returned from Carmel feeling revived and ready to
start life anew. I had spent three days with a celebrity
who we are going to refer to as Bill. During the day
I walked along the beach, swam, read, and shopped
while he worked as a news anchorman.
Carmel was a beautiful little town, with lots of quaint
shops where Bill had accounts where I could sign his
name for anything I wanted, within reason of course.
I spent hours choosing clothes, shoes, jewelry and
had to buy an extra suitcase to get everything back
After Bill watched himself on the evening telecast
we dined at seafood restaurants. The food was so fresh
I could feel it swimming around my palate.
Afterwards we wandered through the local bars, and
he drank until his freak came out. The next step on
the scheduled ritual was to head back to his beach
house where we snorted blow (cocaine) as I transformed
Bill into ‘Billie’ - his alter persona.
A padded bra, blouse, women’s pants, wig, make
up and voila, I had created, without a doubt the ugliest
female on the planet. His voice changed and his bejeweled
fingers emphasized his limp, bangle covered wrist.
When he was satisfied with the façade in the
mirror, we set out to hunt his prey. Billie liked
young, straight men. His fantasy was to be their first
homosexual experience. He got off on corrupting forbidden
I had contacted the local male escort agency earlier
in the day and when we landed at a bar, I snuck off
to call the owner who had a young gigolo on stand-by.
The escort had my description and would have no trouble
finding me, because there were not many black strangers
in Carmel. The escort approached using a code word.
I invited him to join us so Bill could seduce him.
The escort knew to make it a challenge for Bill by
focusing on me and ignoring his advances for at least
a half an hour before giving in to curiosity.
The last night that I was to be in town I could not
get an answer at the agency and was forced to find
someone for Bill on my own. That night I discovered
that a lot of guys, if offered enough money would
gladly hurdle the fence. I think they were on the
down low already. I did not believe for a second that
money was the real reason they consented. There had
to be some homosexual seed already germinating inside
Bill needed a girl like me along in case someone tried
to harm him. I got five grand a day plus tips for
three days of helping him fulfill his fantasies. It
was my first time seeing men together, but I put my
professional hat on and played cheerleader from the
sidelines. It was not my taste, - old, wrinkled, sagging
skin with age spots up against a young hard bodied
muscular man. I probably would not have been so revolted
if it were young men, but this fossil had no business
with these boys, well not boys, but compared to his
fifty-eight years, they were babies.
I guess it was no different when I was with old men.
I had been with men seventy and eighty years old.
The only difference was I could look at the ceiling
or the doorknob, anything to take focus from what
I was doing. I was a robot doing what I had to do
to get to my next payday.
Most of my regular clients liked cocaine, which meant
that they were preoccupied with the drug instead of
me. They wanted company more than physical contact.
Many wanted sex, but I knew how to get a man worked
up so that he would explode before I had to saddle
up, or soon after.
I gave the best two finger blow jobs and if I could
get the guy into the right position he would get my
fist and never know that he was not inside of me.
I learned all this and more from my uncle’s
girls. I got my hustlin’ honest. Growing up
with pimps, drug dealers, bank forgers and every other
type of gangster in my family, it was only natural
for me to be destined to pick up the tricks of the
When I landed at LAX, I took a cab to Kalyn’s
and she took me to the auto shop to pick up my car.
The window had to be replaced. It was broken out when
my uncles saved me from being choked to death by my
ex who sat in the back seat strangling me with a tie.
Some of my cousins, had put Alonzo - my ex, on a bus
back to his hometown in Louisville, Kentucky.
I fought back the desire to cry. As much as I loved
Alonzo, even though his devastating betrayal had rocked
me to my core, I knew that I could never be happy
with a man who could treat me the way he had.
I called my parents and found out that Alonzo had
not left without getting some revenge. The bastard
had called my parents, who had been beeping me for
the last two days, and told them I was a prostitute.
I lied and told them that I was hosting parties. They
did not believe me.
I gave Kalyn her cut from the out of town job and
drove to Inglewood to pick up a package from Christian
- my play brother who had been my drug supplier for
years. He was glad that Alonzo was out of my life.
I dropped off packages in Los Angeles before Christian’s
wife, Laisyv and I went to Mz. Kizzy’s Back
Porch in the marina for dinner.
We both ordered the succulent neck bones, with sides
of macaroni and cheese, mixed greens, and the lightest
cornbread I had ever laid my lips on. We washed it
all down with a pitcher of red Kool-Aid.
