Since I was a young adult having lived through the 60’s here in the USA with all the Hippie Movements and the Women’s Lib, in the 70’s, it was not difficult for me to hitch a ride even across several States if I had so desired. However, I limited my thumbing rides to going around Chicago when I just wanted to get place to place. And then later on by myself like if I didn’t have bus fare. I was living in my own apartment and trying to get to work at whatever office I worked at back then, usually when the weather was inclement and a bus just never seemed to come .Most of the guys who picked me up when I was still innocent were hippies or maybe they might have done so to get a date, but most were cool and I would get to my destination.
So as I grew older and didn’t have a car, I walked alot of place in lieu of hitching. I met some ‘street’ people and one of them was a guy who insisted on walking me (and my dog….home). Unfortunately I was attracted to him and at that time in my life I did not know how to practice ‘self control’ So if not that day, then soon after we got intimate and he basically ‘moved in’ to my apartment, even though all he had was a bag of clothes. I should have seen the signs that he was a drug addict and a looser, but I was young and naive and he taught me some things about sex I never even knew existed.
He gave me a few dollars here and there towards rent but nothing much. One day he stayed gone all night and I got upset. He had been living with me for about 6 weeks. One of the jobs he took on was that of a ‘carny’ a person who works for carnivals. That was his explanation of where he had spent the night. I could tell you more things that were really wrong with him, but what would be the point? The focus of this blog is not on him, but on me and my life as you will soon see.
So one morning I was getting ready to leave for my job in Skokie. I lived in the inner city so I would have to take a bus to the “L” and then get off at Jefferson Park and catch a special bus which would take me a few blocks from where I worked. The ‘special bus’ was on a limited schedule and if I missed the one I needed to get I would have to wait over an hour for the next one which would make me very late for work. I was working in Customer Service at Ohm Electronics at the time.
It was snowing pretty hard and there was about 3 inches on the ground. I had my knees boots which laced up the front, a wool mini skirt (the style then) a cashmere sweater and a leather blazer. Robin, the man (my live in lover or whatever you would call him) was there and we got into an argument about money since he hadn’t given me any toward bills in some time. It ended with me crying because he told me I looked like a “hooker” and me being late for work. So when I got to the bus depot I had just missed the ‘special bus”. I began to walk over a bridge and it was very windy and the snow was beginning to come down harder I started to cry again and I could feel the tears start to freeze up on my cheeks. I decided to try and hitch a ride to work.
It did not take long for a young businessman to stop and offer a ride. However, he passed my place of work as he talked “You seem to be too upset to go into work. Why don’t you call and tell them you are going to be late due to the weather and I can take you for a cup of coffee or tea and you can relax and calm down.?” He seemed kind and genuine so the sound of something warm in my stomach was appealing and besides I knew I could probably get a bite of breakfast since he offered coffee and….
So of all places he stopped at a Howard Johnson’s We had a small breakfast, made small talk which I wasn’t really listening too and then he placed a $50.00 bill on the table. I thought it was for the waitress but then he got up and went to the cashier to pay our check. Hmmmm….When he came back he asked “Do you make that much in a day?” It wasn’t any of his business, but I knew that I didn’t. He then told me that I could have the $50 if I would just go and “relax’ with him for a little while in one of the motel rooms.
This was offensive to me, but also at the same time appealing. I especially thought so because what Robin had said to me when I was leaving “you look like a hooker”. This could be a way of getting back at him (i was probably saying that somewhere in my subconscious mind)
So I obliged him and we had our little intimate encounter. He was gentle, kind and considerate and done in like 3 mins. We left the motel room and he dropped me off at work. Well, that’s how it all began. That’s how I started to be a “hooker”. By way of hitch hiking at will and paying close attention to the drivers car and attire. If a business man with a nice car would stop and offer a ride my chances at turning a trick were more than likely.
This went on and off for practically the rest of my life until I turned 37. I started when I was about 24 or so, but it was not consistent. I left that job in Skokie, simply because it was way too difficult to get there on time. I did not get fired I left on my own. I found out about unemployment and collected that while I was trying to go to school to become a LPN…the job program was sponsored by Welfare and funding for it got cancelled before I finished so I left that and went from office job to waitress job to hitching hiking and hooking. I even began to sell small amounts of pot “just to get by”. Let me tell you, things got worse before they ever got better.
…I will tell you how it all ended up, but in another blog.