Start the night here. (yes this post was 3 years ago, so?)
They took me down to the station where once again I was jammed into a holding cell: a glass room with about 20 prostitutes, all accessorizing their skin tight ho clothes with bright orange jail shirts or pants like wearable OJ was some kind of new fashion statement.
“Oh honey what are you in for?” Asked the only non-orange clad ho. I don’t know what it was about her, but she seemed like the classiest of the group. Her velour top and clingy pants were revealing but tasteful in a way that made tohe other prostitutes in their the skimpy remains of their ho garb look shoddy.
“Obstructing the sidewalk.” I spat out weekly.
“Aww honey,” A brown-skinned ho looked at me pityingly. “If I couldn’t sell my cooch I’d be homeless asking for money like you.” That seemed so strange to me. Asking for change seemed way less degrading than selling my twat, but not to her.
“You’re pretty,” the classy ho sized me up. “Ever thought about going into the business?” I shrugged politely. The thought of anyone touching me sexually who I was not attracted to disgusted me. Being homeless was part spiritual quest for me–distancing myself from attachment to objects and limiting my needs to the basics. All I needed was a couple bucks a day to get by and I didn’t have any addictions or children to make me need more. “You look tired, here, lay on this shirt.” I thanked her and reclined on an orange jail shirt.
“I love being a ho.” One of the women chimed in. “Anywhere I go I can always sell my pussy!”
“I need to sell my pussy,” the “classy” one said, “I have my four year old son to take care of.”
“How did you get in the business?” Another one asked her.
“Like a lot of women do, I was a dancer in a club and I realized hooking could make a lot more money…”
That’s where I started coughing. And coughing, and coughing. Sleeping outside in the cold damp winter combined with smoking had given me a nasty cold. I spat some blood into the common toilet sitting exposed in the corner of the cell.
“Are you alright honey?” Classy ho asked.
“Yeah, I’m ok. I just coughed up some blood tho.”
“Coughed up BLOOD?!” One of the hos yelled. “Oh my god do you have TB?!!”
That’s when all hell broke loose:
“She has TB!!”
“Guards, gaurds, she has TB!”
After a few minutes the guards moved me to another holding cell. Only it wasn’t a regular holding cell, it was a white tiled room with every inch–floor, walls and ceiling–covered in blood stains of varying shades. It had a drain hole in the middle of the floor presumably for when they failed to wash the stains out. Or maybe for the blood to drain down. I didn’t know. All I knew was there was NO WAY I was touching anything!!!
I couldn’t sit down without touching the floor (no benches in this room) so I paced the room wearilly. In a desperate attempt to look at something besides blood stains my eyes traveled accross the room. The holding cells were set up in a circle like a glass menagerie around a cubicle farm. cops in their uniforms non-chalantly processed paperwork while us chattel watched from our glass pens.
The men were penned up accross from me and to the left, and then–my eyes stopped. Directly accross from me was what looked like a padded cell. Unlike the rest of the cells this one only had a tiny windoe, but it looked soft and white from where I was. Not only that, but it was inhabited. Inhabited by what looked like a naked woman. A naked woman staring straight at me and screaming in anguish. Screaming and screaming and screaming.
That’s when I realized I had been listening to her scream all night…