We went back to her house to watch a movie, but the
rich food knocked us both out. I spent the night and
drove home to the valley the next morning.
I planned to take a few days off and go fishing with
my grandmother and the next day I would take my cousins
and their friends to the movies.
Monday morning I planned to look for an apartment
and a square job. Today I was going to climb into
my bed and sleep, something I sorely needed to do.
I cried out in my sleep and my grandmother came in
and shook me, when I finally woke I fell into her
arms and she held me until I stopped crying and trembling.
“What you dreaming about?”
“Just a dream,” I was relieved to be out
of the nightmare, and fortunate that was all it was.
“You have to tell someone about your nightmare
or when you go back to sleep you will dream the same
thing again, giving the dream too much power, which
can make it come true.”
“I was dreaming that Alonzo was trying to kill
She giggled, “Again?” I laughed with her.
“Well hopefully he’ll keep his ass in
Kentucky and won’t get another chance.”
“You have to be careful baby, that boy ain’t
wrapped tight. He blames you for his failures. I wouldn’t
put it past him to come back. You know your grandfather,
Melvin and I used to get into fights, we had some
real humdingers but he never tried to actually kill
me. Well, I don’t think so anyway. He did have
a lot of hoodoo mess in the attic. When I showed it
to my mother, she said he had not done it right. She
took it to him and told him that she knew how to make
his dick fall off if he didn’t stop messing
“What about Mr. Willie?”
“He tried to fight with me a couple of times
when he was drunk. I would wait for him to pass out
and beat the hell out of him. When he woke he had
bruises and no clue where they came from. You know
both my marriages lasted exactly twenty one years.”
“You ever want to get married again?”
“I ain’t thinking about men, they ain’t
worth the trouble.”
“I know what you mean.”
“No, now you hush about that. You got a lot
of living to do before you throw in the towel. You
picked a good apple that turned bad, that don’t
mean there is anything wrong with you. A strong woman
loves hard. You got to remember the good times you
shared, be grateful, and move on.”
“Things were good with Alonzo. I just knew we
would be together forever.”
“You want to hear God laugh? Tell him your plans
for the future. He already got your life planned out
for you. Life is meant to be a string of good and
bad times. You got a lot more good times in your future.
Don’t let one bad event make you bitter. I had
my life turn around on me more times than I can count,
but I know that God gave us good hearts and somehow
we share that touch with everyone who comes into our
lives. One day you are going to touch more than most,
I’ve seen it in my visions, God is going to
use you to help a lot of people.”
“Mother, you know I don’t believe in God.”
“I don’t know why you don’t believe,
I don’t even think you know why you don’t
believe. Baby, we don’t know what in life is
going to test our faith, but I know you are not a
quitter, you just keep living and mark my words.”
My grandmother was something else, I had seen her
catch people stealing out of her purse, or shoplifting
from her store and she would turn around and give
them more than they were trying to steal. I had also
seen those same people come back and tell her that
it was because of her that they had gotten their lives
together, and had come to pay her back, usually a
lot more than she had given.
When she had her café people would come in
and order a piece of toast and a cup of coffee, she
knew when people were hitting on hard times. She knew
that in the blink of an eye, anyone could have the
rug pulled from under them. She would plop down a
plate of grits, eggs, ham and French toast in front
When they said, “I didn’t order this,”
she knew in translation they meant, “I can’t
pay for this.”
“Well, you might as well eat it, I can’t
serve it to anyone else, health department would close
me down. You go on and eat,” she said leaving
them with their dignity.
Sometime she would drop money by their chair or come
up with an errand or job they could do so she could
pay them a little something.
Mother always said that what she gave out would come
back tenfold. She also said a good plate of food could
change a person’s life. All you had to do was
think pure thoughts and stay joyful while you were
preparing it, “Never cook when you are mad,
you could kill somebody that way. You are not just
feeding the stomach, you are feeding the soul.”
Mother had helped hundreds of people, though I had
seen her heart broken time and time again by her friends,
husbands and children, but she never stopped giving
with what she called, “a pure heart,”
never expecting anything in return.
“You must be tired, go on back to sleep. Tomorrow
is another day that God made, you’ll see, things
will look better in the morning,” she rose to
“Can you stay with me tonight?”
She climbed under the covers and pulled my head onto
her chest. I felt like a little girl again. I had
always felt so safe in her arms.