duminică, 1 ianuarie 2012

People: tired pride on her face

“I’ve survived because God was with me,” Ms. Terry said. “Every Sunday, my mother and grandmother prayed for me out here.”

She has shown younger workers the ropes: how to jump in a Dumpster to hide from the police, and how to stay alive. First, never enter a car with more than one person in it, and never let someone drive you out of the area. Get your money up front — Ms. Terry charges $50 or $100 — and try to work with a buddy.

“You look for weapons, you check the back seat, and you go by your vibes,” she said. “If they look strange, you stay away.”

There have been close calls, like the time a trucker locked her in and tried to rape her.

“I never did drugs and never worked for a pimp for protection,” she said. “What protection? If I’m in someone’s car, about to die, ain’t no pimp in there helping me.”

“I never carried a blade,” said Ms. Terry, who grew up in the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn before her family moved to North Carolina for her teenage years. “My fists were my weapons. I learned to fight growing up with nine younger brothers.”

Ms. Terry said she completed two years of college, training to be a medical lab technician, but by the time she was 21, her husband had left her and she had two children to support. All she knew about prostitutes was what she saw on “Starsky & Hutch,” but she knew about the Hunts Point action and came out on her own. She admits she became addicted to the stimulation of the street life.

“I love the excitement of coming out here and seeing all these beautiful people I know,” she said. “Even my dates are a comfort. This place has made me strong. It keeps you young.”

But she has slowed down. A year ago, she was in a bad accident and was hospitalized with a broken jaw and neck injuries. Her children, two of whom she says she put through college, beg her to get off the street.

“I’m the mother, so they can’t say anything,” she said. “When I’m ready to get off, I’ll get off.”

The New York Times, Character Study: 52, and Still Working the Streets


3 comentarii:

Anonim spunea...

"May the god you've invented forgive you!" - from Galt's Speech

Barbu Mateescu spunea...

Îmi place (în mod ironic) protestantismul inerent. Femeia asta este "working the streets." Sexul oral în America este un "blowJOB".

jeack spunea...

what a nice lady.
what is she doing on the streets? selling cookies?