures to Hollywood, the beach, Bel Air… all these grand places that I had always just imagined. So coming to terms with sex work and shooting up was for me an ugly monster to tackle.
You said, “Hell, ain’t I a woman?” This is what I know: I’m full of fury, chaos and sorrow. You know me better than most. There is still an ocean between us. Yes darling, there still is this ocean between us because you ascribe genitalia with gender and you are not looking beyond the body. In your last e-mail you also mentioned that I taught you what it’s like to ache because of a penis in between ones legs. I don’t ache because of this. I love my cock. I love it when men go down on me for hours. Hahahahha but I don’t ascribe so much to my cock. That is not the first thing a man sees in me. They see my brown locks running down my shoulder, they see the high slim curve of my shoulders, the fullness of my lips, the seduction in my eyes. They see the elegance of my long neck, and the curve of my back and how it curves deep before coming back up to meet a round and voluptuous ass that can destroy men at the rise and fall of each cheek. The pain comes from not my penis, but from the outside. It comes from people saying I am not a woman because of my penis, or because of the deepness of my voice. The pain comes from men making fun of me (when I know they are attracted to me) or from men not treating me with the respect that I deserve. I ache living in a society that doesn’t acknowledge me for being me. People do not understand that my feeling a woman does not come from my red lipstick, or my dresses. It comes from deep within the crevices of my mind from where my sensitivity, grace, passion and love spill out of like a dam. The pain comes from men not treating me with respect after they had touched me or gone down on me, or when they try to take away from me my freedom and mock it by calling me a man in a dress.
Men are violent and men kill, not because of the penis, but because they are sick and damaged human beings. The penis just gives them the freedom to do the violent crimes they commit against women and their children.
If I didn’t have my penis, I would still be the woman I am now.
We are full of fury, chaos, and sorrow not because of what is in between our legs. We are filed with these emotions because we’ve been abused, because we speak our minds, and go against the grain because we know it is the right thing to do.